Pam Ayres/Poet’s Place Names/Smith’s Podcast – Poetry News Roundup October 9th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at Pam Ayres at the Henley Literary Festival, the survey looking at poet related place names and Tracy K. Smith’s latest podcast.

Pam Ayres Delights Audience

Taking part in the Henley Literary Festival, Pam Ayres delighted a “sell-out” audience of more than 300 people. Even though she was suffering with a heavy cold, Ayres opened with a rendition of “Don’t Kiss Me”. She followed this with 13-0, a poem about a rugby pitch in January and the Story of the Grand National horse named Fred. Her final poem was a new one “Famed”, which takes a look at the price of spectacles and had her audience in stitches.

She completed her time at the festival with questions from the audience and a book signing session.

The Street Names Inspired by Poets

Poets have long used the environment and nature as the inspiration for their poems. A recent study has now found that poets themselves have been the inspiration for town planners and builders with over 10,000 addresses in the UK inspired by either the poets themselves or their poems. There are a staggering 600 alone in Glasgow.

It will probably come as no surprise that the most popular poet reference in Scotland is of course Robert Burns himself – there are over 720 streets dedicated to the great poet all over the UK. The Bronte sisters have had a great influence on house names and street names as well, closely followed by Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The survey, which was released last week to coincide with National Poetry Day found, rather unsurprisingly, that the areas that had produced the most recognised poets in general also had the most addresses linked to poetry

In total, more than 30 million addresses were looked at, and whilst Scottish names were very popular with plenty of Robert Burns Avenue, a Walter Scott Avenue and even a couple of streets named after the current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, there were also plenty of English poets represented as well. There are over 700 places named after the Brontë’s, and even some examples of places named after lesser known poets like Aphra Behn, the 17th century writer. War poets were also well represented, with Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon also making it into the list of top 10 poets whose names were most used.

Cardiff however is the postcode area of the UK with the highest number of verse related addresses with over 1450 according to the survey, perhaps unsurprising given the number of celebrated writers it has produced over the years.

Let Tracy K Smith Whisper in Your Ear

The US poet laureate’s new podcast “The Slowdown” has been referred to as a way in which listeners can have a break from the everyday noises that surround them. For just 5 minutes at a time, listeners could listen to Tracy K. Smith reading poetry, both her own and that of other poets.

The podcast will be available to listen to from 26th November ad will be available to public radio stations from January.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.