Wordsworth House Purchase/Trethewey’s Memoir – Poetry News Roundup July 30th

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the sale of the former home of William Wordsworth. We also have a short article about Natasha Trethewey’s new memoir.

Buddhist Charity Purchase Poet’s Former Home

The former Alfoxton Park Hotel, which was once the house, where William Wordsworth lived in Somerset has been sold. The property which had been put up for sale by the current owners has fetched around £2,000,000 and has been bought by a Buddhist charity, the Alfoxton Park Trust.

The building is a Grade II listed one and in recent years had been a hotel. It was originally built in the 18th century and is set in a stunning 51 acres of deer park and gardens. The property itself covers 13,500 square feet of space on the interior, there are outbuildings, a courtyard and even a walled garden.

The charity has plans to renovate the buildings so that they can be used as a Buddhist retreat centre which will be used for art events, long retreats and working retreats on the land.

The charity is delighted to have been able to purchase the property and are very keen to honour the literary history that it has.

They are hoping that once it is fully restored, they will be able to welcome pilgrims, poets and nature lovers. They hope that once more people will be able to walk the Coleridge Way which is named after Samuel Taylor Coleridge the poet who was good friends with Wordsworth.

The site was originally home to The Manor of Alfoxton, which was mentioned in the doomsday book. Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed by fire and the current one was built on the same site in 1710.

The property is not in the best of conditions having stood empty for many years; however, the new owners are determined to do justice to it and are planning for their restoration work to be very sympathetic to the original building.

Natasha Trethewey – Her New Memoir

The former US poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey, has penned a new memoir which takes a look at the murder of her mother, which also considers the rather fraught racial legacy of the US.

Born in 1966 both Trethewey’s life and career have been touched by a rather terrifying sense of kismet. Her mother was black and her father white. Much of her incredible poetry is inspired by her search for identity including Native Guard her 2006 collection which won a Pulitzer Prize.

Her prose memoir “Memorial Drive” is another further search for her identity as she struggles with her mother’s brutal murder which took place at the hands of her second husband. The book will be making its debut this summer, at a time when as Trethewey says domestic violence is on the increase as a result of the pandemic; a stark reminder of the tragedy that can all to easily take place when a woman feels trapped and has nowhere to escape to.

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