It’s National Poetry Month, but you probably already know that. Your English teacher has probably made you study some long dead poet’s use of foreshadowing or alliteration or whatever. You know good ol’ Billy Shakespeare with his doths and thys, maybe you’ve studied John Donne with his old timey spelling or Sylvia Plath’s intense and harrowing poems, or drawn a beard on Carol Ann Duffy in your GCSE anthology and called her ‘Carol Ann Fluffy’ (just us?).

But news: poetry doesn’t have to be all rhyming couplets and iambic pentameters. It can be fun and free flowing. It can be political or metaphorical or just for kicks. And you don’t always have to study it. Sometimes, amazingly, you can just enjoy it.

So here are six of our fave modern poets who are breaking down stereotypes. And not a single dead white guy in sight.

Hollie McNish

Since Hollie won the UK Slam Poetry Competition in 2009, she’s had YouTube videos of her spoken word poems go viral. Like, millions of views in a few days sort of viral. She’s also the first ever poet to record an album at Abbey Road Studios. Hollie tends to write about everyday occurrences that bother or frustrate her, in a beautiful and lyrical way. Basically, she’s amazing. Buy her book, Papers, here.

Happy National Poetry Day. Here's a poem about how brilliant my shoulders are. Left one in particular xxx

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Warsan Shire

The name might sound familiar to you, since one of her poems was recently performed by this up and coming indy musician… I don’t know, maybe you’ve heard of her? Beyoncé. That’s right. Bey-freaking-oncé. Author of the gorgeous poems sampled throughout Lemonade, Somali-British poet Warsan Shire comes with Queen Bey’s stamp of approval – so you know she’s good. Buy her book, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, here.

#warsanshire #wordstoliveby 📝 #forwomen 🙌🏾 for the #goddess and #sparkle and #firewithin 🙏🏽✨🔥

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Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest is one of the most acclaimed poets in the country today, often mixing poetry, music and rap to make political statements. Her performances have taken her on tours to Australia and all over Europe, and she’s been on the bill at festivals like Latitude and Glastonbury. Plus in 2013 she was the youngest ever recipient of the Ted Hughes Award. So there’s that… Buy her book, Let Them Eat Chaos, here.

Lang Leav

Lang Leav writes poems and short stories and they’re all so elegant and beautiful and timeless – essentially the Chanel of poetry. She is HUGE on Tumblr (a great place to find poets) and has published two beautiful books. Buy her book, The Universe of Us, here.

Laura Dockrill

Laura Dockrill may be best known for being BFFs with Adele and Kate Nash, but she’s wildly talented in her own right. Along with writing poems and short stories she is also an illustrator and has illustrated all of her own books too, NBD. Buy her book, Mistakes in the Background, here.

Bridget Minamore

One of our lovely betty writers (read her articles here), Bridget also just happens to be an incredible poet. She writes beautifully about race and class and what it means to be a woman today and her spoken word stuff is SO. FREAKING. GOOD. Buy her book, Titanic, here.   

@LilyPesch

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

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It’s Friday, which means the week is finally over. And it’s been a scary one, so we’re going to take this weekend to be a little bit kinder than usual; kinder to our friends, to our family, to strangers we meet on the street and kinder to ourselves. Maybe you will too.

But the great thing about people is that they keep on keeping on. So as usual, here’s our roundup of everything we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week – enjoy.

Do you trust me? We trust you.

This week, Kate Winslet had an important message to spread to young people when she was speaking at WE Day in London. According to the Telegraph, she spoke to the 12,000 people in the crowd about how she was bullied for wanting to become an actress. “I was even told that I might be lucky with my acting, if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts,” she said. Understandably, her self confidence took a hit, “I felt that I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t look right … and all because I didn’t fit into someone else’s idea of ‘perfect.’ I didn’t have the perfect body.”

Kate Winslet proved every single hater wrong, and she’s got an Oscar and four Golden Globes to prove it. “I didn’t lock myself away and give up on my dream. I fought back.” Hell yeah you did, Kate.

Uh-huh honey

Vans, Urban Outfitters and Sasha Lane have teamed up and released a whole new collection, 100% based on Sasha’s personal style. For those of you playing catch-up, Sasha Lane is the star of indy film American Honey, which tells the story about a teenage girl who runs away from home.

