On Shakespeare's Sonnets

  • Throughout 2016

In the 400 years since Shakespeare's death, the Sonnets have invited imitation, homage, critique, parody and pastiche. A new collection of poems, On Shakespeare's Sonnets - A Poets' Celebration, brings together poetic responses to the Sonnets by thirty Royal Society of Literature poets including Gillian ClarkeJackie KayBernard O'DonoghueFiona Sampson and Jo Shapcott.

Published by Bloomsbury Arden, the anthology looks at our relationship to the Sonnets in the 21st century and probes our relationship to their intricate form and ambitious scope, their investigation of sexuality, wit, memory and poetic survival. 

You can listen to some of the poets reading their responses to the Sonnets, recorded by the Poetry Archive, here:


Listen to the full collection on the Poetry Archive website. Carol Ann Duffy also contributed a poem to the collection and her text for 'A Shakespeare Masque' is available on the BBC Shakespeare Lives minisite. 

On Shakespeare's Sonnets - A Poets' Celebration was published in partnership with the British Council, the Royal Society of Literature and King's College London. 

Find out about our Sonnet Exchanges taking place throughout 2016.

Buy a copy of the book



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