Today’s poetry news roundup takes a look at the winners of two poetry prizes. We also take a brief look at the State Memorial for Les Murray.
Inaugural Prize Winner Announced by Poet Laureate
As one of his first official duties as the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage has announced the winner of a new poetry prize from the University of Leeds.
There were over 400 entrants to the competition, and the winner was announced as Dane Holt, who is a PhD researcher, currently based at Queen’s University Belfast. As part of the prize, Holt will receive support from the poetry centre at the university and also the Professor of Poetry
The prize, which will be awarded bi-annually is the Brotherton Poetry Prize and offers a prize of £1000 to the winner with 4 runners up each receiving £200 each. The prize was awarded at a ceremony where all the shortlisted poets were given the opportunity to read aloud from one of the five poems they had submitted.
Holt is originally from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, and was delighted to win the prize. Armitage was one of the first poets that he ever read.
The prize was launched last year, and is aimed at poets over the age of 18 who have never been published. It is supported by the Charles Brotherton Trust. The building at the university which houses its library was funded by, and is named after, Lord Edward Brotherton of Wakefield. He was a philanthropist and industrialist in Yorkshire. Charles Brotherton was his nephew.
All of the shortlisted poets will have their poems published in an anthology. A series of events and readings will take place at a number of venues in Yorkshire and they will be invited to take part with readings.
The 2019 Robert Frost Prize
David Southward, a poet from Milwaukee, has been named as the winter of the 2019 International Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry. He is due to collect his award later this week in New Hampshire.
The winning poem is called “Mary’s Visit” and is written in a sestina form. Southward lectures at the University of Wisconsin-Millwaukee. Robert Frost is one of his greatest poetical influences and he says he is greatly honoured to have been named as the winner of the prize this year.
Frost was one of the most decorated poets in the United States, and one of the most well-known. He won four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry and received a staggering 31 nominations for a Nobel Prize. He was the first poet laureate of Vermont and was also awarded a Congressional.
The Poet Celebrated in his own Words
Australian poet Les Murray, who passed away in April, was given a state memorial service earlier this week. His was the first state memorial conducted for a poet since 1962 when Dame Mary Gilmore. Many of the readings that were given were made up of some of the most vivid works created by the poet who was referred to as the unofficial poet laureate of Australia.