Burns’ Murals Unveiled/Dead Poets Society Book/Jerusalem Prize – Poetry News Roundup January 22nd

In our poetry news roundup today we look at the mural dedicated to Robert Burns, we have a poetry book written by the founder of the Dead Poets Society and finally the winner of the 2019 Jerusalem Prize.

Murals to Celebrate the Life of Robert Burns Unveiled

A mural consisting of ten large-scale paintings has gone on display at Oran Mor in Glasgow. The paintings tell the story of the poem Tam o’Shanter, which was written by the poet Robert Burns. They were commissioned to commemorate the 260th anniversary of the poet’s birth and took the artist Nichol Wheatley a full two years to complete.

Published in 1791, Tam o’Shanter was not only one of the most famous poems written by Burns; it was also one of the longest

Wheatley said that it was a true delight to be asked to paint the pictures. The poem had been a particular favourite of his since he was a child, and this was the first time he had been commissioned to paint Burns; making it really special for him.

The paintings can be seen in the auditorium of Oran Mor and will be there through out the Burns events that will take place in the run up to Burns’ Night, January 25th.

After this date the plan it to move them to their permanent home in the Whisky and Victorian bars.

Walter Skold Lives on in New Book

The late founder of the Dead Poets Society is now a published poet thanks to the posthumous publication of a book of his own poetry. Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of Skolds death and two of his children self-published a book of his poetry entitle “The Mirror is Not Cracked”

Skold visited the graves of over 600 poets during his lifetime, and his sons says that they felt they owed him this remembrance. He marked occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries by writing poetry, but he never published any of his works.

Dead Poets Society was launched in 2008 and drew its inspiration from the film of the same name which stared Robin Williams. Skold’s goal was to draw attention to those poets and their poetry who were in danger of being forgotten.

Walter Skold had always wanted to create a new holiday in celebration of poets; National Poets Remembrance Day. It was to be held on the Sunday that fell closest to 7th October the date on which the poet Edgar Allan Poe passed away. Now Skold’s sons plan to visit his grave on that day and read some of his poetry to him.

Joyce Carol Oates Wins 2019 Jerusalem Prize

The American author and poet Joyce Carol Oates is to be the recipient of the 2019 Jerusalem Prize. The prize will be awarded in May as part of the opening ceremony of the Jerusalem International Book Forum.

Oates was raised a Catholic, but when her grandmother passed away, she discovered that she had a Jewish heritage she had never known about. This heritage had been kept secret but nobody in the family knows why. Oates is excited about the prospect of travelling to Israel for the ceremony and believes that with this secret heritage it may be both profound and life-changing.

Oates was awarded a National Medal of the Humanities in 2010, and has also previously been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

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