portsmouth poetry

From A Borrowed Biro

Clive james


We 'use' poetry whenever we need words.
When we need beauty and clarity, when we fall in love, at a wedding or christening, for a eulogy; we 'borrow' from poets.

"Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow?" is a poem written in the 1970's by author, critic, broadcaster, memoirist, translator and poet Clive James and set to music by his friend and collaborator, Pete Atkin. 

Clive has generously given permission for his words to be used as the concept for our plans for a poetry in Portsmouth.

Now in its 18th year, Portsmouth Festivities is an established part of the cultural calendar in the city.

For 10 days at the end of the June, the Festivities packs the city's unique venues with

the very best of Portsmouth, bringing its rich heritage and thriving cultural scene to the forefront and broadening participation in artistic and cultural activities which capture imaginations, celebrate diversity and reflect the heritage value of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Poetry is proud to be a Festivities Creative Partner.

Street Art is controversial. Yet some of the most interesting and creative talent in the 21st century is found on the street – Banksy, Opiemme and MyDogSighs.

With a loyal local following, MyDogSighs contributed 10 years to the Free Art Friday project and has gained international respect exhibiting in London, New York, Zurich, Hamburg, Chocago and the Netherlands.

The portsmouth poetry project will illustrate through the exciting medium of tag art to bring poetry in a dynamic new format to audiences who may not know that poetry is for them.



Who better to launch a project determined to

 be challenging than a poet with a career spanning five decades of bringing poetry to non-traditional audiences?

"Johnny Clarke, the name behind the hairstyle", member of the Ferrets, Bard of Salford, punk poet or Dr Clarke. He has shared the bill with the Sex Pistols, Fall, Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Elvis Costello, New Order and the Honey Monster. He’s worked with Plan B and the Artic Monkeys [“I Wanna Be Yours” on their 5th album is a wedding favourite] and written “Coast” for the National Trust. 

His most recent work “Anthologia” was punblished in October 2015.
Born in Stratford, in the East End of London, Sam Cox abandoned retail management to become a teacher. A popular performance poet, her first gig was an open mike in Covent Garden. Sam has been Portsmouth Poet Laureate since 2012 and has appeared regularly in Portsmouth and at national events.
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