RIOTS IN INK (and airwaves)

It’s been a very exciting few months for Radio Poets. In just three broadcasts we’ve promoted some of the region’s finest poetry and spoken word, as well as pushing controversy, with topical discussions such as inequality in publishing, the page/spoken word divide, and levelling a platform for established and emerging artists to deliver their work to an engaged and accepting audience. As inquisitive and narcissist as poets can be, they’re always willing to listen. I like to think the rest of the radio world are happy to plug in too.

We’ve also produced a broadcast of pure performance. ‘Stripped back’ was our first ‘poems only’ session. You can listen to our three laureate line-up again on the Brum Radio mixcloud page soon. Just keep tapping those fingers…



Next month we’re celebrating one of the few credible webzines to come out of the UK in the last ten years, Ink, Sweat and Tears, with  Helen Ivory (Editor) and Kate Birch, as well as a line-up of Inky Poets to perform the zines’ range of poetry and prose publications.  Following this, we have the 2011 Birmingham Riots with Sophie-Hyde. Since 2014 Sophie has been studying, and creatively responding to the riots, and in July will be coming into the studio to look back over their destruction, the disease of corruption from the highest legacies, as well as the cultural and racial issues that were, and are, the jarring forces that keep tension alive within the city.

We’re also welcoming back Antony Owen, for an Hiroshima special, following his intensive work at the International Convention Centre Peace Department, and CDN (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). We’ll be talking about the project, the place (the poems of course )and the ‘thrust-fault’ of the utter devastation to a single landscape, that took place in a single moment, Monday 6th August, 1945.

You can read more about the work Antony has been doing here:


blind poet

We will also be featuring a ‘Blind Poetics’ special, with poet and writer Giles Turnbull. This is a deeply sensitive topic, one of intense personal interestto me, not least for it being one of the more overlooked subjects in poetry. Giles will be coming in for a one-to-one interview on the poet’s method for ‘writing blind’, how a deeper enlightenment of the senses can make you the better writer, but also the more pressing issue of why this isn’t being talked about more, and what we can do to bring it to the public’s wider attention.

And there’s more news. 

Because we love poetry, the big brains at Brum Radio have decided to collate every single poem recorded from the programme . Poems will re-roll each week, on Sunday mornings. Time and date tbc. We’re even hoping to have a poem a day for you too, from the broadest range of poetic voices, hailing from across Birmingham and the wider UK.

And as always, there’s a chance to have your say – please tweet @HelenCalcutt and @BrumRadio to continue the discussion on any of the topics covered. If you would like to feature on the programme, get in touch: