10KM Poem/Costa Book Awards – Poetry News Roundup January 8th

Today here at My Poetic Side we take a look at the 10km poem in Australia, and, this year’s winners of the Costa Book Awards.

The 10km Long Bike Path Poem

The Upfield trail runs from the inner city of Brunswick to Fawkner Cemetery, which is located in the suburban north of Melbourne. In total, the path is 10km in length, and it is home to a rather unusual piece of poetry.

At first glance, the white line that runs down the centre of the bike path appears to be covered in graffiti. A closer look however shows that this is not just simple graffiti, but in fact sentences, and as they run along the path, they tell a tale. The bike path has been etched with stories and personal reflections by two local artists and they form a poem.

It took the two artists more than a month to complete the mammoth task, which they finished just last month as part of MoreArt – the Moreland Council’s annual show.

The poem is titled “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”, and takes its name from a 17th century book by Matsu Basho, the Japanese poet who used travel as the inspiration for his poetry. The name might seem familiar to some – it was also the name of Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker prize-winning novel.

The artists composed much of the poem beforehand, but some of it was written just a few words at a time and was inspired by some of the people and things that they saw along the way.

The response to the poem has been very positive, with just the one complaint – that it makes the ride even slower if you want to read it as you travel!

Costa Book Awards 2018

The winners of the 2018 Costa Book Awards have been announced. There are five difference categories of awards – novel, biography, first novel, children’s book and poetry. The winning author in each category will receive a cash prize of £5000 and their books will now be put forward to receive the top prize the title of Costa Book of the Year 2018. The winning book will be decided by a panel of judges, and will be announced at a ceremony which will take place on 29th January.

This year’s winner of the Costa Novel Award is Sally Rooney, an Irish author who is the youngest writer to ever receive the prize. The winner of the First Novel Award is Stuart Turton, whose debut crime novel has already been optioned for TV and has sold in over 20 territories so far. The Biography Prize has been won by Bart van Es a professor at Oxford with his war memoir.Scottish poet JO Morgan has won the Poetry Award for the collection Assurances, a war poem that is book length and in part inspire by the author’s father. The Children’s Book award has been won by Hillary McKay for The Skylarks’ War.

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