Google Doodle Honours Poet/Rail Poets/Ferlinghetti on Turning 100 – Poetry News Roundup March 21st

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the Google Doodle dedicated to the Egyptian poet, the poets taking to the rails and Lawrence Ferlinghetti on turning 100.

Google Doodle Dedicated to Gamila El Alaily

The prominent Egyptian essayist and poet Gamila El Alaily is now honoured with a Google doodle on the day of her 112th birthday.

El Alaily was born in 1907 in Dakahlia, Egypt. She was considered to be one of the women at the forefront of the Renaissance of modern art in Egypt, and her contributions to Arabic literature were celebrated. She died on 11th April 1991.

She became an especially prominent poet when she joined an elite all-male club that was specifically for poet’s writers and artists. The Apollo Society was founded by Ahmed Zaki Abu Shadi, an Egyptian poet. She was the only female member of the group which was responsible for pioneering modernism in the literary scene of the region.

At the time the group was regarded as the most significant poetry circle not just in Egypt but in the Arabic world.  El Alaily was inspired by those who had founded the group.

Following her move to Cairo, she began contributing to “Apollo”, an Egyptian literary journal and it was during this time that she was inspired by May Ziade, the Arab writer.

She eventually went on to write three volumes of poetry in which she explored the themes of love, longing and eventuality. For over 40 years she also wrote a regular column in a monthly newsletter that was self-published.

The Google doodle depicts the poet writing in front of a large very full bookcase.

World Poetry Day – Travelling Bards Take to the Rails

Today in a celebration of UNESCO’s World Poetry Day, six poets from Suffolk will be taking their verses from the paper and onto the rails.

This group of travelling bards will be journeying from the railway station in Ipswich to Halesworth reciting their poems and hopefully delighting the other rail passengers, along the way.

The journey is expected to start at 1pm, and the group will finish at around 2.30pm at The Cut Arts Centre which is in Halesworth.

The event has been planned by Amy Wragg who works for the East Suffolk Lines community rail partnership. It is her first event in the post, and she is delighted that it is such a unique one. She has worked in the field of poetry for the last ten years and already knew just how many great writers there were in the local area.

The Ipswich branch of the bookstore Waterstones will be holding an open mic night as part of their celebrations for World Poetry Day with local poets and storytellers in attendance.

As the Poet Nears 100

The poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is nearing his 100th birthday, and there are plenty of celebrations being planned. However, there is little chance that he will attend many, or indeed any, of them as he recently claimed in an interview living to 100 isn’t much fun. 

The poet rarely goes out in public anymore and is almost blind. He can no longer read. He could attend, but he would be unable to make a speech as his sight is so limited, so he doesn’t.

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