When a group of librarians got together 20 years ago to form Poetry on Loan, I expect they didn't think it would keep going this long - but in 2019, Poetry on Loan is 20 years old. We've got some things planned for our anniversary, but they're under wraps at the moment.
Meanwhile, it's a new year, and I've just submitted our bid to Arts Council England for 2019 - 2021. We are of course extremely grateful to ACE for all the support they have provided over the years, and very much hope it will continue.
But the work is done by the wonderful library staff of the West Midlands, and a number of events are on their way.
On January 24th, Emma Purshouse will be headlining in the third Library Lates, at Balsall Heath library - a mixture of open mic and a professional performance poet. Balsall residents have responded really well to these events; why not go along yourself? It's 5:45 to 7:45, and all are welcome.
We'll be judging the Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate competition in a couple of weeks,and in February there are poetry on demand sessions in Stoke library and in Southwater library, in Telford. February is LGBTQ+ month, and Sophia Blackwell will be giving a performance in Coventry City library on 23rd Feb.
What have you been reading? I've been reading various poetry magazines recently - Rattle, which is one of my favourites, and The Blue Nib, which is new to me, plus short collections from Sean Colletti and Richard O'Brien, the new Birmingham Poet Laureate, and higvhly recommended.
Kepp looking for further news!