English Language Day/Nottingham Poetry Festival Returns/Guggenheim’s Poet-In-Residence – Poetry News Roundup April 25th

Today”s poetry news round-up looks at English Language Day, the Nottingham Poetry Festival”s return, and the Guggenheim Museum”s poet-in-residence.

English Language Day

23 April marks the UN English Language Day, an annual event that began in 2010. The UN inaugurated the event to celebrate multilingualism and promote all six of their official languages and their equal use. The UN uses English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Chinese and Russian.

The date was chosen for its significance in relation to the poet and playwright William Shakespeare, who is arguable the greatest English writer to have ever lived. The date is traditionally observed as the anniversary of both the birth and death of Shakespeare (although records suggest he was actually born on 26 April). English, because of its widespread use, is often referred to as the “World language.” The UN has chosen other dates for its other official languages although this year, English language day was held on the same day as the celebration of the Spanish language.

Nottingham Poetry Festival Returns Following Covid

The Nottingham Poetry Festival, which was suspended for the last two years as a result of the Covid pandemic, is set to return. The festival will run from 6 to 15 May and will feature not only the poet laureate Simon Armitage but also Roger McGough and Michael Rosen – who will be making his first proper public appearance since his lengthy hospitalisation with Covid at the beginning of the pandemic.

It is hoped that the return of the festival will once again bring poetry back to Nottingham in a big way. There will be readings, stories and jokes as part of the festival. Simon Armitage will actually be performing with his band LYR as part of the closing event of the festival. It is also hoped that visits to all of the libraries in the city will also be possible with a different poet delivering an hour of poetry.

The festival is open for bookings online, and the organisers hope that it will once again prove popular.

First Poet-In-Residence for Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum has announced that it has selected its first-ever poet-in-residence. The position has been given to Taylor Johnson, who is an award-winning poet who hails from Washington, DC. He is the writer behind the best poetry book of 2020 named by The New York Times. He will be the poet-in-residence for 2022.

The Museum collaborated with the Academy of American Poets in order to create the post, which was made possible with funding received from Van Cleefs & Arpels. The role will focus on engagement with the public and will be hosted through the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for a year.

Working with the Education team for the museum, Johnson will be responsible for creating a number of poetry-related programs that will be used for intergenerational audiences. The idea is that these will take place over the course of the year and will be inspired by the theme “Temple of Spirit” They will also incorporate the history and architecture of the museum.

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