CLPE and Heaney Award Winners Announced/Depp Visits Dylan Thomas – Poetry News Roundup 12th July

Today our poetry news round-up looks at the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award winner, the Seamus Heaney First Poetry Collection Prize winner, and the actor’s visit to the birthplace of Dylan Thomas.

CLPE Children’s Poetry Award Winners Announced

Connie Wanek and Ted Kooser have been announced as the 2023 winners of the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award for Marshmallow Clouds.

The announcement was made by Chris Riddell, and last year’s winner Valerie Bloom was on hand to present the winners with their prize at a ceremony that took place on 10th July. The pair will share the prize money of £10,000. They will also be recorded for the National Poetry Archive, a prestigious project. The CLiPPA prize is offered as a collaboration between the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Arts Council England.

The judges were impressed with the quality of the poetry in Marshmallow Clouds and the sympathy that they contained.

The poet Nicola Davies was commended for her poem, Choose Love, which detailed the refugee experience.

The CLiPPA scheme is unique and sees children in classrooms all over the country exploring all of the poetry that makes it to the shortlist. This year a record number of schools took part in the scheme and created their own performances based on the poetry that they read; they did this alongside the poets themselves.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the CLiPPA, and the judges were delighted to have an exceptionally strong shortlist.

Winner of Seamus Heaney First Collection Poetry Prize Announced

Queen’s University Belfast has announced that Mark Pajak is the 2023 winner of the Seamus Heaney First Poetry Prize. He won the award for Slide.

Born in Merseyside, Pajak has previously received a Northern Writers’ Award, an Eric Gregory Award and a UNESCO international writing residency for his work. He has also made it onto the winner’s list of the National Poetry Competition three times.
He says that for a long time, he felt like Slide was the only book that he would ever write. However, Seamus Heaney is a poet who has a significant impact on his style of writing. He feels that Heaney’s work has not only helped his writing but also helped him to be a better person.

The Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize is an annual one that is presented to a writer who has published their first collection of poetry in the previous year. The work must have been published by either an Ireland or UK-based publisher. The prize is £5,000, and the winner is invited to take part in the Seamus Heaney Centre calendar of literary events.

Johnny Depp Visits Birthplace of Dylan Thomas

It may come as something of a surprise, but Johnny Depp is something of a book collector. The actor owns a number of rare books as part of his collection and has read many works by Dylan Thomas the Welsh writer.

Ahead of his appearance at the Swansea Arena, where he will be performing with Hollywood Vampires, his rock band, the actor made a short visit to Upland, the birthplace of the poet. Depp said that the visit left him dumbfounded, and having been in a room where so many of the poet’s great poems were written made him feel like he was floating.

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