Queen’s Medal Winner/New Version Of Antigone/Theft Inspires Poem – Poetry News Roundup December 19th

Thursday’s poetry news round-up takes a look at the winner of this year’s Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, the poet writing a new version of Antigone and the seasonal theft that inspired a poem.

2019 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry

Lorna Goodison, the poet laureate of Jamaica, has been named as the winner of the 2019 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. The announcement was made yesterday.

She is the first Jamaican to have been awarded the honour.

The committee for the poetry medal is chaired by Simon Armitage, the UK poet laureate, who was also the winner in 2018. It was Armitage who recommended Goodison for the award. However, the committee was very impressed by her work in the field of poetry and also by her influence and reputation as a Jamaican contemporary author who is respected both in her own country and on an international level.

The award ceremony will take place at Buckingham Palace early in the New Year.

The Gold Medal for Poetry was first established in 1933 under the rule of King George V. It was an idea that John Masefield the then poet laureate suggested to the king. It is awarded to a poet from a Commonwealth Realm or the United Kingdom for excellence in poetry.

Goodison will join a long line of prestigious poets who have won the award including W H Auden, Siegfried Sassoon and Laurence Whistler who was the winner of the inaugural Gold Medal for Poetry in 1934.

Poet to Write New Version of Play

It has been announced by the Storyhouse theatre that the poet Hollie McNish is to write a new version of the play Antigone for their new season.

McNish, who is a previous winner of the Ted Hughes Poetry Prize, is well known for her poetry, including the poem Mathematics which has been viewed over 2 million times on Youtube. This will be her first solo play. The new version of the play is scheduled to take place from 22nd May to 13 June next year at the award-winning theatre in Chester.

The artistic director of Storyhouse said that McNish had been chosen for the task because her writing is full of the type of ideas that fit well with Antigone; topics such as gender, immigration and parenthood. This new re-written version will have the voices of girls and young women at its forefront.

The poet is no stranger to the theatre, she has previously served as their poet in residence.

Theft Inspired Poetry

A rather unusual theft on Vancouver Island has inspired a seasonal poem.

Thieves targeted the Valley Senior Centre during the night in the middle of last week and stole an inflatable snowman, nicknamed Frosty, from the root. They also stole the 100-foot extension cord that had been being used by the centre to keep the snowman inflated and the heavy plank that it had been mounted on.  One volunteer was inspired to write a poem about the theft in the hope that thieves would return the inflatable.

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