Poetry International, founded by Ted Hughes in the Sixties, is the UK's biggest poetry festival - and some great poets are heading to the South Bank for the 2006 event. Adrian Mitchell will read new poems inspired by Bertolt Brecht (a festi-val commission), while Simon Armitage reads from his new collection Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid. The Irish poet Paul Muldoon is to read from his new collection, Horse Latitudes.
The 2006 poet-in-residence is Lemn Sissay. Every day, one of his poems will be projected on to the outside of the Festival Hall, including the poem "Perfect" - "You are so perfect/ Traffic lights time themselves days before you arrive/ So your stride won't be broken and the cars can rest/ And the world can stop..."
Sissay will debate the topic "Is Performance Poetry Dead?" with the stand-up poet Luke Wright of the poetry boy-band Aisle16. "There is no such thing as performance poetry. The act of writing a poem is done alone and with a pen, and every poet reads on stage," Sissay says. "Performance poetry assumes that the performance is more important than the poem. …