Roger McGough/Famous Poet’s Tree/Poetry in Advertising – Poetry News Roundup February 28th

Today on My Poetic Side we bring you articles on a poetry competition launched by Roger McGough, a tree linked to several famous poets that is at risk of being cut down and the increasing popularity of poetry in the advertising industry.

Poetry Competition Launched by Roger McGough

Roger McGough who is a published poet and currently the presenter of “Poetry Please” on BBC Radio 4 is to launch a new poetry competition. McGough is hoping that his nationwide search will help to find the next generation of poets in the UK, and he has even written his own short verse about Scouse, the famous Liverpudlian dish, in honour of the competition.

The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 and entries should be no more than 200 words in length, and original verses. Entries can be submitted from 28th February to midnight on 30th April.

Liverpool Gin will then create a shortlist of just 50 poems which will be read by McGough who will then reduce the list even further to just three finalists. The winner will be announced on 4th October, National Poetry Day.

“Johnson’s Willow” to be Cut Back

A tree located in Litchfield is due to be cut partially as it is feared it could be unsafe due to signs of decay. The tree, which can be found next to Stowe Pool, has been believed to have been a favourite of the poet Samuel Johnson.

Now referred to as Johnson’s Willow, was referred to as the Litchfield Willow during the time that the poet resided there. Not only does it have links to Johnson but also to Anna Seward as well as the poet from the US Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson who both celebrated it in their work.

The work that will be carried out on the tree to make it safe for the public involves removing some of the main branches from the tree. It is hoped that the decay which has already been identified is not more widespread otherwise the tree will have to be cut down completely.

This is in fact not the original tree, but such is its importance to the area that the tree has now been regrown a total of three times over the years. Each time cuttings from the original tree have been used to help preserve the link with Johnson.

Poetry for Advertising

You may have noticed a certain trend that seems to be appearing in the world of advertising and that is a move away from the more conventional type of advertising and the increased use of poetry. Lots of big brands are well and truly on the poetry bandwagon. In recent months we have seen Coca-Cola using poetry during their prime Superbowl advert slot, Under Armour linking poetry and the Olympics in their advertising campaign and A+E Networks teaming up with IN-Q the National Poetry Slam champion.

The increase in the use of poetry seems to coincide with the popularity of poets using social media as a platform. The fact is that advertisers have realised that poetry can be far catchier than advertising copy, more memorable and therefore far better at promoting the brands they are trying to boost.

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