Gold Medal Poet/Kerouac Inspired Fashion – Poetry News Roundup December 13th

Today in our poetry news round up we look at the winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and the fashion collection inspired by the work of Jack Kerouac.

Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry Awarded to Grace Nichols

The Guyanese poet Grace Nichols has become the latest recipient of the Queen’s gold medal for poetry. The award covers all of her work but in particular “I Is a Long-Memoried Woman,” and also the books that she has written for younger readers.

The announcement of the award was made by Buckingham Palace on Friday. Nichols was recommended to the Queen by the poetry Medal Committee, which is chaired by Simon Armitage, the current poet laureate.

Speaking about the poet, Armitage said that for the last forty years Nichols had been a pioneering voice in the field of British poetry. Her poetry is full of fables and folklore from Guyana and full of rhythm and rhyme. At times, her subject was sensuous at others passionate and daring. But more than anything she stood out as a beacon for black women in poetry.

At the age of 27 Nichols moved to Britain from Guyana, she will be the 52nd person to be presented the award, but not the first in her household – in 2012 her husband John Agard won the Queen”s gold medal for poetry. The award ceremony will take place in 2022.

Much of the poetry that she writes is inspired by her upbringing in the Caribbean and is featured on a number of GCSE syllabuses. In 1983

Founded in 1933 by King George V, the gold medal for poetry has been awarded to a long line of industrious poets including WH Auden, Philip Larkin and Siegfried Sassoon. Lasts years winner was awarded their medal via a video link due to the pandemic.


Dior Collection Inspired by Classic Jack Kerouac

In his first London fashion show since 2003, the winner of Fashion Award”s designer of the year Kim Jones, has taken his inspiration from Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”.

Kerouac was also known for his poetry and On the Road was considered to be a seminal novel from the Beat generation – it has often been joked that it sold a million espresso machines and a trillion Levis. Now it has become the inspiration for the latest menswear collection for the Dior fashion house.

Jones is a rare book collector as well as a fashion designer and in addition to owning a number of Kerouac artefacts he also owns books inscribed to David Hockney, the artist and a credit card that belonged to fellow Beats poet Allen Ginsberg.

The garments in the collection illustrated the more “James Dean” look that can be seen on one of the book jackets of Kerouac’s work and offer what Jones refers to as a collection that feels like a road trip suitcase.

In a further tribute to Kerouac, the runway walk of the models during the fashion show was choreographed to mimic the continuous paper roll that was used by Kerouac to pen the first draft of his novel.

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