Today in our poetry news round up we look at the winner of the Feltrinelli International Poetry Prize and the new National Poet for Wales.
Michael Longley Wins Feltrinelli International Poetry Prize
Michael Longley has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Feltrinelli International Poetry Prize. The prize comes with a £216,000 (€250,000) cash sum and is only awarded once in every five years.
The award is overseen by the Accademia dei Lincei who said that his work showed
They also felt that his poetry addressed the topics of conquest, seduction and a fascination with love. He is also inspired by the shock that war has from the gulags to the tragedy of the Holocaust.
Longley is a winner of a number of awards during his long career, including the Hawthornden Prize, the Griffin International Prize and the T S Eliot Prize. In 2001 he was named the winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. This was followed by the Wilfred Owen award in 2003. In 2010 he was made a CBE. He also served as the Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2007 to 2010. Since 2015, he has been a Freeman of the City of Belfast where he lives and works with his wife.
Wales Appoints New National Poet
Hanan Issa has been appointed as the new national poet of Wales. She is the first Muslim to hold the post and the fifth poet to be given the title.
With a Welsh-Iraqi background, Issa is a film-maker, artist and poet and is hoping to bring her diverse cultural background to the role. This is a three-year position, and she will represent not only a diverse range of cultures but also languages, including Welsh, as well, and will act in the capacity of an ambassador for the people of Wales.
My Body Can House Two Hearts was her first collection of poetry and was published in 2019. She has also made contributions to Essays on the Future of Wales and The Mab.
Issa who lives in Cardiff is very proud to become the first Muslim to hold the post, feeling that it is a very positive step and a sign that Wales is taking a lead when it comes to this type of representation, she believes that all too often Muslim women are put into a position with a narrow perception, but she is hoping to prove that this is something that does not need to apply.
Her mixed heritage meant that she grew up surrounded by different languages and cultures with Arabic from her Iraqi family and Welsh from her grandparents. She is hoping to bring a modicum of this multiculturalism to the role as it is now something that is so prevalent in the diversity of the makeup of the UK.