Thomas Robinson Prize/Arctic Monkey’s Fan Poetry/ Su Dongpo Celebrated – Poetry News Roundup February 14th

Today’s poetry news round up takes a look at the Thomas Robinson Prize, the poet who wants to give a poem to the Arctic Monkeys and the interest in Su Dongpo.

Rita Dove to be Awarded Thomas Robinson Prize

Mercer University’s Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies has announced that it will be awarding this year’s Thomas Robinson Prize for Southern Literature to Rita Dove, the former Poet Laureate of the US. The award ceremony will be held on 23rd February.

The chair of the prize committee said that the “Litany of awards and accolades” the poet had already received during her career was a testament to her place as one of the most important writers in American letters. He praised her ability to bend verse and capture melody within her words, in order to tell the stories of those who have been overlooked by history.

Dove, who is currently the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, has also served as a consultant to the Library of Congress and as the Commonwealth of Virginia Poet Laureate. She has written a novel, essays, a book of short stories and many volumes of poetry. She has won numerous awards and it the only poet to have both the National Humanities Medal (1996) and the National Medal of Arts (2011).

Formerly known as the Sidney Lanier Prize, The Thomas Robinson Prize was first awarded in 2012. It is an award for Southern Literature and recognises those writers who have not only engaged buthave also extended the tradition of writing inspired by the South. The selection committee for the award is made up of eminent scholars and professors from Southern universities. Previous winners of the prize include Ernest Gaines, Natasha Trethewey and Fred Chappell.

John Cooper Clarke Poem Offered to Arctic Monkeys

The link between poetry and music is one that is already rather a well established one. Now, John Cooper Clarke, the punk poet, has said that he would like one of his poems to be performed by the Arctic Monkeys. The poem is about Sheffield and talks of his love for the city.

The poet, who hails from Manchester and is famous for his performance poetry was speaking about his love for Sheffield on BBC Six Music and mentioned that if the Arctic Monkeys would not consider singing his poem then he believed that Richard Hawley would also be able to make a good job of it.

The Arctic Monkeys have previously used “I Wanna Be Yours” another of his poems in one of the songs on their AM album. The poem he would now love them to sing is titled “Sheffield.”

Life and Works of Su Dongpo Celebrated

There has been renewed interest in Su Dongpo this year. A Museum in the Hainan province is currently showing a number of cultural relics that are associated with the renowned poet from the Song Dynasty. The Haikou provincial capital has been hosting cultural Dongpo-themed markets.

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