Poet’s Tree Plaque/American Poets’ Corner Inductee/ 2022 Book Award Finalists – Poetry News Roundup 15th November

Today we look at the poet”s tree that has been awarded a plaque, the new inductee to the American poets’ corner and the nominees for the 2022 National Book Awards.

Ancient Tree With Links to Poet Awarded Plaque

An ancient black mulberry tree located on the grounds of Keats House has been awarded a plaque marking it as part of the “Queen’s Green Canopy. The tree is one of 70 trees nationwide that have been awarded a plaque.

It is believed that this particular mulberry tree dates as far back as the 17th century and stood in the Hampstead garden of the poet John Keats where he wrote Ode to a Nightingale and some of his other most famous lines.

The project was launched as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebration for the late queen and celebrates 70 ancient woodlands in a nationwide network and 70 special trees, one in each. The project has most recently been extended, and encourages people to plant a tree in memory of the late Queen.

American Poets’ Corner Has New Inductee

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry has been inducted into the St. John the Divine Cathedral American Poets’ Corner.

An author, playwright and activist, the induction ceremony for Lorraine Hansberry took place on Sunday, 13th November 2022. Hansberry was the first ever Black female playwright to have had a show performed on Broadway, an achievement she attained in 1959. She was just 28 when she penned “A Raisin in the Sun”. The play was a landmark one which is still incredibly relevant today. Its story is that of a family in Chicago who grew up in the middle of segregation.

Hansberry will join a number of other literary greats. Not everyone in Poets’ corner is actually a poet, including Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ernest Hemingway and James Baldwin.

2022 National Book Award Finalists

The finalists for the National Book Awards 2022 have been announced. There are a total of 25 books that have been named, and they fall into five separate categories – fiction, nonfiction, translated literature, poetry and young people’s literature.

The winners of each individual category will be announced on 16th November.

The nominations in the poetry category are:

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s “Look at This Blue,” “Punks: New & Selected Poems” by John Keene, “Best Barbarian” by Roger Reeves, Jenny Xie’s second collection of poetry “The Ruptured Tense” and “Balladz” by Sharon Olds.

A Pulitzer Prize winner, Olds has put together a collection of poetry that speaks to those individuals who might have spent quarantine lost in their own thoughts, particularly during the early days of the pandemic.

The National Book Awards are an important recognition of writing excellence in America and have been around since 1950. There were just three categories in the early years fiction, nonfiction and poetry. By the 1960s to 1970s, the number of categories increased significantly. However, many of the categories that were around then have since been dropped until there were just the five that we have today. Previous winners in the poetry category include the likes of William Carlos Williams, WH Auden and Adrienne Rich.

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