Bilingual Poetry Book/Burnside Dies/Hay’s Festival Medal Awarded – Poetry News Roundup June 3rd

We begin the week with a look at the first publishing of Hyam Plutzik’s work in Spanish, the death of John Burnside and the winner of the Hay Festival Medal for Poetry.

Bilingual Edition of Poetry Book Released for First Time

Hyam Plutzik, the American poet, who died in 1962, was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He grew up unable to speak a word of English but became a professor at University of Rochester in New York. He has now had one of his poetry works translated in to Spanish for the first time. The book 32 poems / 32 Poemas” has been published by the Suburbano publishing house who are based in Miami.

Plutzik grew up speaking Yiddish and Russian at home and it wasn’t until he went to school that he began to learn English. He was a professor in the English department at University of Rochester for sixteen years before his death at the age of just 50. He was a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry finalist three times.

The poems in the book have been translated by fourteen different individuals in order to reflect the diversity of voices from the Americas and Spain. All of the poems have previously been published in English and some of them have also been published in other languages as well including Chinese, German and Croation.

John Burnside Dies Aged 69

The award winning novelist and poet John Burnside has died at the age of 69. His death was announced after a short illness.

Burnside was a new appointed professor at the school of English at the University of St Andrews and a former writer-in-residence at Dundee University.

He was a winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for his poetry collection, Feast Days and The Asylum Dance won the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2000.

In 2006 he won the Saltire Book of the Year Award for “A Lie About My Father”, and in 2011 he won both the Forward poetry Prize and the TS Eliot Prize for “Black Cat Bone”. Last year he was awarded the David Cohen Prize, which recognises an entire body of work by a writer.

Hay Festival Medal for Poetry Winner 2024

The BAFTA-nominated broadcaster, poet and former chancellor of The University of Manchester, Lemn Sissay has collected another prize. He is the recipient of this year’s Hay Festival Medal for Poetry. It was announced in a ceremony that took place on stage at the Hay Festival, which is held in Hay-on-Wye.

His most recent work is the poetry collection “Let the Light Pour In” a collection of poems composed every morning at the break of day over the course of the past decade. The poems are a catalogue of the poet’s battle with the dark and are fuelled by defiant joy and resilience.

The Hay Festival Medal has been awarded annually since the 2012 Olympics, which were held in the UK, and draws inspiration from the original medal for poetry from the Olympics. They are presented to extraordinary writers, creatives and thinkers.

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