Celebrate The Saison Poetry Library's 60th birthday with an evening of eclectic and unique poetry voices.
We have assembled a wide range of the world's finest poets in the same room, at the same time. Our party is hosted by Ian McMillan, with readers including 2013 Forward Prize for Best First Collection winner Emily Berry, plus Fleur Adcock, John Agard, Peter Finch, Jen Hadfield, Kei Miller, Daljit Nagra, Brenda Shaughnessy, Amjad Nasser and Warsan Shire.
The poets have plundered the Poetry Library shelves for some of their favourite poems and taken requests for readings from their own work.
Join us as the library's diverse collection comes to life with poets who are renowned for pushing poetry in surprising directions.
The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Arrive early to enjoy free poetry films from the Poetry Library's collection as the excitement builds before the live readings.
With over 20,000 visitors a year and over 200,000 items across its various collections the library invites you to join this outrageously varied and unlikely-to-be-repeated event. Some of the world's best poets, relaxed in the birthday mood, offer a rollicking night of performances to celebrate what Radio 4 has called 'one of the great libraries of the world'.
Some Poetry Library titbits to whet your appetite...
John Agard marked the 40th birthday of the library by spilling Guinness onto the iconic Royal Festival Hall carpet. Not every poet has felt so at home...
For example, Wendy Cope loves the Poetry Library – with reservations: 'I'd enjoy every minute but for the danger of meeting other poets in it!'
John Hegley, a regular user, once wrote a new poem in the library and left it behind.
In a letter, previous Poet Laureate Ted Hughes described 'sitting in there all day all curled up with book clamped over mouth inhaling deeply'.
And Kay Ryan, the US poet laureate, came into the library looking for her lost jacket, which she thought had been left either in the Green Room or in a local pub. She then got distracted and started leafing through the books... Did you ever find your jacket, Kay?