Poetry And Football/Poet’s Tribute To The Persecuted/Library’s Unusual Request – Poetry News Roundup February 9th

Today we look at stories about Amanda Gorman’s poetry reading at the Super Bowl, the poet paying tribute to those persecuted as witches and the unusual request from a library following a discovery in a poetry book.

Poetry and Football: Not Such Strange Bedfellows

On Sunday nigh,t the poet Amanda Gorman gave another passionate performance that has her once again dominating the news. This time she recited a new poem, that she had written especially for the occasion. The reading was part of the celebrations surrounding the Super Bowl, the biggest unofficial holiday in America. Her poem was dedicated to keyworkers and the role that they have played in the pandemic.

For many people the idea of marrying poetry with football is just wrong, the two do not go together at all but this is a perception that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are poetry connections everywhere, in fact, the Baltimore Ravens are even named after the Edgar Allan Poe poem “The Raven” – the city is where the poet spent much of the latter part of his life. The battle hymn of the Oakland Raiders is taken from “The Autumn Wind” a poem written by Steve Sabol.

Then there are the footballers who also love literature and poetry in particular. Myles Garrett, the defensive end for the Cleveland Browns writes poetry in his spare time and loves the works of Maya Angelou. Even Tom Brady, the footballer who has just increased his record of Super Bowl wins to seven, is a fan of poetry; he likes to share poetry with others as a way of preparing for his next big game.

Poet Pays Tribute to Those Persecuted for Witchcraft

A student from Fife, Len Pennie, who has been hailed as a young “warrior poet” has recently gone viral on social media with her poems which pay tribute to those women who lost their lives as a result of the Witchcraft Act, which was part of the laws of Scotland from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Posting daily on Twitter, Pennie describes the way in which the women, who were tortured and tried as
The poet, who is just 21, has been commissioned by a group who are campaigning to secure apology, pardon and a new memorial for those who were accused of witchcraft, convicted and then executed over the period from 1563 to 1736. There were almost 4000 Scots who fall into this group, almost all of them were women. A petition has been launched to the Scottish Parliament in which they have been asked to formally right this miscarriage of justice.

The petition which was lodged by the Witches of Scotland campaign believes that there were fives times as many witch trials in Scotland as anywhere else in Europe.

Pennie has seen her Twitter account becoming increasingly popular over recent months with her followers now numbering over 70,000.

Library Issues Unusual Request

Carnegie Mellon University has issued a rather unusual request to readers following the recent return of a poetry book which contained a snake in a bag.

The library took to social media to ask readers not to put snakes in any of their books as they do not believe they make good bookmarks.

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