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British Library releases rare poetry readings

5th October 2010

The British Library has released two new spoken word CDs to celebrate National Poetry Day, which is held on October 7th.

British Poets: The Spoken Word and American Poets: The Spoken Word include many previously unreleased recordings by some of the greatest poets of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The British collection features 30 poets reading their works, including Sir John Betjeman at London's Poetry Centre, Dylan Thomas appearing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Philip Larkin reciting The Whitsun Weddings in front of a live audience for the first time.

One of the earliest poetry recitals ever recorded - Alfred Lord Tennyson reading 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' in 1890 - is also included in the 3CD set.

In the American collection, Charles Bukowski, E.E. Cummings, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti are among the 27 poets included.

Former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion commented: 'These CDs are a treasure-trove. Always fascinating and instructive, and always proving that the sound and sense of poetry cannot be separated.'

Later in the week, Foyles will mark Faber Poetry Day, with writers such as Don Paterson, Daljit Nagra and Annie Katchinska attending the October 9th event.

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