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ARMISTICE CENTENARY

Posted on November 09 2018

This weekend marks the centenary of the WWI Armistice so we've gathered together a powerful range of poetry about war and peace to commemorate the momentous occasion.

Robert Graves - War Poems (Seren)

Robert Graves: War Poems is the first book that draws together all of Robert Graves’s poems about the Great War, including for the first time the whole of The Patchwork Flag, the collection that Graves planned in 1918 but never published. Also included are poems written while Graves was on active service on the Western Front, and many written in the years that followed, revealing his changing perspectives on the First World War and other contemporary and historical conflicts. Graves’s is an authentic voice: his war experiences included fighting in the Battle of Loos and the Battle of the Somme, guiding his work towards a realism not previously seen in poetry of the time.

Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War (Nine Arches)

A unique take on the first world war with contributions from numerous poets including Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Ishion Hutchinson and Karen McCarthy Woolf. What does it mean to fight for a ‘mother country’ that refuses to accept you as one of its own? Britain’s First World War poets changed the way we view military conflict and had a deep impact on the national psyche. Yet the stories of the 15,600 volunteers who signed up to the British West Indian Regiment remain largely unknown. Sadly, these citizens of empire were not embraced as compatriots on an equal footing. Instead they faced prejudice, injustice and discrimination while being confined to menial and auxiliary work, regardless of rank or status. Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War also includes new material written for broadcast and live performance.

Armistice Anthology: Poems of War and Peace by Carol Ann Duffy (Faber)

The Armistice of 1918 brought ceasefire to the war on the Western Front, but ‘the Great War’ would not as hoped be ‘the war to end all wars’. In this affecting selection, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, guides us deep into the act and root of ‘armistice’: its stoppage or ‘stand’ of arms, its search for truce and ceasefire. In 100 poems, our most cherished poets of the Great War speak alongside those from other conflicts and cultures, so that we hear some of the lesser-heard voices of war, including wives, families, those left behind. These poems of war and peace memorialise the horror and the tragedy of conflict. At the same time, in armistice, they become a record of renewal and a testimony to hope.

An Outbreak of Peace Anthology, Edited by Cherry Potts (Arachne Press)

November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of WWI. After all the commemorative works of art over the past four years, we felt it was important to reflect on what comes after - an outbreak of peace, and what that means to the combatants and those left at home. This wide ranging collection brings together stories and poems from many countries, on both sides of the 1914-18 conflict, to find their inspiration in many wars and their endings.

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