New Poetry Installation/King’s Honours/Amazing Grace – Poetry News Roundup June 19th

We begin the week with a look at a poetry installation planned for a tourist spot, the King’s Birthday Honours List and the 250th anniversary of Amazing Grace.

Brimham Rocks Artwork Planned

There are plans to place two new stone pillars close to each other on the footpath near Brimham Rocks. An artwork installation will be inscribed on the pillars, together with a poem which will be written by Simon Armitage, the poet laureate. The poem has been commissioned by the National Trust to create a poem for the popular North Yorkshire visitors’ site.

It is expected that the artwork will be installed later on this month. The National Trust is delighted to be collaborating with Armitage who shares a desire to raise awareness of the importance of restoring and protecting nature.

The site is near Harrogate and owned by the National Trust, who have been given planning permission for the two pillars, which will be placed close to the footpath that is already in existence.

The poem will be titled “Balancing Act”.

The area has been specifically chosen for the pillars because it is hoped that it will draw members of the public to experience the wider areas of Brimham. Brimham Rocks are a natural rock formation. It is estimated that they have been moulded by 320 million years of continent movement and ice, rain and wind.

King Charles III Birthday Honours List

The first Trooping of the Colour of King Charles III took place this weekend, and in keeping with tradition, the King’s first honours list was published over the weekend. Balanced almost 50/50 between male and female recipients, the list saw Ben Okri awarded an MBE for his services to literature.  Sir Ben, who is a Nigerian-born poet, was a 1991 winner of the Booker Prize.

The list brought the news that just days before his death last month, Martin Amis was also awarded an MBE for his services to literature.

The founder of the Kings Lynn Literary Festival, Tony Ellis, who launched the event with the help of the poet George MacBeth, was also awarded an MBE for Literary services.

Song Marks 250th Anniversary of Amazing Grace

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Amazing Grace, and the occasion was duly marked with an event that saw 10 separate choirs come together as a choir of 250 voices in order to create a special performance.

They sang a special song that had been written to commemorate the event, Song 8 from Forever? The performance was described by the organisers as a “one-off event”.

Thought to be the most recorded hymn anywhere in the world, Amazing Grace was penned by the Reverend John Newton, who was also a poet. It was first used during a sermon that he gave on 1st January 1773. The words were a reflection on his thoughts as he returned to his faith from a life as a slave ship captain. It wasn’t put to music until the beginning of the 19th Century.

The performance to mark the anniversary saw the premiere of just one of the songs that make up Forever? The  full work will be premiered on 22nd July at the Milton Keynes International Festival.

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