Big Jubilee Read/Morys’ Anniversary – Poetry News Roundup April 20th

Today’s poetry news roundup brings you details about The Big Jubilee Read and the celebrations for the 400thanniversary of the birth of Huw Morys.

The Big Jubilee Read

As part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee a selection of works by different writers has been put together to form The Big Jubilee Read.

A selection of work by Seamus Heaney, the Irish writer and Nobel Prize for Literature winner, will be included, although the poet is famed for once having said
Heaney died in 2013 and it is
his first poetry collection that has been included on the list of 70 titles – one to mark each year that Queen Elizabeth II has been the monarch. Heaney is the only Irish writer to have made the list and he was selected because of the importance he has for readers in Ireland the UK and abroad.

Each of the titles featured on the list was selected by an independent panel. At the time “Death of a Naturalist” was published Heaney was, in fact, residing in the UK. However, his views on the Queen and Monarchy will undoubtedly lead to some questions about his inclusion.

Other works that feature on the list include “A Clockwork Orange” by Stanley Kubrick, Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Shuggie Bain” by Douglas Stuart and “Wolf Hall” written by Hilary Mantel.

The list was put together by booksellers, librarians and specialists in the field of literature including some from Northern Ireland. The panel who created the list noted that the 1960s was a particular turning point for political history and culture with regards to the works on the list. The next decade saw a number of independent states join the commonwealth, and in more recent years the have been some significant changes in the make-up of the commonwealth which are illustrated by the list. The Big Jubilee Read list can be found in full on their website.

400th Anniversary of the Birth of One of the Best Welsh Poets

Whilst the work of the poet Huw Morys was widely known during his lifetime, it is much less commonplace today – although those in literary circles still consider him to be one of the best Welsh poets that there has ever been.

Morys was born in 1622 and died in 1709. He lived most of his life in a farmhouse in Pont-y-meibion. During his very long life it is believed that he spent around 60 years writing poetry and experts thing that there are just over 500 of these still in existence, although they are not that easy to access.

What is special about his poetry is that he was a master of a sound-based system called cynghanedd, which composes lines of poetry that use alliteration and a form of internal rhythm that is entirely unique to the Welsh language. His poetry was composed for everyone from the poor to the gentry and on all types of topics.

The celebrations will include both discussion and song and also a folk band gig. There will be a total of four events, and they will all take place over the last weekend in April.

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