Harlem Home Receives Grant/ Children’s Laureate/The Postman to be Performed in Tehran – Poetry News Roundup July 10th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the grant given to a poet”s former home, the new children’s laureate and the play based on the novel Neruda’s Postman.

Harlem Home of Langston Hughes Receives Grant

The brownstone in Harlem that was one the home of the poet Langston Hughes is one of 22 national sites in the US that is the recipient of a major preservation grant. The National Trust for Historic Preservation grant has been awarded as a part of the African American Cultural Heritage fund.

The fund was set up with the goal of restoring those historic places that play an integral part in the history of the African American. In total, the sites will be awarded over $1.6 million. 

Hughes, an activist and poet, is considered by many to be one of the most significant figures from the Harlem Renaissance. The last 20 years of his life were spent living in the property which is located on 20 East 127th Street. Built in around 1869 he brownstone building is in the Italianate style.

The “I, Too Arts Collective” is currently housed in the building. This is a collection that was set up to support the legacy left by Hughes and also assist artists who are emerging and who come from those communities which are underrepresented. This was all made possible in 2016 by a crowdfunding campaign that was started by Renee Watson in order to rent out the property which had been empty for a number of years.

The announcement regarding the grants was made in New Orleans during the Essence Festival which is in its 25th year.

Other national sites which will benefit from the award include the house of Harriet Tubman in Auburn, NY, and the African Meeting House in Boston.

Children’s Laureate

Childrens Laureate Cressida Cowell Picture – David Bebber

It was 2o years ago that the then poet laureate Ted Hughes and Michael Morpurgo, the author came up with the idea of having a children’s laureate. The position is awarded to a children’s illustrator or author who is eminent in their field and is in honour of outstanding achievements they have made. This is a two-year award that is overseen by BookTrust, the largest reading charity for children in the UK and sponsored by the bookstore Waterstones.

In a ceremony which took place yesterday Lauren Child, the outgoing poet laureate presented the silver laureate medal to Cressida Cowell the author of the “How to Train Your Dragon Books.” Cowell has already unveiled her charter which outlines the things she wants to achieve during her tenure.

Tehran Audience to be Treated to “The Postman”

A play based on the novel “Neruda’s Postman” which was penned by Antonio Skarmeta the Chilean writer is to be staged in Tehran.

The novel which is sometimes referred to as “The Postman” tells the tale Mario Jiminez, a fictional postman and the friendship that he has with Pablo Neruda the real-life Chilean poet. The story takes place in revolution-era Chile.

The book has already been made into a film in 1994. “Il Postino” was nominated in five categories of the Oscars and won in the category of best music at the 68th Academy Awards.

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