Don’t Miss Lifesaving Poems at Taunton Literary Festival

Highlight of the week at Taunton Literary Festival is Anthony Wilson, who looks back at a life lived with poetry and reflects, this Friday, 13th November, at Brendon Books, in Taunton’s historic Bath Place.

Taunton Literary Festival

Poet Anthony Wilson brings his blog success to a book.

Inspired by a remark of Seamus Heaney, Lifesaving Poems began life as notebook, then a blog. How many poems, Heaney wondered, was it possible to recall responding to, over a lifetime? Was it ten, he asked, twenty, fifty, a hundred, or more?

Lifesaving Poems is a way of trying to answer that question.

Lifesaving Poems  is therefore an attempt to say thank you, ultimately to poetry for not deserting me but also to the poets who wrote the poems, and the people -teachers, friends, colleagues, poets, anthologists- who have influenced my reading, and therefore my life, so richly.

Giving himself the constraint of choosing no more than one poem per poet, Anthony began copying poems out, one at a time, as it were for safekeeping. He asked himself: was the poem one he could recall being moved by the moment he first read it? And: could he live without it?

Then he posted each poem on his blog and said why he liked it. Word spread and soon his blog had thousands of followers, everyone reading and responding to the poems he talked about – and sharing his posts.

Here the story first hand and hear Anthony share some of the poems and their significance.

Anthony Wilson is a poet, writing tutor and Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter. Check out one of his other performances below and then book your ticket at


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