On today’s poetry news round up we take a look at the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award, the winner of the Derek Walcott Prize and the poet nominated for a Pushcart Award.
Submissions Open for the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award
In conjunction with the Lawrence Arts Centre, the 2024 Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award has announced that it has now opened for entries. Submissions must be made by 24th December.
The award is named after the famous poet, who for a short time in his youth lived in Lawrence. Locals are being encouraged to submit original pieces of work – poetry, fiction or nonfiction – to the contest. The entrants must be aged 21 or over, and as a stipulation of the award they must not have published a book of poetry, or a work of fiction previously. Those who have self-published are not included in this rule. This is an annual award, and it is presented to one poet and one writer of prose who exemplify the legacy of Hughes. The competition has been running since 1997.
All of the winners will receive $500 each and their work will also be celebrated during a community event that will take place on 1st February, the date which marks Hughes’ birthday.
The judges for the award are a panel of local arts and literature professionals.
Derek Walcott Prize Awarded to Mosab Abu Toha
The Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha has been announced as the winner of the 2023 Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry.
This is an international prize that is presented each year by Arrowsmith Press. This year the winner was selected by Canisia Lubrin, a writer from St Lucia. The winning collection is titled “Things You May Find Hidden In My Ear” and it has been published by City Lights Books, a publisher with a long and prestigious connection with a number of poets including the late Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who was a founder of the publishers and store of the same name.
This year’s winning poet is of particular significance given the current situation in his homeland. His Palestinian identity and personality and the fact that until recently he was a resident in Gaza have escalated him to prominence. This most recent collection of poetry is influenced by the terrible conditions under which the people in Gaza are living during the continual bombardment of the area with bombs from Israel. The poet himself has become directly embroiled in the conflict simply as a result of where he is living.
Dorset Poet Nominated for Pushcart Award
Beth Brooke, a former school teacher from Dorset, has been nominated for a Pushcart Award. Her collection of poetry “Transformations” has been inspired by the life and work of Elisabeth Frink the Sculptor.
Two of the poems from the collection “The Green Man” and “Horses At The Battle Of Philippi” have been nominated for the prestigious American award. The fact that she has had two pieces nominated for the prize which allows only 6 pieces to be nominated by each press is no mean feat, and something that the poet is incredibly proud of.
One of Brookes’ poems has also recently been featured in the Elizabeth Frink exhibition. This is currently on display in Dorchester at the Dorset Museum and Art Gallery.