We begin the week with a look at the 2023 winner of the Kings Gold Medal; we also have an article about a letter written by Lord Byron, which will be going up for auction in March.
King’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2023
Mimi Khalvati has been announced as the King’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2023 winner.
The award, established in 1933 by King George V, is awarded for excellence in poetry. Each year, the winner is selected from the United Kingdom of a country within the Commonwealth.
On receiving the award, the poet said that she was absolutely thrilled and a little bit terrified, but overall, it just made her feel incredibly happy. She also said that receiving the award was a real affirmation of her work and to be numbered amongst the previous recipients was a privilege and an honour for which she was very grateful.
Khalvati came to poetry writing late in life and has often felt like she is serving an apprenticeship, never fully becoming an actual poet. She is now 80 and believes that the barriers of age, gender, and ethnicity that have fallen during her lifetime have been something from which she has been able to take a considerable amount of inspiration.
Khalvati was born in Tehran and grew up on the Isle of Wight. She was educated all over the world before eventually settling in London. She is the founder of The Poetry School.
Lord Byron Letter to be Auctioned
A letter, previously unpublished, that was written by Lord Byron, one of Britain’s most infamous poets, will be going under the hammer in March
The letter, which was discovered in a mansion in Gloucestershire, was written in 1813. Another letter, written by Jean Jacques Rousseau, the 18th-century Swiss philosopher, was also found at the same time. The letters are expected to fetch a total of around £7,500 when they are auctioned.
During the 1800s, Byron gained significant notoriety for his private life, which was rather scandalous, and also for his role in spearheading the Romantic Movement. He died in 1824 at the age of just 36, having contracted a fever whilst leading a campaign in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.
The letter came to light during a routine valuation day, and the owners had no idea of its existence. Lord Byron’s letter is the only letter that he ever wrote to Major John Cartwright. Cartwright was a politician and political reformer who served under his father in the Navy. The missive is an apology from Byron, which contains details of some plans he cancelled at the last minute.
It is rumoured that Lord Byron had a child with his half-sister. In addition to the many affairs that he had, he also ran up numerous debts and was the owner of a pet bear. He fled from England when he was threatened with lynching as a result of his failed marriage. He spent seven years living in a number of Italian cities.
The discovery of the letter is being hailed by the auctioneers as an exciting one, and they hope that there will be plenty of interest in the letter.