Ukranian Poet Celebrated/Ledbury Poetry Festival/ Rilke Prize – Poetry News Roundup February 26th

Our final round-up of the week takes a look at the Ukrainian poet being celebrated, the 25th Ledbury poetry festival and the winner of the 2021 Rilke Prize.

Lesya Ukrainka Anniversary Celebrated

PAL, the Pakistan Academy of Letters, has joined forces with the Ukraine Embassy to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ukraine’s most celebrated poet, Lesya Ukrainka.

As part of the celebrations, the Ambassador to the Ukraine Embassy said that he hoped that the Urdu translations of the poet’s work would help to open up new avenues in literature and language. The celebrations are seen as a mark of the strengthening of the friendship that has existed between the two countries for the last 28 years.

PAL is hoping that it will be able to enhance the literary connections that it currently has and extend them to all countries of the world over time. They feel that whilst countries differ in population, rate of growth and size the one that can unite them is literature.

Ledbury Festival Marks 25th Anniversary

The organisers of the Ledbury Festival have confirmed that this year the festival will be going ahead and will take place from 2nd July to 11th July. It was cancelled last year due to COVID-19. This year will mark their 25th anniversary and they are hoping to make it a particularly special event, although some of it will still be online making it a unique hybrid one.

The artistic director of the festival is cautiously optimistic that the Prime Ministers recent announcements mean that the festival will be able to go ahead but just in case they have made the decision to plan at least part of it online. The in-person elements however will include being able to have a picnic within the walled garden or taking part in a writing workshop that will be held in the Barrett Browning Building.

Last year’s online festival saw a huge success in the international events which took part between poets in the US and the UK and this is set to continue this year. The organisers are still working on the full programme for the festival, so details are not being released just yet.

The Ledbury Poetry Festival is commonly regarded as the best and largest festival of poetry in the UK. It regularly features some of the biggest names in the literary world, and also the world of showbiz and national media. In the past, this has included the novelist and poet Margaret Atwood as well as both the former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the current poet laureate Simon Armitage.

Winner of 2021 Rilke Prize

Kiko Petrosino, a UVA professor of English has been named as the winner of the Rilke Prize. The award carries a $10,000 prize and is presented by the University of North Texas.

Her poetry collection “White Blood” is her fourth book and discussed the issue of what it means to be a Black person in America and also making the search into one’s ancestry. When her grandmother died in 2015 the poet began a journey delving into her ancestors, taking a DNA test and looking into the archives to look for the answers she needed.

The book is a culmination of this research.



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