Ver Poets open readings with Tamar Yoseloff

Tamar Yoseloff [Picture: Stephen Wells]

Tamar Yoseloff [Picture: Stephen Wells] - Credit: Archant

Prize-winning poets from all over Britain will be coming to St Albans next week.

They will be performing their entries in the Ver Poets Open Competition on Saturday, July 8.

The annual event, with big cash prizes for the top three poems, is being held at the Maltings Arts Theatre at 2pm.

An anthology of the winning and commended poems will be on sale.

More than 800 entries were judged by Tamar Yoseloff, an American-born writer who specialises in poems linked to the visual arts.

Tamar is a distinguished writer and publisher and her small press Hercules Editions is backed by the Arts Council.

She will also be reading from her book A Formula for Night in the second half.

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Her book Formerly, with photographs by Vici MacDonald, was shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award in New Poetry.

Her first full collection, Sweetheart, was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation and winner of the Aldeburgh Festival Prize.

Tamar, who teaches on the MA course at the Poetry School in London, said: “As this competition shows, contemporary poetry in Britain is in a very healthy state.

“There is a new generation of poets who are not afraid to experiment and try writing from many angles.

“Lots of small, grass-roots presses are being set up – partly because the big publishers have been hit by the recession.

“People who come to the prize-giving on Saturday will hear some top-notch writing.”

Ver Poets press officer Simon Bowden said: “This is a free event – and a great opportunity to catch up on the state of modern poetry.

“There will be refreshments available at half-time, and a chance to meet the writers and find out about the local poetry scene.”