Malvern Ideas Festival/Chicago’s Laureate – Poetry News Roundup January 9th

Today on My Poetic Side, we look at some members of the lineup that has been announced for the Malvern Festival of Ideas 2023. We also have a story about Chicago’s search for its first-ever poet laureate.

Malvern Festival of Ideas 2023

Scheduled to take place from 3rd March to 5th March, the Malvern Festival of Ideas 2023 has begun to release details of some of the names included in their line-up. The festival this year will include a programme packed full of conversations, talks, discussions and interviews.

Michael Rosen, the former children’s laureate, will be holding a range of poetry sessions at the Malvern Cube with some of the local schools.

The rest of the festival will, however, be taking place at Malvern St James Girls’ School. With a wealth of ideas being discussed during the festival, the first event will be a talk on Archaeology in the Age of Genetics. There will also be discussions on the topics of equality and inclusion.

The lyricist, poet, actor and musician Benjamin Zephaniah will be holding a conversation with Liz Berry the award-winning poet from the Black Country. They are expected to talk about Black Liberation, racism, revolution and poetry.

This year the festival has described its theme as


All of the themes will be explored during the festival in a number of different ways, with particular attention being paid to black feminist poetics.

Tickets should be booked in advance via the festival website.

Chicago Advertises for First Ever Poet Laureate

The position of first-ever poet laureate for Chicago has opened up for nominations. The position comes with $50,000 in grants to cover the two-year tenure. The successful candidate will be required to commission new poems and also develop a range of poetry and literary programs in the city. They will also serve as ambassador for the creative and literary communities of the city.

The deadline for nominations has been set as 18th January, and the winner will be announced in the spring; no firm date has been set for this, although they have stated that they would like to have made the official appointment in time for National Poetry Month, which falls in April.

Anyone who is considering the position must be at least 21 years of age, currently reside in the City of Chicago, have an existing commitment to Chicago’s literary community and have published at least four pieces of work. These publications need to be in established publications rather than something that is self-curated, and they should have been done in the last three years.

They would also like a candidate who has received some form of critical acclaim, has a history or working with a range of people and of course, be willing to serve the community.

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