Next Generation Poets 2014 is a major poetry promotion following on from New Generation Poets in 1994 and Next Generation Poets in 2004, which launched the careers of many of today’s leading British and Irish poets, including Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Alice Oswald and Paul Farley. We are delighted that Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage have agreed to support Next Generation Poets 2014 as patrons. Warsan Shire, Young Poet Laureate of London, will be a Young Patron. We would also like to thank all the New and Next Generation poets who are supporting the latest generation by reading at events, writing blogs and other contributions to the promotion.
The Poetry Book Society, which is running the promotion, received 241 submissions from poetry publishers and the judging panel comprised poets Ian McMillan (Chair), Caroline Bird, Robert Crawford (from New Generation Poets), Paul Farley (from Next Generation Poets) and Clare Pollard. The judges have now put together their list of the most exciting new poets who have published their first collection in the decade from 1 May 2004 to 30 April 2014.
The PBS is now undertaking a major promotion of the poets to build their visibility and audiences, concentrating especially on new audiences. A major pr campaign will ensure national media coverage. This website offers video interviews and poems from the poets, with comments from Ian McMillan, discussions and blogs and poems. The reading group scheme offers readers’ discussion notes and poems and a reading group competition. A reader’s guide to the 20 poets will be available at the events and can be ordered from the PBS.
Twenty-three events will follow in festivals, libraries, venues, Waterstones and independent bookshops across the country, running through from 1 October to 15 March 2015, when there will be a big celebration at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, with all 20 poets invited to read. The events page will be constantly updated with all the latest details of the events.
The Poetry Book Society would like to thank Arts Council England Grants for the Arts for supporting the promotion. We would also like to thank the T S Eliot Estate who are funding it as part of a year of supporting poetry to mark the 50th anniversary of T S Eliot’s death in January 2015.
The British Council is delighted to be collaborating with the Poetry Book Society on an international showcase of contemporary British poetry featuring the Next Generation Poets 2014. The first events in the international programme, including readings, conversations and workshops, will be announced in March 2015 and will take place in countries including Bangladesh, India and Brazil from September 2015.