Poet’s Mother’s Home for Sale/Quentin Blake Illustration Display -Poetry News Roundup July 5th

Today’s poetry news round-up looks at the property linked to a poet’s tragic childhood that has gone up for sale and the Quentin Blake poetry exhibition.

Townhouse Where Poet Witnessed the Murder of his mother Goes up for Sale

A stunning townhouse in Savannah, where poet Conrad Aiken, bore witness to the murder-suicide of his parents, has been put on the market for a grand total of $4.9 million.

In 1901 Conrad Aitken witnessed his father murder his mother before pointing the gun at himself and committing suicide.

The townhouse, which was bought by the current owners just 5 years ago, has had a rather expensive renovation and is set to sell for a staggering $3 million more than they paid for it.

The poet lived in the house for just two years during his childhood, from 1899 to 1901. He was 11 years old when he lost both of his parents, something that he would later write about. He was eventually awarded a Pulitzer prize for his poetry, and this led to the house receiving a historical marker in the 1980s.

When Aiken wrote about the murder-suicide in his autobiography, he spoke of the event as something that took place after an early morning quarrel, he heard his father count to three, and then he heard two loud gunshots. When he tiptoed into the room, he saw the motionless bodies of his parents and knew he had lost them forever.

Whilst the home is the most expensive currently on the market in the city, and despite its rather gruesome history, the real estate agent handling the sale is not expecting to have any problems finding a potential buyer.

Poetry Illustrations of Quentin Blake to go on Display

The first-ever exhibition dedicated entirely to the work of renowned illustrator Quentin Blake is to go on display in Poole.

“Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse, the exhibition” will be taking place at the Lighthouse in Poole from 19th September to 6th January. The free exhibition will also be touring a number of other venue across the UK.

Quentin Blake has had a staggering career as an illustrator that has spanned 60 years, during which he has worked with some bug names in the literary world and also illustrated a number of his own books of songs and rhymes.

As well as pieces of artwork for some of the most popular nursery rhymes, such as The Owl and the Pussycat, and classic tales, such as Alice in Wonderland, the exhibition will showcase a number of previously seen works from the illustrator’s archives.

Whilst Blake is well known for working with writers like Roald Dahl and Michael Rosen it is the surreal illustrations that he completed for The Bed Book by Sylvia Plath and the cats he drew for The Song of the Jellicles by T.S Eliot  that are likely to be the big draw for the exhibition.

The rough drawings and sketchbooks that are part of the exhibition offer a somewhat rare insight into the illustrator’s creative process for characters like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his own Mr Magnolia.

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