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Sell-out festivals and book sales up … it’s poetry’s renaissance

New Nottingham festival founded by Henry Normal joins boom led by Kate Tempest and John Cooper Clarke

Against all publishing predictions, poetry, so long the Cinderella of literary forms, is back. Verse of all kinds is being celebrated across Britain in what readers and poets are now feeling confident enough to call a genuine renaissance.

The new popularity centres on contemporary and performance poetry and the evidence is not just in the demand for tickets to see stars of the scene, such as the award-winning Kate Tempest or the veteran punk poet John Cooper Clarke, but in high sales in bookshops and in the extraordinary proliferation of regional poetry festivals. Poetry book sales have gone up by more than 50% in four years, while there are now more than 30 annual events devoted to celebrating spoken and written verse.

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