Many of you will have heard Jo Bell's poetry. Jo is the Canal Poet Laureate and has been on Radio 4 quite a bit recently, and she has just won the Charles Causley Poetry Competition. Here's a link, so you can hear her reading her winning poem, The Icicle Garden: https://soundcloud.com/jo_bell/the-icicle-garden. Apparently the crackling noise in the background is her log-burning stove!
If you're lucky, you will have been in one of Jo's workshops - she's been running workshops for Poetry on Loan for some years, and she'll be running another one in Coventry on March 25th.
But we have loads of great events on the way. Perhaps you need a love poem to give to that special person? Look out for pop-up love poets in Shrewsbury, Coventry and Stoke. Or perhaps you would like to read one of your own love poems out loud, in which case go to one of Philip Monks events on Valentine's Day (Pelsall in the morning, Walsall in the afternoon). I'm afraid that Love in Leamington, featuring specially-commissioned love poems and accompanying music, is already sold out.
Pop-up poetry is proving to be very popular. You just have to approach the poet and ask for a poem; he or she will chat to you for a few minutes, and about 15 or 20 minutes later, you will have it - your own specially-written poem. It's a great way to brighten up a shopping trip! There will be more pop-up poetry in Coventry, plus a performance by three of the postcard poets. Add in some walking workshops in Dudley with Roy McFarlane, and the next couple of months will be full of poetry and love - and probably a few icicles as well.
The people involved in Poetry on Loan had a meeting in January, and everyone came up with some great ideas for events, so there will be more to come.
Keep looking at the website. Full details of all these events will be added over the next few days. And soon we'll be giving details of Poetry on Loan's own poetry competition ... watch this space!