Press release: 1 November 2005 

Global Platform for UK's contemporary poets

The Poetry Society of Britain announces a new venture which allows UK poets to share a platform with their peers worldwide, as it joins virtual literary magazine and archive Poetry International Web ( This unique site provides a rare opportunity to discover the work of contemporary poets from 19 countries around the globe, selected by editors within each country. In this age of the 'shrinking world' and interconnectivity of everything from economics to the internet, better knowledge of a country's contemporary culture can provide a feel for the humans behind the headlines. Poetry International Web distinguishes itself from other poetry sites with its strong emphasis on poetry in translation as a way of stimulating the exchange of knowledge of poetry worldwide. Over 2,400 people log on to the site every day, and it's clear that the site is not just for teachers, students or literary professionals - critics, publishers, festival organisers, poets, translators and academics - but for anyone who seeks a deeper knowledge of our world through comparing the poetry of our peers across languages. Andrew Bailey from the Poetry Society, managing editor of the UK site, introduces the launch issue: "As UK 'Country Editor', the Poetry Society intends to present work from the 'mainstream' directly alongside work from experimental poets and those from the performance scene, and to ensure that at least two of the countries that make up the UK are represented each issue. It has built a team of guest editors with expertise in each area, including Anne Born, Sinead Morrissey, Roddy Lumsden, WN Herbert and Melanie Abrahams, who will each select poets for future issues. This issue, we have two poets as editors - Peter Philpott, editor of Great Works, and Robert Minhinnick, editor of Poetry Wales - who introduces us to this issue's featured poets: Lee Harwood, Denise Riley, Menna Elfyn and Paul Henry".

Countries currently represented on Poetry International Web are: Australia, Belgium, China, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, South Africa. Coming soon: Belgium, Ireland and Japan. The Archive on the site contains over 50 texts and audio files from the Poetry International Festival - over 2,500 poems (in the original language and in English translation) and information about over 450 poets from 65 countries. 

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The Poetry Society of Britain ( is a membership-based and Arts Council England-funded registered charity, whose stated aims are to promote the study, use and enjoyment of poetry. It was founded in 1909 and is now one of the most dynamic national poetry organisations in Britain with members around the world. 

Poetry International Web (, a worldwide forum for poetry on the internet, features news, reviews, essays, interviews and discussion, but, first and foremost, hundreds of poems by acclaimed modern poets from all around the world, both in the original language and in English translation. 


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