Talking to Urban Outfitters, Lane says the way she dresses often reflects her mood. “If there’s a day that I wear really big and comfy clothes, I’m using that as a blanket, something that keeps me tucked away. I love colour and I wear things like bows to make me happy or I paint my nails a certain way as a way of expressing myself and I see that as strength.” You can shop the collection here, but probably get on it asap. We have a feeling these babies are going to sell out FAST.

Our periods will light the world (literally).

Sanitary products are brilliant for our uteruses (and our knickers) but they’re not quite as great for the environment. But a site in West Bromwich thinks they’ve found a way to change all that. The idea is to put discarded sanitary items through a process that chemically treats them which can then be burned and used as an alternative energy source to provide electricity and hot water  – now that’s what we call a party in your pants.

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#EBOBMEETSBEYONCE

Ebony Banks is in high school. She also has stage four cancer, which means that she’s missed out on a lot of things this year. But her friends were determined to give her something that no one else had – they were going to give her Beyoncé.

This week they set up a social media campaign using the hashtag #EBOBMEETSBEYONCE on Twitter and Instagram, hoping to get Bey’s attention. And then, a few days after the hashtag start trending, Beyoncé surprised Ebony with a FaceTime call. A video of the call has been released on some fan pages where Ebony tells Bey, “I love your dancing,” to which Beyoncé replies: “I love you”. Oh god, our allergies are flaring up. Oh god.

Beyoncé facetiming with Ebony, a fan with a rare cancer disease whose wish was to meet Beyoncé ——————————— Ebony Banks is a senior at Alief Hastings High School and a member of the color guard. A stage four diagnosis of cancer has kept Banks out of the classroom much of the year. In an effort to help make one of Banks' biggest dreams come true, her friends have started using the hashtag #EBOBMEETSBEYONCE on social media. "(Banks) is a really big fan of (Beyonce) and she has so much love for her that we really want to get (Banks) to meet her," said senior Cristal Depaz. "Beyonce is one of her idols. She admires her so much, so we're trying to put that on Twitter and Instagram to get Beyonce's attention," said Gutierrez.

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Apple and (Product)Red have some big news. Not Bey being pregnant with twins sort of news, but it’s exciting nonetheless. Today they are releasing a special edition red iPhone & 7 Plus. On top of looking totally *fire emoji*, a portion of the proceeds are going to help support the HIV/AIDS programs and research at The Global Fund. So while the phone itself is no different from regular iPhones, by buying one you’d be helping the 36 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. Which is a lot cooler than your average trip to Carphone Warehouse.

In a while, crocodile

How far would you go for love? Accordinging to the Daily Mail, an Australian man was willing to jump into a known crocodile hangout to impress British backpacker Sophie Paterson. Sophie and 18-year-old Lee De Pauuw were hanging out at 2:30am (which is obviously the best time to hang out and come up with stupid ideas…) when Sophie dared him to jump into the nearby creek. Soon after he jumped in, he was attacked by a three metre long crocodile. Lee managed to punch the croc in the face as it bit into his arm and although he escaped with some serious injuries, doctors ultimately managed to save his limb.

Unfortunately though, they couldn’t salvage the date. Sophie has since been interviewed and said that “being attacked by an animal doesn’t really do it for her.” Talk about a sucker-punch to the heart.

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Have great weekends and stay safe, everyone.

X

@LilyPesch

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

We all know Beyoncé is Queen. She operates in her own realm, only visible to us mere mortals through her art, her Instagram feed and the occasional enigmatic interview. And she is continually evolving and changing, like iPhones, Ben & Jerry’s flavours or humanity itself, bringing out a new Beyoncé just when you thought you couldn’t love the current version any more.

But of all the Beyoncés that have ever been, which Beyoncé are you? Take our quiz to find out!

Have you ever stuck a net curtain on your head, just to see?

What's your ideal amount of midriff to show?

You and your bf/gf have a fight. Your reaction is best summed up by which lyric?

Your top picks for the Beybies' names are...

Yours and your best friend's mantra is...

What's your fave Instagram filter?

What's your go-to hairstyle?

Do you still own a dress in this colour?

What's your dream profile pic?

