Unseen Sketches Of Edwin Morgan/Queen’s Gold Medal For Poetry – Poetry News Roundup April 30th

Today we cover some news about the previously unseen sketches of Edwin Morgan that have been found during a clean-up. You can also find out more about the winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Unseen Sketches Revealed

As Scotland looks to mark what would have been the 100th anniversary of the birth of Edwin Morgan, the first National poet, a discovery in a drawer has revealed the sketches that have never been seen before but that were the inspiration for a famous portrait of the poet.

The sketches, which show the poet as a young man, had been lying in a drawer for decades. They are the first lines that were drawn that contributed to the inspiration behind one of the most famous pieces of modern portrait art in Scotland. They were found by the artist Sandy Moffat in an old notepad when he was clearing out drawer. He was completely unaware of just how important a find the sketches were.

The working sketches are now being shared by Moffat as a part of the celebrations of the poet. They were originally made during the late 1970s as part of a commission on behalf of what was at the time the Scottish Arts Council.

It is now 40 years since the original sketches were created, but these early works have inspired Moffat to take another look at them and make a modern-day image from them.

Finding the sketches offered Moffat a real step back into the time when he created some of his best works. The find was quite a surprise to him as he really hadn’t remembered that he still had them.

The sketchbook in question contained sketches of Morgan, but also a number of other figures including Hugh MacDiarmid, Robert Garrioch and Iain Crighton Smith. They were all part of the same commission which saw Moffat painting Scottish writers of note at his studio at the Glasgow School of Art.

The portrait of Morgan now hangs in the National Galleries of Scotland and can be near to the Poets Pub, which is a rather famous painting depicting his imaginary meeting of several modern literary giants.

Questioned about the sketches and the subsequent painting, Moffat remembers that Morgan was “the perfect subject”. He just did as was needed and never fidgeted.

Queen’s Gold Medal For Poetry

The poet and Author Lorna Goodison was awarded this year’s Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry shortly before the UK went onto lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Goodison who is a Canadian-Jamaican, and the first to be awarded the prize. The prize has been given in honour of her 4 decades of writing which includes three short story collections, an essay collection, a memoir and 14 volumes of poetry.

Of her meeting with the queen, Goodison said that the queen asked her many questions about where she lived. They also discussed Jamaica and the Blue Mountains.

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