Universal Records announces poetry album

Universal Records has marked National Poetry Day by announcing the album ‘Words For You’, which will be released on 16 November. ‘Words For You’ features 27 of the greatest poems, read by 12 well-known British actors and set to inspiring classical music.

The actors, who include Joanna Lumley, Geoffrey Palmer, Honor Blackman, Martin Shaw and Samantha Morton, have waived their royalties to help those who are not as able to express themselves clearly. A proportion of the proceeds from albums sold will go to I CAN, a UK charity which helps children with speech, language and general communication issues.

The poets featured include Lord Tennyson, Robert Burns, William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, John Keats, William Wordsworth, Rudyard Kipling, and many more. Geoffrey Palmer recites Robert Browning’s ‘Home Thoughts, from Abroad’ over Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’, and W.H. Auden’s ‘Stop All the Clocks’ is read by Lindsay Duncan and accompanied by Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

It is hoped that this collaborative project, which brings together great poetry, music and British acting talent, will raise poetry’s profile. Ted Cockle, co-president of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group, explains, “The quality of each element, composer, poet and voice has given us an album that could potentially get the poems of Shakespeare and Lord Tennyson into the UK album charts. We have made poetry pop - something rap artists have been doing for years."

‘Words For You’ will be released on 16 November 2009 on Universal Records.