Writers-In Residence/CPC Anniversary – Poetry News Roundup January 7th

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the poet who has been given a writer-in-residence position and the Chinese TV show that puts poetry to music.

2021 Writer-in-Residence Positions Taken by Vern Thiessen and Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel, the queer poet and artist who is currently serving as the poet laureate of Edmonton, and Vern Thiessen, the playwright, have both taken up tenure of the on-year positions that will see them working as mentor figures within the area’s libraries.

Thiessen will be the writer-in-residence of the Edmonton Public Library and Patel will fill the regional position; this will include working at 2 local public libraries. Their role will involve offering a range of writing support services to those who are interested.

Patel, who is 28, has some interesting plans for her time in the role which include open mic sessions on a regular basis, and workshops which she hopes will help to widen the knowledge of participants as well as challenging them. She is hoping that she will be able to attract a much wider audience to the library than there is at the moment.

Thiessen is hoping to offer monthly workshops with a range of interesting guest writers, including writing in other languages, teen playwriting and even memoir writing. He is hoping to be able to offer something for every level of experience and age. He believes that libraries are an essential service that are very underused.

During their time in the role, both of the writers will spend half of their time mentoring aspiring writers and the other half working on their own projects

100th Anniversary of CPC Commemorated on Variety Show

Everlasting Classics, the Chinese variety show, has marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The show which sees famous Chinese singers performing different songs both modern and more traditional see both classic and modern poetry set to pop tunes as well.

This season of the show was kicked off by the singer Tan Weiwei, a pop singer, giving a rendition of a song that was adapted from a poem by Mao Zedong, the late Chinese poet.

The poem, which was written in 1957, looks at the subject of mourning the dead and was inspired by the death of the poet’s first wife and his friend when he was much younger.  Other songs included an adaptation of a poem by Su Shi, who is considered to be one of the most prominent poets of the Song Dynasty.

The idea behind the show is not only to bring poetry to a wider audience by giving it something of a modern twist but also to help the audience understand the feelings and inspirations behind each poem/song. This is done through the use of old videos, photos and even objects such as letters that have a personal link to each poet. The production team also travel around the country to bring the areas mentioned in the poems to life so that the audience can visualise where the poets lived or where they set their poetry.



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