Preview: Poetry

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The Independent Culture

Which corner of the literary field might flourish in a slump? Poetry lovers would argue that their high-value, zero-wastage art form is recession-proof. The next few weeks will see a boom in public verse amid the gloom. Next Tuesday's "Poetry Hour", devoted to WB Yeats and hosted by Josephine Hart at the British Library, has already sold out.

At London's Southbank Centre, from today, the Poetry International festival brings together Mourid Barghouti from Palestine, Mark Doty from the US and local heroes such as Lemn Sissay. On 29 October at the Purcell Room, a celebration marks the centenary of Poland's modern master Zbigniew Herbert. And on 12 November, Simon Armitage combines his poetry of today's wars with film (

In Aldeburgh, meanwhile, the town's poetry festival takes place from 7-9 November. Star performers will include George Szirtes, Mimi Khalvati and Matt Simpson. And the ever-prolific Clive James will be introducing his new verse collection, Angels Over Elsinore (