Robert Burns Auction/Costa Book Award Winner/Japanese Poetry Ceremony – Poetry News Roundup January 19th

Today in our poetry news round up we look at an item related to Robert Burns that is up for auction, the winner of the poetry category in the Costa Book Awards and the annual Japanese poetry ceremony.

Plaque of Robert Burns Goes up for Auction

In the run up to Burns Night, a cast of the face of Robert Burns will be going up for auction. The cast which was made based on a famous portrait of the poet painted by Robert Shields, is a one-off. It was also used to create a bronze plaque that is now on display in a park shelter in a town not far from Edinburgh.

The item is up for auction via an auctioneers located near Milnthorpe, and experts have valued it as being worth somewhere between £7000 and £10,000. They are selling it on behalf of the granddaughter of the man who carved it, and it will form part of their online sale of vintage, antique and collectible items.

The plaque which was originally on display in Prestonpans was created to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Burns. For many years, it was hung on the wall of the vendors family home. It formed a significant part of her childhood however she would now like to sell it so that someone else can enjoy looking at it. She is hoping that it will have a new owner in time for Burns Night on 25th January.

National Prize for Poetry Won by Teacher

A teacher and poet from Ilford has been named as the winner of a national award as a result of her sonnets which are inspired by studying in Dagenham and Barking.

Hannah Lowe was named as the winner of the poetry category of this year’s Costa Book Awards for her poetry collection “The Kids.” She began work on the collection, which totals 66 sonnets, in 2016, and they look at the time she spent studying at teaching college.

Lowe says that she has always loved poetry and now spends much of her time teaching her students about the hundreds of years of English poetry. She works by trying to make sure that it is as interesting as possible for them so that they might feel the same way about poetry that she does. She is delighted that it is her collection that was picked for the first prize in what she considered was a particularly strong field.

The 2021 Costa Book Awards mark the 50th year of the award.

Annual Poetry Ceremony Features Poem by Princess Aiko

The annual Utakai Hajime poetry recital has taken place at the Imperial Palace in Japan, the Emperor and Empress were both in attendance.

The event featured recitals of waka poems by members of the Imperial family, a specially invited literary critic and 10 members of the public who were chosen from the 13830 entries that were received this year.

Waka poems each have 31 syllables and are recited in a traditional style that sounds like chanting.

Princess Aiko became and adult member of the Imperial family in December when she turned 20 and her poem was her first contribution – she didn’t however take part in the ceremony because of her school studies.

The audience for the ceremony which usually only totals 100 people was reduced to just 5 this year because of the ongoing pandemic.

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