Poems

Tell Me the Truth About Life

‘All will love Tell Me the Truth About Life, an anthology edited by musician Cerys Matthews to mark the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day. Poems were nominated by the public and by luminaries in many fields and it’s impossible to open the collection without pulling out a plum.’ Bel Mooney, Metro

Tell Me the Truth About Life is National Poetry Day’s official 25th anniversary publication, an indispensable anthology which celebrates poetry’s power to tap into the truths that matter.

Curated and introduced by Cerys Matthews, this new National Poetry Day collection draws on the wisdom of crowds and features poems nominated for their insight into truth by a range of ordinary and extraordinary people: from Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, to criminologists and comedians, from sporting heroes and world-famous musicians to teachers, artists and politicians. Their choices include contemporary work by Yrsa Daley-Ward, Kei Miller and John Cooper Clarke alongside classics by W H Auden, Emily Dickinson and Sappho. Here you will find poems to revive the spirit, ballads to mobilize and life-lines to hold you safe in the dark.

Tell Me the Truth About Life is a book that reminds us we are never completely alone in our search to glimpse the truth. It is published by Michael O’Mara Books, price £12.99.

The Tell Me the Truth About Life podcast

Don’t miss Tell Me the Truth About Life: Poems that Matter and Why – a Poetry Podcast, a five-episode podcast series in which five well-known names read and discuss their favourite poems and the truths that poetry speaks to them.

The podcast, introduced by poetry lover and BBC presenter Cerys Matthews, features Susannah Herbert, Executive Director of the Forward Arts Foundation, in conversation War Horse author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, writer and poet Nikita Gill,  comedian and TV producer Henry Normal, actor Jade Anouka, and teacher/author Kate Clanchy.

Tell Me the Truth About Life: Cerys Matthews and Michael Morpurgo in conversation at Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day with songwriter, singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews, curator of this year’s companion anthology Tell Me the Truth About Life, as she discusses the extraordinary range of the collection alongside former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo.

Setting contemporary works by the likes of Yrsa Daley-Ward, Warsan Shire and Kei Miller alongside classics by W.H Auden, Emily Dickinson, Dylan Thomas and more, Matthews and Morpurgo will open up on the selection of some of this year’s poems, and will lead an evening of readings and discussions showcasing their power and relevance.

The event will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing.

Tickets: £15 including a copy of Tell me the Truth About Life (RRP £12.99) / £8 standard / £5 Student or Foyalty member*. Book your ticket here.

Share Tell Me the Truth About Life with your book group

We think your book group will enjoy this book. We have specially produced book group notes on selected favourite poems including ‘Remember’ by Christina Rossetti, and A.E. Housman’s ‘Oh Who is that Young Sinner?’, introduced by Mark Gatiss. You’ll find them here.

Everyone is invited to share their favourite poems using #NationalPoetryDay and #TellMeTheTruthAboutLife.