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Not much to report this month. It must be poets’ summer recess or something. Anyway here’s your round-up.

The heir to the throne is in need of an ode.

Traditionally, the UK’s poet laureate would greet the arrival of an heir to the throne with a new poem. But Carol Ann Duffy was on holiday when His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge was born.

Fortunately, The Guardian stepped in and invited readers to write their own poems “fit for a prince.” You can read these here.


Prince George of Cambridge with his mother
[Source: Wikimedia Commons © Surtsicna]

There’s a poetry-writing mass killer in Japan

The bodies of five people were found in a tiny mountain village in Japan after two houses were burnt to the ground.

A haiku was found stuck to the window in the home of a 63-year old villager, which read: “Setting a fire – smoke gives delight – to a country fellow.” The man is now being sought by police.

Google has inadvertently expanded its empire into the world of poetry-writing.

The Independent reported on Google Poetics, the quirky phenomenon where Google predicts your search terms and creates “Google poems” as a result.

This unusual facet of Google was first stumbled upon by Sampsa Nuoti. Here’s an example:


[Source: Google Poetics]

Who wants to read a rape joke?

The US poet Patricia Lockwood has written a poem called Rape Joke which has gone viral. It begins:

“The rape joke is that you were 19 years old. / The rape joke is that he was your boyfriend.”

The poem, as you’ve probably guessed, isn’t a joke. It’s about what it’s liked to be raped. It’s an essential read. Within hours of being posted it has received over 10,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook.


Book Releases

Last but not least, a couple of highlights from the poetry books published during July.