Today’s news roundup takes a look at the 17th Vietnam Poetry Day celebrations, a competition to put poetry on the sidewalks in the City of Newton and finally the new poet laureate in North Carolina.
Vietnam Poetry Day Takes Place in Hanoi
The 17th Vietnam Poetry Day opened on Sunday 17th February in Hanoi with a wide range of activities scheduled to take place. The event actually takes place over the course of several days and is due to finish on 21st February. The 4th International Conference for Vietnamese literature and the 2nd International Poem Festival are also taking place at the same time.
In total it is expected that around 200 writers and poets from all over the world will take part in the event.
The Vietnam Writers Association (VWA) are hoping that the poetry day will help to promote friendships between countries. They have set up a translation centre with the long-term goal of translating much of the poetry and literature of Vietnam into English with the long term aim of then being able to translate it into other languages.
Poetry has been a considerable part of the culture in Vietnam for thousands of years and the poetry day celebrations which began on Nguyen Tieu, the 15th day of what is the first lunar month, in 2003 has grown in size to what it is now; the most significant poetry festival in the country and something of a national tradition.
Make Poetry Concrete
Another city seems set on getting in on the act of adding to the sidewalks. Soon the sidewalks of the City of Newton, Boston will be swapping its snowy walkways for poetry covered ones in a campaign they are calling “Make Poetry Concrete”.
The plan which has been inspired by Grey Held, a local resident and artist, will see 10 different poems stamped onto the sidewalk. He was inspired when he saw building work going on near his home and approached the city council with his idea. The concept is simple, bring poetry into the everyday life of people by placing it somewhere really visible.
Residents from the local area are being encouraged to submit their own poetry for consideration. The competition is open to residents of the greater Boston area of all ages, and those who are interested have until 15th April to submit their entries. The 10 winners will then be chosen shortly after, and work will begin on adding their poems to the sidewalks.
First African American Poet Laureate Inducted in North Carolina
On Monday, Jaki Shelton Green was inducted as the first African American poet laureate for the state of North Carolina. The ceremony was conducted by Gov. Roy Cooper and Shelby Stephenson. The outgoing poet laureate for the state was also in attendance.
Green has been involved in both the teaching and literacy communities in the state for over 40 years. She is the author of eight poetry books and has also been involved in co-editing two poetry anthologies and has written a play.
She was inducted to North Carolina’s Literary Hall of Fame; this was in 2014. In 2003, she was in receipt of North Carolina’s Award for Literature.