Poet Laureate of Cincinnati/Mystery Protest Poem/Ask your Mama – Poetry News Roundup January 5th

In today’s poetry round-up we bring you a rather mixed bag of stories; The city of Cincinnati is searching for their next Poet Laureate; a mystery poem has appeared in protest at the site of a proposed quarry in Stanstead Abbots and finally the live performance of “Ask Your Mama” a poem by Langston Hughes at a tribute concert.

Cincinnati Poet Laureate

The city of Cincinnati, Ohio are currently searching for their next poet laureate. The position which has a two-year term will close to applications on 1st February.

The ideal candidate will be someone who has written poetry that embodies the characteristics and the spirit of the city. The new poet laureate will be required to promote the appreciation of poetry and encourage both the reading and writing of poems throughout the city. They will also be called on to write and read poems on certain special occasions as dictated by the post.

The current Poet Laureate, and the first one the city has ever appointed, is Paulletta Hansel who is a teacher, arts administrator and published poet.

Mystery Poet Protests Proposed Quarry

A poem has appeared in the fields near the site proposed for a quarry near Stanstead Abbots.

The site which is located between Roydon and Stanstead Abbotts and is just off the A414 has been put forward as a possibility for the gravel extraction quarry. The proposition suggests that the site could used for mining for the next 22 years, producing approximately 500,000 tones of gravel per year.

The poem which is titled

has appeared on a signpost in the nearby fields, it is unsigned and there are no clues as to who its author might be. It speaks of the future loss of the

if the proposals go ahead.

The poem has appeared in fields put forward for gravel extraction. This isn’t the first time that a mystery poet has made a literary protest against a proposal of this nature, a while back we reported a story of a poem that appeared in the middle of a village in protest at proposals to cut the tree down.

Martin Luther King Jnr Tribute Concert

As part of the 30th Martin Luther King Jnr Tribute Concert, which is due to take place on the 14th January the Sinfonietta together with a number of their guest artists will be performing the epic Grammy Award-winning jazz and symphonic work that is the 1961 poem by Langston Hughes, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz”.

The music that accompanies the poem was composed by Laura Karpman. When she first came across the poem she discovered that the poet had made notes in the margins of his work; notes that indicates they types of music he was hearing as he wrote his creation. Using these notes Laura went to work and created a score that matched what the poet had felt as closely as possible; there are a number of different styles of music in the score, and several soloists.

This will only be the third time that “Ask Your Mama” has been performed live, the first time was in 2009.



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