Tag Archives: Jim Bennett

Featured Poet #4: Jim Bennett

Jim was born and still lives near Liverpool in England. He grew up in Liverpool during the years of the Liverpool Sound and the Liverpool Poets and it is from this tradition that he developed his own unique style and voice.

He is the author of 64 books including books of poetry, books for children, and technical training manuals. In addition his CD “Down in Liverpool” a selection of poetry and music has brought Jim to the notice of a much wider audience. In a career spanning 44 years Jim has won many accolades for his performances and writing. His poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies and he regularly performs at poetry events and festivals in the UK and USA.

Jim’s career as a performance poet has earned him many awards amongst which are three DADAFest awards, and a Silver Stake from the Manchester Slam. He has also won awards for his poetry including the 2006 Frost Award, and the Fante Award in 2002. In 2005 his book The Man Who Tried to Hug Clouds was voted Best Poetry Book in English at the Berlin Book Festival. He has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Award and has twice won the performance award the San Francisco Beat Festival and was Poetry Superhighway Favourite Poet of the Year 2000.

He is also, as of 2004, the Managing Editor of Poetry Kit, the extensive on-line poetry resource website.


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Next Poetry Event: 30th April 2012 @ The Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green

April will be a fruitful month for poetry, with not one but TWO excellent poetry events happening in Beaconsfield and its surroundings…

Our next evening of featured poets & open mic will be at the wonderful Jolly Cricketers, in Seer Green, Beaconsfield.  As you can see from the picture, our next loose theme for this next event will be ‘Maps’. You can share poetry you’ve written on the theme, or ignore it altogether.

Our featured poets are: Jim Bennett, Amy Key, Jonathan Steffen and Christine Webb. Posts in the lead up to the event will appear on this website with more information on these poets.

To put you in the mood, here is a poem by Elizabeth Bishop ‘The Map’:

The Map

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still.
Labrador’s yellow, where the moony Eskimo
has oiled it. We can stroke these lovely bays,
under a glass as if they were expected to blossom,
or as if to provide a clean cage for invisible fish.
The names of seashore towns run out to sea,
the names of cities cross the neighboring mountains
-the printer here experiencing the same excitement
as when emotion too far exceeds its cause.
These peninsulas take the water between thumb and finger
like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods.

Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is,
lending the land their waves’ own conformation:
and Norway’s hare runs south in agitation,
profiles investigate the sea, where land is.
Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors?
-What suits the character or the native waters best.
Topography displays no favorites; North’s as near as West.
More delicate than the historians’ are the map-makers’ colors.

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