Prince Philip’s Elegy/Griffin Prize/Poet’s Coin – Poetry News Roundup April 19th

We begin another week on My Poetic Side with a look at An Elegy for Prince Philip, the shortlist for the Griffin Prize and the poet to be honoured with a coin.

An Elegy for Prince Philip From Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage, The Poet Laureate has penned
for Prince Philip. In it, he says he has deliberately avoided the sycophancy that the Duke of Edinburgh disliked so much and instead has written it
This is Armitage’s first address to the Royal family since he was made poet laureate. Taking his inspiration from the obituaries he discovered that the Duke was not impressed by sycophancy. The poem was published for the first time on Saturday morning, the day of the Duke’s funeral.

Since Armitage took up the position of poet laureate, he has written around a dozen laureate poems, but this is the first royal one that he had penned. Before he officially started in the role, he was advised that there were likely to be a number of important events of great significance during his tenure – it is quite likely that this is one of those events.

Armitage had never met Prince Philip and did not want to write a very personal poem so instead took his cues from interesting information that he learned about his life. Whilst the poem does contain many details that are directly about Prince Philip, he has also tried to broaden many of the points in order to make them more general. He admits that he had already been trying to prepare some lines for a poem before the Duke’s death, but he started again and none of those lines was used in the Elegy.

Griffin Prize Shortlist Includes Three Canadian Poets

Canisia Lubrin, a Whitby poet, has been named as one of three Canadian writers who are on the shortlist for the Griffin Prize.

Every year the Griffin family, who oversee the prize, award a total of $65,000 in prizes. There are two main prizes, one is given to an international poet, the other to a poet from Canada.

Lubrin has been shortlisted for “The Dyzgraphxst” a book that was published in March 2020. She was recently named as one of the eight international writers who were awarded the American Windham-Campbell Prize. The other Canadians who have been nominated are Yusuf Saadi and Joseph Dandurand. The international writers are Valzhyna Mort, Victoria Change and Srikanth Reddy. Tracey K Smith, who was the 22nd poet laureate of the US, and Changtai Bi share a single nomination.

The winners will be announced on 23rd June and will be awarded $65,000. There is also a prize of $10,000 for the runners up.


Poet to be Remembered with Coin

The astronaut Dr Sally Ride and the poet Maya Angelou are to be the first 2 individuals honoured with a coin under the commemorative American Women Quarters Program. Under the program, 5 quarter dollar coins will be released every year from 2022 to 2025. Each coin will reflect a prominent American Woman and her achievements.

The designs for the coins have not yet been confirmed.

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