George the Poet/Casino Art/Portland’s Laureate – Poetry News Roundup July 2nd

We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with articles about George the Poet and a brush with the law, a casino that will be drawing on local art sources and finally a new poet laureate for Portland.

George the Poet Stopped by Police

The 27-year-old performance poet, George Mpanga, also known as George the Poet took to social media over the weekend over an incident that occurred when he was on his way home from a gig.

The incident occurred outside his parents’ house on Thursday night in North London last week following a gig. The poet had just arrived at the house when he was approached by police officers. They checked his license plate against the police database and it came back as an uninsured vehicle. Papers were produced to show them that the vehicle was in fact insured and he was then advised that they needed to search the car for weapons

George the poet was handcuffed and claims they put him in a van and strip-searched him before taking a further 20 minutes to write out a search slip for the incident.

The met have spoken out against the poets Instagram post stating that the body cameras worn by the police involved in the incident have been reviewed by senior officers and that the search was carried out appropriately.

In 2015 George the Poet was nominated for the Brits critics’ choice award, in the same year he also came fifth in the BBC’s Sound Of list.

Having attended Cambridge University, he has risen to become one of the most prominent performance poets in the UK.

Art in Casino Will Draw on Rich History of the Area

MGM are planning a new casino which will be located in Springfield, Massachusetts and they are planning to draw on a wealth of artwork that will be inspired by the history of the region.

In an announcement made this week MGM stated that they planned to commission works that will draw on the industrial roots of the area as well as some of the famous names associated with Springfield. These include the children’s author, and poet, Dr. Seuss and Emily Dickinson, the 19thCentury poet.

The artworks will range from mosaics and intricate lithographs to large scale sculptures. The will also be an entire wall mural dedicated to an Indian Motorcycles; they were originally manufactured in Springfield. A large aluminium sculpture will be dedicated to the resilience of the city n the wake of the destructive tornado of 2011

The casino is expected to open on 24thAugust and will be the first Las Vegas style gambling establishment in Massachusetts.

Portland Gets New Poet Laureate

Linda Aldrich has succeeded Gibson Fay-Leblanc as the new poet laureate of Portland.

Aldrich who lives in Portland is the author of two collections of poetry, her most recent boo was published in 2012. She read that the city as searching for nominations for a new poet laureate and whilst she was considering who to nominate realised it was something she would love to do.

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