What's the first word you think of when you hear Beyoncé's name

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Hooray! The week is finally over. It’s been a kinda dreary week but we promise there’s a lot of good news to go around. So now you can get started on all your weekend-y things (aka spending as many hours as humanly possible in your pyjamas) and take a look at all the stuff we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Beyoncé is preggas

Just in case you somehow missed this PSA, Blue Ivy is about to become a big sister. But what could be better than the news that Beyoncé is pregnant? The news that Beyoncé is pregnant with TWINS. Predictably, the internet went into overdrive; a record 8,868 tweets were sent per second and she’s already racked up 7.5 million likes on Instagram.

Congrats Bey and Jay. Every celebrity take note: this is how you announce a pregnancy. And double kudos to her for doing it in such a sensible bra.

JK Rowling is throwing some serious shade on Twitter

We’ve always known that JK Rowling is not a woman to back down from a fight but this week, she reminded of us why she’s one of the most successful authors of all time. With just 140 characters, she completely shut down some haters on Twitter by being sassy af. Trolls beware.

Lucy Hale has a new TV show 

For all the Pretty Little Liars fans who are wondering how they’re going to fill the void in their life once 7B airs, we’re got some good news. Entertainment Weekly announced that Lucy Hale is set to star in a new show called: Life Sentence. Intrigued? So are we. The premise is that Lucy’s character is diagnosed with terminal cancer, so she decides to let loose and really enjoy her remaining days on earth without worrying about the consequences. The twist? Turns out she’s not going to die after all. BOOM.

Hidden Figures is inspiring the kids

The internet’s heart collectively melted when three girls from Milwuakee College Prep decided to dress up this week to go and see Hidden Figures, a film about the black women who worked for NASA during the 60s and have been basically overlooked by history. According to Buzzfeed, 8-year-old Ambrielle Baker-Rogers came up with the idea as part of a school assignment for Black History Month. Girls, we salute both your hair and your commitment levels.

Priceless. #Femthefuture #Hiddenfigures

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There’s another Beauty and the Beast Trailer 

There’s less that two months until the new live action Beauty and the Beast fills our screens. To keep us going, Disney have released a new trailer and OH. MY. GOD, is it giving us all the feels.

John Mayer’s new songs will make you swoon

John Mayer dropped a new EP this week and we have been listening to it on repeat. Our pick for this weekend is aptly titled ‘Love on the Weekend.’ But if you can’t find love, pancakes will do.

Happy Friday!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

School is officially back in session.

For the Hermiones of this world, this is amazing news. For everyone else, the disappointment is similar to when you remember that JK has said that she’ll never write another book about Harry *sob*.

Either way, to help you keep that summer holiday feeling alive a little while longer, we’ve put together a playlist of our favourite holiday tunes.

DNCE – Toothbrush

Baby, you don’t have to rush. When school goes back and the homework starts mounting up again it can be hard to hold onto that summer feeling. Thank god for Friday night sleepovers.

 

Madonna – Holiday

The lyrics say it all:

“If we took a holiday/ Took some time to celebrate/ Just one day out of life/ It would be, it would be so nice.” It WOULD be nice, wouldn’t it? Nicer than GCSE algebra.

 

Maggie Rogers –  Alaska

Maggie Rogers’ voice sounds like what we imagine a woodland elf might sound like. Let her beautiful voice sooth your back to school woes.  

 

Metronomy – Night Owl

This might be the weirdest video clip in the world but this song is perfect for the bus ride to school and reflecting on how many new freckles you picked up this summer. 

 

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling

We know you’ve all heard it a thousand times but don’t tell us it doesn’t want to make you get up and dance. Ok, but you’re lying. Holidays might be over but JT isn’t going anywhere, which is a pretty good thing to dance about.

 

Closer – Chainsmokers ft Halsey

Arguably the song of the summer. We have had this song on repeat for the last few days and haven’t been able to resist the nodding dog head-bop that goes along with it.

 

Stooshe – Let it go

Nope, we’re not talking about the one sung by Elsa. The perfect song for when you’re getting ready for school or dancing around the field with your friends. 

 

Destiny’s Child – Survivor

You might be back at school, but like Queen Bey says, you’re a survivor. You’ve totally got this, girl.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Getty