OBE for Coelho/ Poet’s Call For Film Release / Mackellar Homestead – Poetry News Roundup June 17th

We begin the week with a look at the poet awarded an OBE, a poet who is calling for a film to be released in the US and the first view of the Mackellar homestead for the public.

Joseph Coelho, Children’s Laureate Awarded OBE

The playwright, performance poet and children’s author Joseph Coelho, who is also the current Children’s Laureate, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours list.

The award has been given for his services to “the arts, children’s reading and to literature.” Coelho who grew up in Roehampton studied Archaeology at University College London has always had a love of poetry and wrote his debut collection in 2014. The following year he was the winner of the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry award.

He has written a number of picture books,  a dark series that reimagines the classic fairy tales, a novel for young adults and a selection of lyrical poetry collections and children’s stories. He became the 12th Children’s Laureate in 2022, and his tenure will end later this year.

In 2022, he was announced as the 12th Children’s Laureate, with his tenure coming to an end this year. He is amongst a number of very well-known writers to have held the title, including Sir Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen and Sir Michael Morpurgo.

The Boy Lost In The Maze, his 2022 book, is currently on the shortlist for the 2024 Carnegie Medal for writing.

Coelho recently added his name to a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer demanding that there be more funding for books for the under sevens in order to help nurture a love of reading. The campaign is being fought by the BookTrust, who believe the cost-of -living crisis is having an effect on children’s reading.

Poet Calls for Film to be Released in USA

Jorie Graham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who is considered to be one of the American post-war generations celebrated poets, has given her thoughts on a story that ran in New York Times at the end of last week.

The article was discussing the film The Apprentice, which chronicles the relationship between Donald Trump and Roy Cohn and how the rights to the film have not yet been picked up by any outlet in the US for theatre distribution or streaming.

When the film premiered at Cannes last month, it was very well received. The rights have so far been brought by a number of other countries including Britain, Germany, France, Japan and Canada. However, it is believed that fear of political reprisals are behind the current decision in the US.

Graham argues that Hollywood appears to be giving in without much of a fight and went as far as to quote Shakespeare on the matter stating: “I would say that Hollywood needs to be reminded of Shakespeare’s words – that as storytellers our job is to hold the mirror up to nature… and to show the very age and body of the time its form and pressure.”

Dorothea Mackellar Homestead Opens

Locals in Liverpool Plains have been offered a look into the life of the poet Dorothea Mackellar as her family homestead has opened to the public for the first time. The new owners are now planning to restore the historic property.

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