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Jo Shapcott to represent UK at Olympic festival

18th April 2012

Jo Shapcott, who scooped the 2010 Costa Book of the Year award for her acclaimed collection Of Mutability, will represent the UK at the Poetry Parnassus event taking place to celebrate this summer's Olympic Games.

The event is part of the London 2012 Festival and will see poets from every country descend on the capital to read their work and help to inspire athletes and spectators.

Members of the public were asked to nominate their favourite poet from each country online and the chosen artists include Ireland's Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and Jang Jin Seong, a former court poet to the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il who fled the regime and now lives in South Korea.

The name of the event is inspired by Mount Parnassus in the home of the Olympics, Greece. In ancient times, the mountain was thought to be home to the Muses - the goddesses of literature, the arts and science.

Running from June 26th to July 1st, the poetry festival will take place on London's Southbank and include readings, talks and performances.

Jude Kelly, artistic director at the Southbank Centre, commented: 'As London welcomes the world this summer, we look to art as an agent for social change and as a testimony to human inspiration.

'The world's poets are coming to Southbank Centre. It will be a glorious occasion.'

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