Poetry Foundation Grants / D Day Tears, Haiku Insects – Poetry News Roundup June 12th

In today’s poetry news round up we look at the Poetry Foundation’s recent cycle of grants, the D-Day poem that moved royals to tears and insects in Haiku.

$1,530,000 Awarded by Poetry Foundation in Grants

The Poetry Foundation has announced that this year a total of 54 different non-profit organisations have been awarded a split of the $1,530,000 grant funding that they have to offer in their spring 2024 grant cycle.

The 54 recipients were chosen from over 200 grant applications that were made this year. The grantee-partners in the  roster are those who are committed to making access to poetry easier and also supporting poets through the provision of resources. The Foundation has a commitment to a trust-based philanthropy and their programme of grants relies on a review process that is community-based. A staggering 140 members of the culture and arts community applied to serve as reviews for the grant proposals, with 22 being selected to make recommendations to the internal committee of the Poetry Foundation.

The organisations that have received grants in this cycle are split 56% Equity in Verse grants, 38% Programs, Partnerships and Innovation grants and 6% Special Opportunity grants. Some of the grants have been awarded for general operating support whilst the majority have been awarded for organisations that are BIPOC led.

The next cycle of grant considerations will be opening in the middle of June and will close on 1st September 2024. More information here.

D-Day Poem Moves Royals to Tears

During a D-Day commemoration, Queen Camilla was visibly moved to tears following the delivery of a heartfelt poem by a spoken word poet and a speech that was delivered by a veteran.

The event, which took place in Portsmouth, marked the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings and was attended by the Queen, King Charles and a number of other dignitaries.

The poem was read by the poet Tomos Roberts and Eric Bateman, a D-Day veteran. During the reading both the King and Queen were seen to wipe a tear from their eye. This was the first public speech that the King has given since his cancer diagnosis and his most high-profile appearance.

The poem was titled “The People Who Gave Us Today.”

Haiku Poetry May Shine a Light on Our Relationship With Insects

For hundreds of years haiku poems have been used to reflect on the experience humans have with nature, including their observations of wildlife and in particular bugs. A recent study at Penn State has taken a look at which insects have been most mentioned in haiku.

The study looked at almost 4000 haiku and noted that butterflies, fireflies, and singing insects were mentioned the most, whilst aquatic arthropods like fishflies and caddisflies were mentioned the least.

Speaking about the study, one of the authors said that the findings shine a light on insects and how they inspire awe and emotion in humans but don’t get nearly as much attention as they should. The study was conducted as a result of reports regarding the decline in insect populations all over the works with scientists looking at reasons for the decline. They wanted to see if these declines were reflected in art. Haiku, due to their short nature represent an excellent way in which they can do this.

The study looked at 3,894 haiku which had been written by 1248 poets between the years 1549 and 2022. Some of the haiku were sourced from the Frost Museum’s Hexapod Haiku Challenge, which is an annual contest focused on insect related haikus.


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