Mackay Brown Collection Auction/Costa Book Award Winner/Washington Laureate – Poetry News Roundup January 31st

Today’s new round-up looks at an important collection of poetry related memorabilia that is going up for auction, the winner of the Costa Book Award of the year and finally the new poet laureate for Washington State.

Collection of Poets Treasures to be Auctioned Off

A vast collection of treasures that belonged to the poet George Mackay Brown will be going under the hammer in February with auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull.

The collection, which is said to include manuscripts, letters, notebooks and dozens of handwritten notes that were kept by Mackay Brown, who is one of the most celebrated poets to come out of Scotland, is being put up for auction by the family of the poet’s literary executor.

The auctioneers believe that the collection will be very popular with people from Orkney, which is where Mackay Brown spent most of his life, and literary collectors. The main highlights of the collection are a homemade comic from the poet’s childhood and a signed copy of “The Storm” – his first poetry collection. There will also be a number of rare books from the poet’s personal collection including a number of signed copies that he had received from friends and fellow poets over the years, amongst them books by Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Hugh McDiarmid and Edwin Muir. There are also a number of signed works by Mackay Brown himself in the auction.

One lot that it is believed will spark a lot of interest contains research notes and essays on the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, that formed part of Mackay Browns postgrad research. The auctioneers believe this lot may fetch in the region of £1,800.

Poet Becomes Second Posthumous Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award

Helen Dunmore, the winner of the Costa Poetry Book of the year, has been announced as the overall winner of the Costa Book of the year award for her final collection of poetry “Inside the Wave”. The book, which was published posthumously, makes Dunmore the second poet to win the award posthumously since the inception of the literary prize. The first was Ted Hughes in 1998.

Her family, who were present at the award ceremony, said they were delighted and a bit shocked and that whilst the win was tinged with sadness they felt Dunmore would “have been so pleased to know that her win would bring new people to poetry.”

New Poet Laureate for Washington State

Tomorrow night the outgoing poet laureate for Washington State, Tod Marshall, will officially hand over the position to Claudia Castor Luna.

The new poet laureate who is from El Salvador is the first woman of colour to hold the position, and has recently been working very hard to counteract the recent comments by President Trump about countries such as El Salvador.

Marshall, the outgoing poet laureate spent his tenure travelling all over the state. He also edited an anthology of poems from writers all over Washington. “WA129” is an anthology of 129 poems – one for each year Washington has been a state.

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