As Kate Tempest, John Cooper Clarke and Simon Armitage help celebrate National Poetry Day, it’s been revealed that sales of the genre are up by 10%.
It’s thought to be down to performances such as Tony “Longfella” Walsh’s tribute after the Manchester bomb attack and Tempest’s Glastonbury set.
National Poetry day organisers also put the bump in figures down to the online presence of poets like Rupi Naur.
The theme for this year’s event is freedom.
A four-day festival has been launched in Hull, this year’s City of Culture, while BBC local radio are sharing 12 poems created by poets, after listeners called in to nominate local terms and slang words they felt deserved a wider audience.
Winning words include the street slang word “fam” (friend) and “dimpsy”, which means twilight in Devon.
The National Poetry Library in London has also just launched a project to collect the poetry of thousands of languages in danger of dying out.
London’s Southbank Centre has also commissioned four poets to write new poems in languages under threat or which have been lost to them personally, through displacement or circumstance.
They include Iraqi poet Nineb Lamassu, who will write in Assyrian, a language not officially recognised in Iraq, and Ugandan poet Nick Makoha, who will write in his mother tongue, Luganda, a language he lost when he was forced to flee Idi Amin’s dictatorship as a boy.