Poem Breaks New Ground At Sotheby’s / Poet’s Teddy Auction/ E.M. Forster Letters – Poetry News Roundup February 1st

Today on My Poetic Side, we take a look at the Sotheby’s poem sale that broke new ground, alongside the Poet’s teddy bear auction and why schoolchildren are writing to E.M Forster.

Poem Sale at Sotheby’s Breaks New Ground

Last week, Sotheby’s broke new ground through the sale of an Ordinals which was inscribed with a poem by Ana Maria Caballero. This first bitcoin Ordinals sale titled “Cord” was sold for $11,430 or 0.28 Bitcoin. In addition to owing the inscription, the purchaser of “Cord” will also receive a signed print of the poem.

The sale was part of the Natively Digital auction, which was an event that took place online and included Bitcoin Ordinals inscriptions.

Following the sale, the Vice President and Head of Digital Art for Sotheby’s made an announcement on X (formerly Twitter) to announce the sale of the first ever individual poem to be sold by the auction house. The sale was of significant importance, as it confirms the inherent value of poetry in the written form. The poem was sold solely based on the power of its text and language, with no additional sounds, visuals or experiences attached.

“Cord” is set to feature in the poets upcoming book “Mammal”.

There were a number of other artists of note who featured in the Natively Digital auction, with one of the inscriptions fetching just over $250,000.

Caballero, together with Sasha Stiles and Kalen Iwamoto, co-founded theVerseverse in 2021, this is an NFT and digital poetry gallery. They have previously collaborated with a Los Angeles gallery on an exhibition that combined AI-generated poetry with photographs taken by Allen Ginsberg, which was titles “Muses & Self: Photographs by Allen Ginsberg”.

Caballero is the recipient of numerous awards for writing including the José Manuel Arango National and the Beverly International Poetry Prizes.

Poets Teddy Bear Features in Exhibition

A teddy bear which belonged to Sir John Betjeman, the former poet laureate, is featuring in an exhibition in Oxfordshire. Called Archie and the poet, the exhibition focused on the poet and Archie, his teddy bear, and features more than 20 cuddly toys.

Archie is 114 years old and was taken everywhere by the poet; to dinner parties, fancy luncheons and he partied with the aristocratic elite of the country. During the 1930s, the poet upgraded his name to Archie Ormsby Gore.

Whilst not all of the bears in the exhibition had such an illustrious “upbringing” they all have their own story to tell, including the bear which belonged to Kayleigh Harper, one of the youngest ever recipients of a heart transplant.

The exhibition will be open until the 25 February 2024.

Pupils Write Poems for E. M. Forster

Pupils at an academy in Stevenage have been taking place in a poetry competition on the occasion of the 145th anniversary of the poet E. M. Forster, who lived in the area.

The competition was organised by Bellway, the housebuilding company, who have named their new development in Stevenage after the poet. Forster was born in Stevenage in 1879, and the area inspired the novel Howard’s End which he wrote in 1910.

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