Perthshire Poet Wins Award/João de Deus Anniversary/Poetry London’s New Appointment – Poetry News Roundup December 18th

Our final poetry news round-up of the week looks at the appointment of the new Makar for the National Federation of Writers, the celebrations for a poet’s 190th anniversary and the new editor for Poetry London.

Makar Honour for National Federation of Writers Awarded to Perthshire Poet

Jim Mackintosh, a poet from Perthshire has been given the prestigious honour of being named as the new Makar on behalf of the Federation of Writers of Scotland. The announcement was made yesterday, and he was chosen by those poets who have previously held the role.

Mackintosh is not the first Perthshire poet to have held the role; the 2017 Makar was also from the same area. In accepting the role Mackintosh said that he was delighted and honoured and acknowledge the difficult job that this year’s Makar had had moving all of the traditional face to face parts of the role to an online platform, whilst still engaging with people. He is hoping that whilst the beginning of his time in the position will probably be spent in a similar way towards the end of the year face to face appearances may be able to resume.

The role of the Makar is mainly to be an ambassador for poetry; however, there are some annual competitions that they need to judge and also events that they attend to help promote poetry.

Mackintosh currently holds the position of Makar of the Cateran EcoMuseum and is also the Poet in Chief for the Hampden Collection.

190th Anniversary of the Poet João de Deus Marked by President

The Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa took part in a celebration earlier this week, to mark the 190th anniversary of João de Deus the educator and poet. The event took place in São Bartolomeu de Messines.

The celebrations were streamed live via the Facebook page for the municipality. Several cultural and literary activities took place as part of the celebration for the well-known poet, who was born in Messines in 1830.

Poetry London Appoints André Naffis-Sahely

André Naffis-Sahely, who is a translator and a poet, has been selected by Poetry London to take up the position of poetry editor. His first edition will be published in Summer 2021.

Naffis-Sahely has previously worked as the editor at Ambit, a position he held for three years. He has written a couple of collections of his own poetry and is the translator of over 20 different titles, which include non-fiction, poetry, and fiction.

He will be taking over the position from Martha Sprackland, who has been standing in as editor in the interim.

Naffis-Sahely is hoping that during his time in the role he will be able to begin showcasing work from some of those voices that he feels have not really had a chance to be showcased in the mainstream poetry scene both in the UK and America. He is particularly interested in working-class writers, and also those languages that are rather unrepresented, he wants to make sure that the work he does challenges people and questions them.

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