Anisfield-Wolf Award/Poetry Prize Lauch/V&A Exhibition – Poetry News Roundup April 7th

Today on My Poetic Side, we take a look at the 2021 winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Award, a new poetry prize that has been launched and an exhibition at the V&A.

Anisfield-Wolf Award Winners 2021

Natasha Trethewey, the former poet laureate of the US is amongst the winners of this year’s Anisfield-Wolf Awards. The prize is given for books that help to promote diversity and confront the subject of racism.

Trethewey has been presented the award for Memorial Drive, her memoir. She was a co-winner of the non-fiction award alongside Vincent Brown for his book Tacky’s Revolt. The award for the best work of poetry was presented to Victoria Chang for Obit.

The announcements, which were made on Easter Monday, honour a huge range of subject matter including military history, mortality, the struggle of a daughter regaining the love of her mother and troubles centred around a church. There was also a lifetime achievement award for Samuel R. Delany for his work in broadening society’s humanity.

The Anisfield-Wolf award was established in 1935 and is managed by the Cleveland Foundation, a non-profit organisation. Previous winners include Wole Soyinka, the Nobel prize-winning poet and Rev. Martin Luther King.

Poetry Publisher Launches New Prize

Bloodaxe Books, the poetry publisher has made some big changes. For the first time in almost 40 years, they have had a major overhaul of their board, this is to coincide with the launch of their new James Berry Poetry prize.

The competition, which has been set up in conjunction with Newcastle University, has been devised with the help of Booker prize winner Bernardine Evaristo. James Berry who the competition has been named in honour of was one of the first British Black writers to receive recognition on a wider scale for his writing following his 1981 win of the National Poetry Competition. The prize will be awarded for a work by an emerging Black or minority ethnic poet. There will be three winners and the prize will be offered every two years. Entrants must not have published a collection that is book-length, and the prize will give special consideration to those writers who are from socio-economic backgrounds and who are LGBTQ+.

In a new move for the company, the board now includes two poets the former Makar of Dundee Professor W N Herbert, and Imtiaz Dharker, who was a 2014 winner of the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry.

V&A Museum Launch “Epic Iran” Exhibition

One of the largest art museums in the world, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, has launched a special exhibition titled “Epic Iran”. The exhibition will feature artworks, carpets, film and photographs. Some of the exhibits date back 5000 years.

“The Book of Kings” portions of the exhibition will also look at how Islam was introduced to the people of Persia and will include poetry by famous poets like Ferdowski. The poetry section will also take a look at language and the role that it has played in the country.

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