Today’s news roundup covers articles about a property once owned by a poet that is up for sale and the winners of the 2018 Steger Poetry Prize.
Poets Cottage is up for Sale
A Grade II listed property, located in Highgate North London which was once the home of the war poet A E Housman has just gone up for sale.
The “cottage” which has a blue plaque on the outside wall denoting its famous resident, is being marketed by estate agents Savills and carries an impressive £2.5 million price tag.
The house which is named Byron cottage (no link to the poet of the same name!) was home to Housman from 1885 to 1905 whilst he was studying at the nearby University College London. It was here that he wrote his most famous work, the collection of 63 poems “A Shropshire Lad”. He also accepted a professorship of Latin whilst living in the property.
Whilst the book was originally turned down by publishers the poet subsidised its publication in 1896 and it quickly became a success. During the second Boer war and again during the First World War is work increased in popularity. In many ways this was due to the nature of the poetry which focused on a preoccupation with death and pessimism.
The semi-detached property dates as far back as the early 18thcentury, and has a 3 reception rooms, a kitchen, five bedrooms and three bathrooms. It also has all its original period features; exposed beams, original fireplaces and sash windows, just as it would have been in Housman’s day.
It is expected that given its location in a very popular area, access to great transport links and of course its history that the property will be subjected to a great deal of interest from potential buyers.
2018 Steger Poetry Prize Winners Announced
The winners for this year’s Steger Poetry Prize have been announced and this year there are two finalists more than normal. The entries were so strong that the judges felt unable to decide between some of the poems that had been submitted.
The award which is in its 13thyear is held in April to coincide with National Poetry Month. It is named for the first benefactor; Charles W Steger the president of Virginia Tech University at its inception. Poet Nikki Giovanni, who is a distinguished Professor of English at the University established the competition for undergraduates. Although last year the competition saw its name being changed to the Nikki Giovanni Celebration of Poetry, the poet insisted that this year its original name should be reinstated.
Over 100 entries were submitted this year and rather than chose 10 finalists as is traditional the judges felt that there were 12 poems that were worthy of being finalists. The finalists are a very varied group representing five colleges across the university and a selection of different majors from creative writing to animal and poultry sciences.
The first placed winner, a student majoring in literature and language, creative writing and professional and technical writing took away a prize of $1,100 – this is the largest prize in any university poetry competition in the Western Hemisphere.