Mark Twain Collection/Lockdown Poetry Competition/Hartnett Poetry Award – Poetry News Roundup July 13th

We begin another week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the poet who has donated his Mark Twain collection, the poetry competition inspired by lockdown and the 2020 Michael Hartnett Poetry Award.

Poet Offers Extensive Mark Twain Collection to New York College

Curt Curtin, a poet and retired college professor from Worchester who is now 90 has donated his comprehensive Mark Twain collection to the Emira College Centre for Mark Twain Studies in New York.

The poet who is now struggling with failing eyesight is still writing his own poetry but has decided that the time has come to start parting with some of the extensive collections he has amassed over the years. His Twain collection includes original periodicals containing articles by Twain, first editions, prints, lithographs a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and soft-cover books. Whilst he said that he will miss the collection, he wanted to ensure that it was time for it to belong to someone else and he couldn’t think of anywhere better than the centre.

Twain, who was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, penned some of his most famous works in a study at Quarry Farm which is located in Elmira in the upstate area of New York. This was his summer residence for a number of years.

The farm and the study where he did his writing became part of the centre for Mark Twain Studies in 1983.

Lockdown Inspired Poetry Competition

The Norman Nicholson Society in Cumbria is running a competition with the goal of finding the best poems produced during the lockdown.

The competition was inspired by the “lockdown” experience of the poet who was confined to his house whilst he recovered from Tuberculosis.

The society is looking for those people who have written poetry during the lockdown, whether their poetry was inspired by real-life experience or simply inspirational moments that occurred. The competition will have two categories one for those under 18 and one for those over the age of 18.

The society is hoping to publish not only the winning poems but also those that receive a commendation from the judges. However, they have said that depending on a number of things they may even produce a book of the lockdown poems as well.

Michael Hartnett Poetry Award 2020

The Michael Hartnett Poetry Award for 2020 is now open for submissions. The award which was established in 1999 following the death of Michael Hartnett is awarded on alternate years to a collection of poetry that is written in either Irish and English, in honour of the memory of the poet who worked in both languages. This year it is the turn of a poetry collection in English which was published in 2018 or 2019.

The collection must be a single collection and not a collection of selected works of the poet. It must also be the third or subsequent work that the poet has had published.

The winner this year will be announced in the autumn and the award will be given in October.

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