Burns’ Ellisland Renovation/ Pashto Poet’s Widow – Poetry News Roundup January 9th

Today our poetry news round up takes a look at the major renovation plans that have been passed for Ellisland, the former home of the poet Robert Burns. We also have an article about the widow of a noted Pashto poet.

Ellisland to Become Major Tourist Attraction

As Burns Night looms closer plans have been unveiled to turn Ellisland in Dumfriesshire into what it is hoped will be a major tourist attraction.

The former home of the poet Robert Burns, and the only property he built, Ellisland farm is the subject of some rather ambitious plans that it is hoped will lead to a new source of local employment for at least 50 people. The project is certainly an ambitious one, and the result it is hoped will be a tourist attraction worth around £10 million.

Ellisland Trust have drawn up the plans for the development. They have been managing the site in Auldgirth since two Durisdeer brothers gifted it to the nation in 1928. The development is the first of its size for the area. It is already a listed Grade A national asset and a major world site, now it is excepted that it will offer a huge economic boost to the region.

It is hoped that around 60% of the required funds needed to carry out the project will come from a variety of funding efforts that will take place all over the world and from charitable organisations.

The property consists of the house and farm building, as well as 150 acres of land. The plans were given the official go-ahead over the Christmas break, and early estimates are that there will be sufficient funds in place to begin the work in 2021.

Ellisland is where Burns was living when he wrote his most famous work, and the second most sung song in the world “Auld Lang Syne”.

Noted Poets Widow Requests Continuation of Stipend

The widow of Azam Khan, the noted Pashto poet who was also known by the name Azam Da Kurwai, has requested that the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) continue paying her the stipend that you used to receive.

Zar Pari Bibi had been receiving a stipend on a quarterly basis on behalf of her husband. However, she had received forms from PAL that she has been unable to complete. They ask for details of her late husband’s manuscripts and her properties.

Her husband was a noted poet, who made literary contributions to several magazines, as well as writing features for both Radio Pakistan and Radio Peshawar. He also published several books, but was unable to complete his final book due to illness and money issues.

The forms were received at the beginning of December, but because her husband’s manuscripts and articles are spread out over so many magazines and publications, his widow is struggling to find them all, and is concerned that she will not be able to complete the forms which result in her losing the stipend that she relies on to pay for medications. She has appealed to the chairman of PAL to investigate the issue for her.

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