Scotland’s Representative At The World Slam Finals/Highland Book Winner/Abu Dhabi’s Poetry Prize Launched – Poetry News Roundup June 1st

Today’s poetry news roundup looks at the Scot who is off to the World Slam poetry finals, the winner of the Highland Book Prize and a new Arabic poetry award.

Poet From the Highlands Qualifies for World Slam Poetry Slam Finals

The World Slam Poetry Slam Finals will be taking place in Paris this year with poets from all over the world performing, including those from Poland, Brazil Haiti and Morocco.

Hamish Macdonald, a Highlands based poet is amongst their number, and in the running to take the top title. He has been put through to the semi-finals and is hoping to be able to bring this prestigious award back to Scotland.

The competition which is the poetry equivalent of the World Cup will see participants from 16 different countries taking part. Each poet will have just 3 minutes in which to recite one piece to the audience, marks will be awarded based on their performance.

Macdonald won the Scottish poetry slam title in March and will be the first Scots pot to have made it to the world semi-finals. As part of the global competition, he had to perform a total of six different poems.

The next round of the competition will take place this Friday with the finals on Saturday.

Highland Book Prize Winner Announced

The winner of this year’s Highland Book Prize has been announced as Jen Hadfield, she has won with her book “The Stone Age”. The winner was announced during a live streaming session which took place at the creative writing centre in Scotland; Moniack Mhor, which is located in the hills just above Loch Ness. The award is presented by the Highland Society of London for a work that is considered to be a celebration of Highland culture and talent.

This year the judges were faced with a difficult choice when it came to first reducing the long list down to a shortlist, and then picking a winner due to the quality of all the works in front of them. However, they were unanimous when it came to selecting “The Stone Age” which they felt offered the reader a different perspective with every poem in the collection.

Arabic Language Centre in Abu Dhabi Launches Dh1.5 million Poetry Prize

On Friday the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, which is a part of the Department of Language and Tourism launched the Kanz Al Jeel Award. This is an award inspired by a poem that was written by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyn, the Founding Father of the UAE. It offers a prize of Dh 1.5 million and is a celebration of the heritage and history of Nabati poetry.

The award was actually first announced back in April, however, the official launch ceremony which was delayed gave more details about the guidelines and intent of the award. The organisers of the award have confirmed that they are now accepting entries for the first round of judging and that the competition is open to those scholars and artists whose work is a reflection of the rich cultural heritage of Nabati Poetry.

Nabati poetry has its roots in a number of forms of Arabic that are spoken in the Arabian Peninsula. It is a type of vernacular poetry which is different to that poetry written following the more traditional rules of Arabic literature. It is believed to date back to at least the 14th century and there are references to it in work by Ibn Khaldun, an Islamic scholar.

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