Griffin Judges Named/Hedd Wyn/Hurricane Harvey – Poetry News Roundup September 8th

The final news round-up of the week brings us an article about the Griffin Poetry Prize Judges before taking us to the now restored childhood home of Hedd Wyn. We finish with a look at the poetry that has emerged from the people who lived through Hurricane Harvey.

2018 Griffin Poetry Prize Judges are Named

The Griffin Poetry Prize, which was founded in 2000 by business man Scott Griffin is planning ahead with the announcement this week of the judges for 2018. The shortlisted books will be announced on 10th April and the judges will select the final winners for the Toronto awards ceremony on 7th June.

Canadian poet Ian Williams will be joined by UK based Sarah Howe and US based Ben Lerner to help decide the winners of the two literary prizes of $65,000 and the runners up prizes of $10,000.

Williams was on the shortlist for the prize himself in 2013 for his book of poetry “Personals”.  His initial foray into poetry publication

“You Know Who You Are”

was also on the shortlist for the ReLit Awards in 2013 and he won the 2012 Danuta Gleed Literary Award with “Not Anyone’s Anything”.

Howe’s first book “Loop of Jade” was a winner of both the T.S.Eliot Prize and the Sunday Time Young Writer of the Year Award. Ben Lerner has three published books of poetry and a work of criticism.

Home of WWI poet to be opened to the public

Following the £3m restoration the home of Hedd Wyn, the World War One poet and soldier has finally been opened to the public by the first minister, Carwyn Jones.

The event took place at Yr Ysgwrn which is Snowdonia. It is now 100 years since Wyn won the chair at the National Eisteddfod, just weeks after his death at the Battle of Passchendaele.

The farmhouse was purchased by Snowdonia National Park Authority in 2012 after concerns had been raised about its long-term future

Born Ellis Humphrey Evans, Hedd Wyn was also known as the shepherd poet. Raised on the family farm he was conscripted into the army and sent to Ypres. He died during the first day the third battle of Ypres often called Passchendaele. Shortly after his death, his name was called as the winner of the Eisteddfod chair for poetry when his name was called and there was no answer the chair was draped with a black cloth in respect. As part of the restoration of Yr Ysgwrn, Wyn’s “Black Chair” has also been restored and now takes pride of place in the restored farm building

Hedd Wyn was seen by many as an icon, a symbol for all the young men from Wales who went to war and did not return.

Hurricane Harvey in poetry

An Iowa State Alum has had several Haiku’s published in the wake of the Hurricane Harvey disaster that swept across parts of the US just last week. Eloisa Perez-Lozano was trapped in her home with her young child for two days. And took to writing haikus on her mobile time to keep her mind busy during the night. She wrote 34 haikus, 3 of which have now been published, and a couple of longer poems.

Other poets have also come forward with verses that they wrote to occupy their minds during the hurricane and a number of these have now been published in the Chronicle in a series titled “After Harvey: Poems from the flood”.

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