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(September 29, 2005) Random Acts of Poetry - a week-long event where poets randomly read poems to people on the streets - is coming to the UK in October after successfully being staged in Canada in 2004.

Random Acts of Poetry is the brainchild of Canadian poet Wendy Morton and supported by online bookseller and the Victoria READ Society, a non-profit literacy organisation. Last year's event in 2004 featured 27 poets in 18 Canadian cities and this year it will be staged simultaneously in the UK, Canada and Ireland.

It will feature nine poets reading in UK and Irish cities, ranging from London to Glasgow and Galway, and 27 poets reading in 23 Canadian communities. It begins Monday 3 October and continues until 9 October, encompassing the UK's National Poetry Day on 6 October.

More details can be found at

The UK poets are Andy Brown (Exeter), James Nash (Leeds), Helen Ivory (Norwich), Martin Figura (Cambridge), Jen Hadfield (Glasgow), Eva Salzman (London), Jane Routh (Lancashire), Kevin Higgins (Galway) and Shelley Tracey (Belfast).

A celebration of poetry and literacy, the poets - all of whom have had their work published - will travel through their cities randomly reading poems to strangers in parks, bus stops, schools, cafes, shops, libraries, hair salons and other everyday places.

As the sponsor, will donate a payment to each poet for their efforts, as well as purchasing books from each poet's publisher so they can be presented to listeners, who have been ‘poemed.'

"Random Acts of Poetry had a huge impact on Canada last year. We hope to repeat that effect and also introduce the event to the UK and Ireland where there is a great appetite for poetry," said Wendy Morton. "We have found poets who are willing to take poetry on to the streets and directly into peoples' lives. I've had remarkable experiences reading poetry to strangers and seeing how poems can move them – sometimes to tears."

Lisa Stevens, VP of Marketing at, said: "We're delighted to help promote poetry and literacy around the world. Poetry does not adhere to international boundaries and neither does, which lists books from 13,000 booksellers in 48 countries."


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About Wendy Morton
During the day, Wendy Morton is an insurance investigator. During the night, she's a poet with three books: Private Eye, Undercover and Shadowcatcher published by Ekstasis Editions. She commits random acts of poetry any chance she gets; she once was stopped by a cop for speeding, read him a poem and didn't get a ticket! She was thus convinced of the power of poetry. Periodically, she boards WestJet flights and writes poems for the passengers as "poet of the skies". She is also sponsored by DaimlerChrysler who has provided a PT (poetry travels) Cruiser for her poetry and literacy work.

About the Victoria READ Society
The Victoria READ Society is a non-profit organization in British Columbia established in 1976 to bridge barriers to learning. READ's professional teachers provide students of all ages in the Greater Victoria area with support to learn and improve basic reading, writing, math, ESL and study skills. For 12 years READ Festival has raised money for literacy programs through poetic performances by some of Canada's finest poets.

Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr.,
Ph: 250-412-3238

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