Memorial for Henry David Thoreau/Orlando’s 1st Poet Laureate/Poets Independence Day Play a Success – Poetry News Round-Up 13th July

Today’s news covers an import memorial, news of a search for Orlando’s 1st Poet Laureate and poet Vanessa Evers’ first foray into theatre.

Memorial poem for Henry David Thoreau’s 200th Birthday

To celebrate the 200th birthday on July 12th of celebrated poet Henry David Thoreau, Robert Chute, Professor Emeritus of Biology and acclaimed Maine poet, has written a summertime poem in his memory. He has named it “Heatwave in Concord” and in it, imagines a scene that Thoreau wrote about in his journals of 1852 where he was wading along the Assabet River with his friend William Ellery Channing. Thoreau wrote about the “fluvial walk” he loved to take and referred to the river as the “properest highway for this weather”. Here is an extract of Chute’s work:

Orlando is seeking the city’s first Poet Laureate

The mayor of Orlando has announced that the city is seeking its first ever Poet Laureate to promote a love of poetry and help Orlando’s growth as a cultural hub. The mayor is looking for applicants to become the city’s official storyteller. Applicants must live in central Florida, be over 21 and be able to prove past achievement in poetry. Applications will be accepted until August 7th.

Poet turned playwright Vanesa Evers impresses with Independence Day Play

The Declaration of Independence: A Translation, put on within the confines of Studio 24 in Philadelphia, was Evers’ first foray into the theatre, and has been extremely well received by its audience. The play, which featured the work of many other female poets, explored what the Declaration of Independence meant to people of colour, with much of the content tailored to women.

Evers, as with her poetry, wanted to provide a collaborative performance with the two-part play, with a question and answer session at the end that proved to the poet turned playwright that the message was heard and understood.  The 3 performers within the play were themselves female poets, who were specially selected to give a voice to the African American community on what remains a heated subject, and one, Evers reveals, that should be explored and questioned more.



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