In today’s poetry new round-up we look at World Poetry Day and the plans for National Poetry Month in America.
Poet Laureate Celebrates World Poetry Day
Simon Armitage, the UK poet laureate has celebrated World Poetry Day 2023 with the release of a poem inspired by the humble plum tree. The poem was commissioned by the National Trust as part of their blossom campaign.
The poem which is titled “Plum Tree Among the Skyscrapers” is the first of the National Trust commissioned series, all of which will be inspired by blossom. The publication of the poem not only marks World Poetry Day but also the start of their annual blossom campaign. This is a scheme that they hope will help to bring blossom back to the UK landscape through the planting of 20million trees by 2030, a move which they hope will tackle both the nature and climate crises.
The collection will be made up of poetry, music and other creative works and will be completed by Armitage and communities of creative individuals across Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
The National Trust plan to plant several orchards on a number of sites in Devon, East Sussex and County Antrim and several blossom gardens in some of the bigger UK cities.
Scotland Mark World Poetry Day by Naming Their Favourite Scots Language Poems
The website VisitScotland have revealed the results of their research to find the nations favourite poem in the Scots language to mark World Poetry Day 2023.
1000 adults in Scotland were asked to name their favourite Scots poem and the results have unsurprisingly place Robert Burns at the top of the list. “To a Mouse” which Burns wrote in 1785 received 22% of the votes. Burns penned 7 of the top 10 poems with A Red, Red Rose, Tam O’Shanter and Address to the Haggis coming in in the top 5.
Walter Wingate came 6th on the list with The Sair Finger, Billy Keys 7th with A Dug, A Dug and the final poet on the list was J.K. Annand with The Crocodile in 10th place.
This annual event has been held every year since its inception in 1999 when it was first declared by UNESCO. The idea is to look at linguistic diversity and offer an opportunity for endangered languages to be heard. The research carried out by VisitScotland also looked at the Scots language which is believed to be spoken by 1.5 million individuals, although it has not been standardised.
Robert Pinsky Hosted by Montclair Library for National Poetry Month
Three times US poet laureate Robert Pinsky will be visiting the Montclair Public Library to kick of National Poetry Month on 1st April.
Pinsky will be discussing “Jersey Breaks” his new memoir with Brenda Shaughnessy, a fellow poet as part of Open Book / Open Mind. The event will feature a question and answer session and a book signing.
As the only poet laureate to have served three terms, Pinsky is not only known worldwide but is also a winner of a number of prizes. These include the William Carlos Williams Prize, A Harold Washington Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize.