Edward Lear/PoetryLife/MSU – Poetry News Roundup February 12th

In our first news round-up of the week, we have articles about the Edward Lear prize for poetry, the headline acts for the 2018 PoetryLife Festival and the 11th annual Poetry and Music program at the MSU.

The Edward Lear Prize for Poetry

In an awards ceremony that was held at the rather aptly names Owl and Pussycat hotel, this year’s Edward Lear Prize for poetry was awarded to Khadeejah Sabry Samsudeen. The award formed part of the 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival.

The competition is open to writers who are aged between 18 and 30. All submitted entries should be inspired by Edward Lear. The competition which has been running for a number of years is organised by the owners of the hotel which they named after the iconic poem “The Owl and the Pussycat”.

The judges comb through the many competition entries before shortlisting just five poems. The writers of the shortlisted poems are then invited to read their poems in front of an audience before the winner is announced. The winning poem was titled “The Little Giant”.

PoetryLife Festival 2018

Two big names have been confirmed as headliners for this year’s PoetryLife festival which will take place on February 19th at the Florida Studio Theatre.

Juan Felipe Herrera who was the poet laureate of California from 2012 to 2014 and the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2015 to 2017 will be taking to the stage for a lunchtime discussion centred around the theme of activism through poetry with Ocean Vuong. A relative newcomer to the poetry world Vuong has recently hit the spotlight when he won both the Forward Prize for Poetry and the T.S. Eliot prize towards the end of 2017.

Both poets will also be giving readings of their own poems at some point during the festival.

Herrera sees festivals such as this one as a very necessary part of the literary circle in which he lives, without them, without being able to meet with other people have a love of the same literary forms, poems become redundant.

“The Brits Are Coming”

It has long been understood that poetry and music can work well together and with this in mind, the MSU music department will be presenting the 11th annual Poetry and Music Program, titled “The Brits are Coming” this Tuesday, 13th February.

The program which will take place in the Harrison Auditorium of the Giles Architecture Building on the university campus will include a number of songs that have been set to the poetry of some big names in British poetry from the 19th and 20th centuries; William Butler Yeats, A.E. Housman and the somewhat eccentric Edith Sitwell.

The program will end with a number of well-known songs from three Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas.

Co-founded in 2008 the program is the brainchild of D Karen Murphy, William L. Giles and Dr Nancy D. Hargrove – an internationally renowned scholar on the poets Sylvia Plath and T.S. Eliot – who retired in the same year but has continued to be involved in the annual event.

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