Tony Walsh to Receive Degree/Abente Passes Away. – Poetry News Roundup July 13th

Our final poetry round-up of the week here on My Poetic Side looks at two stories. The first is about the poet Tony Walsh who is to receive an honorary degree, the second is the sad news that the Paraguayan poet Carlos Federico Abente has passed away at 103.

Tony Walsh Receives Honorary Degree

The poet who is also known as Longfella; he is rather tall, came into the public eye last year when he helped to bring the people of Manchester together in the wake of the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert. His poem “This is the Place” celebrated the spirit of the people of Manchester and their resilience.

On 19thJuly Walsh will be honoured by the University of Salford when he will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. The ceremony will take place at The Lowry. The degree is in recognition of all his services to the art form.

In 2016 Walsh was elected as a Fellow if the Royal Society of Arts. Since then he has performed at literary and music events all over Europe, he has also lead poetry workshops in schools, prisons and care units.

“This is the Place” was gifted by Walsh to the people of Manchester earlier this year, thereby ensuring that all royalties received would go to the Forever Manchester charity. Proceeds from any items that go up for sale featuring lines from the poem have helped to raise a staggering £200,000 for the charity so far.

Walsh began writing poetry at the tender age of five, but it wasn’t until he was 39 that he performed his work in public. He became a full-time poet in 2011 and has since been heavily involved in passing on his knowledge to students – both at local universities and at the MediaCityUK campus.

He says that he is honoured that a city he has a 35-year history with has chosen to honour him in this way and he dedicates the award to the wonderful people of Salford and the area of Greater Manchester for all the support they have shown him.

Last Great Paraguayan Poet Dies

An icon of Paraguayan literature, the poet Carlos Federico Abente has passed away at his family home at the age of 103.

Abente was born in Aregua, Paraguay, he moved to Argentina at an early age where he began a medical career. He was one of a number of Paraguayan who were exiled by Stoessner during the 1950’s.

He wrote many of his poems in Guarani, a Paraguayan Indigenous tongue. He also composed several songs. He was a very well respected and talented bilingual poet, and the oldest remaining “great” poet remaining in Paraguay.

The legacy he leaves behind is an important one, not only his poetry but also the song Ñemity, for which he composed the lyrics. The song is a celebration of fraternity, Mother Earth and above all hope, it became symbolic to the people of Paraguay during an incredibly turbulent time.

His death is a great loss to both the people of Paraguay and the literary community.

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