Black History Month Commemoration / Reading For Worcester Poet / Siegfried Sassoon Film – Poetry News Roundup February 14th

We begin the week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the planned commemoration plaque for a poet during Black History Month, the commemoration of a poet’s birth anniversary and Benediction, the film about Siegfried Sassoon.

License Plate to Commemorate Black History Month

Willis Blackshear Jr, the State Representative for Ohio, confirmed during a press conference that took place on 11thFebruary that he was hoping to put in place legislation that would allow him to create a special licence plate as part of the Black History Month events. The plate would be a commemoration of the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Dunbar was a native of Dayton, Ohio, and was one of the first African American poets to be recognised on an international level. He was recognised during his lifetime not only for his writing but for his poetry, plays, short stories and the publishing of a newspaper.

Commemorative Poetry Readings for Worcester Poet

A group of poetry enthusiasts were joined by a flock of Canada Geese to mark what would have been the 111th birthday of the poet Elizabeth Bishop. The commemoration took place at Hope Cemetery in Worcester, USA and was hosted by the Worcester Country Poetry Association and Mapping Poetry which is also based in Worcester.

Elizabeth Bishop was a renowned poet, memoirist, painter and short story writer, who was born in 1911 and died in 1979.


Terence Davies, the British film director, is back for 2022 with a new film. Benediction takes a look at the life of Siegfried Sassoon, the World War I poet. It will star Jack Lowden in the main role.

Siegfried Sassoon was known for his satirical, epic poetry which painted a realistic and at times horrifying picture of life in the trenches and the horrors of a war that took so many lives. Sassoon fought bravely for his country but also spoke out at great length about the war. He was also a closeted gay man at a time when those who were in power in Britain at the time considered his sexual orientation a crime and unnatural.

The film has already been trailered here in the UK with the US releases slated to happen shortly.

The theme of time features heavily in the film, which also touches on the poet’s marriage to Hester Gatty, with a recuring image of the couple posing together at their wedding regularly popping up at intervals during the film. The film follows the life of the poet and looks at every aspect of his personality and personal life, whilst interjecting subtle reminders of the life he was forced to follow, the marriage to a woman and the family they had together.

Benediction is scheduled to appear in cinemas around the UK and also Ireland at some point in the spring. At the moment, no release date has been set for the film in the US.

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