Lost Garden Poetry/Gaelic Poetry/Gaudy Boy Winner – Poetry News Roundup August 28th

Today’s poetry roundup looks at the lost garden linked to the poet Alexander Pope, a Gaelic language archive which includes poetry that is to be made available to the public and the winner of this year’s Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Award.

Poet Linked to Lost Garden

Landscape historian Emily Parker was pouring over one of the manuscripts of the poet Alexander Pope kept at the British Library when two words leapt off the page at her.

The two words “Plum Bush” were written in brown ink, faded with time, on the reverse of a translation of the Odyssey by Homer. The garden in question is Marble Hill which was created for Henrietta Howard, one of George II mistresses and a good friend of the poet. It has long been known that Pope gave advice on the design of the garden but until now there has been no definitive proof to suggest that he was fully invested in the designing of the garden.

Parker had been pouring over the manuscripts in the hope of finding some proof – she is a landscape adviser working with English Heritage, who now look after the grounds and house at Marble Hill. It is well documented that whilst working on translations Pope often re-used pieces of paper and that some of his old papers had garden designs on the back. Plum Bush is the name of an old field name on part of the estate that belonged to Henrietta Howard.

This proof gives English Heritage further motivation to recreate parts of the lost garden, plans which have been met with resistance from local residents. The arguments given for objecting were mostly based on a lack of any real evidence that Pope had been involved in the design of the garden.

Gaelic Archive to be Unlocked

For the first time in its history, an archive of songs and stories in Gaelic is to be made available to the public by Glasgow University.

The archive, which was predominately recorded during the 1990’s and 2000’s, was recorded by an American storyteller from the residents of North and South Uist, Scalpay, Barra, Harris, Berneray and Benbecula, and it hoped that making it accessible will help speakers and learners of Gaelic.

Amongst the articles that are being made available is a recording made by the storyteller and poet Dòmhnall McDonald who was a crofter in Daliburgh, South Uist.

The recordings which were made in both English and Gaelic are to be transcribed at some point in the near future

Poet Wins Prize for Unpublished Manuscript

A poet from Cebu in the Philippines, who is currently working in Singapore has won first prize in the Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize.

Lawrence Ypil is a poet and essayist who is currently teaching at Yale – NUS, his book “There” was described by the judges as “a tool of exploration.”

The award carries a prize of $1000 and the chance for the winner to have their book published, “There” will be available to purchase in 2019



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