Free Library/Queen Mary Wasafiri Prize/Wordsworth Concert – Poetry News Roundup 20th October

Our poetry news round up looks at the free library of rare books by Black writers that has been set up, the winner of the Queen Mary Wasafiri prize and the Wordsworth concert.

Artist and Singer Debuts Free Library of Rare Books Written by Black Writers

As part of a special initiative that will begin this month, people in the US will be able to borrow up to 50 titles from the Saint Heron Library. These books will include collections of poetry from Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooksand copies of Octavia Butler’s Sci-fi novel.

Saint Heron is a creative studio that was founded in 2013 and is run by Solange, a visual and musical artist. Now the website linked to the studio will be acting as a free library, and will be stocked with a range of books by Black historians, poets, artists, and writers. These books will include rare and out of print editions.

The service is open to anyone anywhere in the US and they will be able to borrow from the collection of 50 books for up to 45 days at a time. Due to the small number of books available they will only be able to borrow one book at a time. The project is already proving to be so popular that all of the books have already been reserved and people have been enquiring about joining a waiting list. The books will be shipped to readers homes and returning them will be a free service.

Some of the poetry books that are available for loan will include Children Coming Home by Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes’ Shakespeare in Harlem, and a number of titles by Audre Lorde.

Queen Mary Wasafiri Prize Winners Announced

The winners of the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize have been announced. The competition includes writers from India, UK, and Ireland.

The prize, which was launched in 1984, is based at the Queen Mary University and is run in conjunction with Wasafiri, the leading magazine for contemporary international writing in the UK.

The prize winners are all new writers and in accordance with the rules they have not yet published a work in their chosen genre. They will each receive a £1000 prize as well as publication and mentoring.

The winner of the poetry writing category was Dipanjali Roy from India with Safarnama. The judges praised the language and the registers of the poetry and the ways in which the poem moved the reader. They felt that they were incredibly strong works that were incredibly evocative.

Wordsworth’s Poetry Becomes a Concert

The parish church in Kendal will be playing host to a concert of music that will be based on the poetry of William Wordsworth.

The concert will feature two choral commissions which have been newly arranged for the concert. The first is Roland Fudge’s Child of the Clouds, which is based on the Duddon sonnets and the second is Influence of Natural Objects, based on a poem with the same name and created by Jonathan Millican.


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