The task of building a website for Pass On  A Poem is being undertaken  by ourselves, so patience is asked for. We hope to have a helpful and user friendly site fully operational by the summer.

“I find great hope in that sense of connection with other people, the possibility that the worst experiences might be transformed into a place where we might meet and stand together. It happens. So often after a reading someone will come up to me, someone who has just heard a poem…and say, “You said how I felt.” We need that, I think, as a species ; we are the creatures which represent, which long to be represented….I am always looking to recognize my own experience in others’ work. That’s one of the things I love most…coming across a passage which says what I know but have never been able to say.” Mark Doty


Homer reciting his poetry

Pass On A Poem was founded in 2005 to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy more poetry and, in some cases, to discover its pleasures and uses for the first time. Often, the quickest and most effective way to convey the excitement and value of poetry is to read it out loud. Pass On A Poem organises live poetry events in intimate, informal and relaxed settings in which members of the public read out loud a poem chosen for its special and personal significance to them. No previous experience of either poetry or reading it live is required.Readings last about one and a half hours maximum.

At each reading there are usually 15 readers reading to audiences of between 25 and 150 people.Each reader is briefly introduced and then has approximately 5 minutes in which to explain why they have chosen that poem, and to read it. Readers are invited to explain the personal reasons for their choice rather than to analyse the poem in literary terms.There is no discussion of the poems afterwards, but all texts are posted on the website in its online anthology after each reading.

To read a poem at an event, submit a poem with brief details about yourself and the text of the poem to enquiries@passonapoem.com Readers may not be the authors of the poem they read. The poem must have been published in book or magazine form. Selection is determined only by the desirability of creating a varied and stimulating programme, so that members of the audience can hope to hear at least one poem that appeals to them or opens new doors. Past events have included readings as diverse as Chaucer, Shakespeare, American 19th and 20th century poets, Australian poets, the Harlem Renaissance poets, lyrics, rap, African, Asian and Caribbean poets writing in English, Milton, GMHopkins,William Blake and many contemporary British and English language poets.

Advice is available from Pass On A Poem for readers who would welcome tips on reading out loud. Pass On A Poem also provides support and encouragement to people wishing to set up poetry reading groups in their own homes. A Pass On A Poem website offering an extensive range of information about many aspects of poetry is currently in the process of being built.The aim of the site is to encourage people to go deeper into any particular poem or poet they may have heard at one of the readings, and to familiarise visitors with the world of poetry performance, publishing and appreciation in Britain today.

My heart rouses
         thinking to bring you news
             of something                                   
   that concerns you                                       
        and concerns many men.  Look at
            what passes for the new.                    
    You will not find it there but in
        despised poems.
            It is difficult
    to get the news from poems
        yet men die miserably every day
            for lack
    of what is found there

from “Asphodel, that greeny flower” by William Carlos Williams, M.D



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