Airport Birthday Poem/LGBTQ Writing Award/Poet’s Statue taken down – Poetry News Roundup June 20th

Today we bring you stories about the 80thBirthday celebrations of Manchester Airport, The winner of the LGBTQ National Writing Award, and the statue of a poet that has been removed from a shopping mall.

Airport to Celebrate 80thBirthday with Poetry Collaboration

This year Manchester Airport will celebrate its 80thBirthday and it is planning a special collaboration with Tony Walsh, the poet who is also known as Longfella.

They are planning to make a short film to mark the occasion. Walsh will be penning some words which they will set to imagery. The idea behind the film is that it will showcase the journey that the airport has taken in the last eight decades, how it has evolved and also memories that members of staff and the public have of the airport.

The film will be premiered on 25thJune which is the airport’s birthday.

When asked about the project Walsh said
The airport are delighted that Walsh has agreed to be part of the project. This collaboration is just one very small part of the celebrations that are being planned. They will also be planting 80 Oak trees – oak is the official gift for an 80th– as well as opening up their archives and having a number of tea parties within the local communities.

LGBTQ National Writing Award Won By Ottawa Poet

Ben Ladoceur, a poet from Ottawa, has been named as the winner of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize. This emerging prize which is for LGBTQ writers had a shortlist of just three writers. This is an annual award that is given to a writer whose published work has shown great promise. The winner reives a cash prize of $4,000.

Ladoceur won with his poetry collection “Otter”, and he is no stranger to awards for his poetry, having won the Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2012 and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 2016.

Liu Xiaobo Statue Removed from Hong Kong Shopping Mall

A statue of the late Chinese Nobel laureate and poet Liu Xiaobo has been removed from the Times Square shopping Mall in Hong Kong following threats of legal action.

Liu, who was jailed for 11 years in 2009 and died of liver cancer last July whilst still in prison was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. The statue was erected just last Tuesday with plans to keep it in the shopping mall until 13thJuly – the first anniversary of the death of the poet.

The statue which was donated by an anonymous benefactor was erected by The League of Social Democrats and the Hong Kong Alliance. They were threatened with legal action by the Shopping Mall’s lawyers.

The statue was removed in a public event which was attended by members of both groups and was marked with a three minutes silence in honour of the poet.

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