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Poetry Season on the BBC

Written by Chris Routledge, 24th March 2009

The BBC are launching Poetry Season: an entire season of content dedicated to literature, and to poetry in particular, starting in Spring 2009. Ranging from television, radio and online features, the series will feature some of the nation's best-loved poets and celebrities exploring the world of poetry.

The series will be launched by Griff Rhys Jones and his plea for Why Poetry Matters on BBC2, which will also be home to the Lifelines exploration of poetry from Milton to Shakespeare, and a poetry recitation competition for school children in Off By Heart.  BBC4 will also feature A Poet's Guide to Britain hosted by Owen Sheers, as well as Ian Hislop's welcoming of the new Poet Laureate.

Both BBC Radio 3 and 4 will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Tennyson, along with another Poetry Slam competition, also on Radio 4. For its online feature, the BBC will be holding a competition to find the Nation's Favourite Poet, and the Poetry Season website will feature a poetry search engine; enabling site users to find poems fit for any occasion.

Further commissions will be announced at later dates. The season runs in association with the Poetry Society, the Poetry Archive, and National Poetry Day.

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