Poet Inspired Print Exhibition/Mackellar Awards – Poetry News Roundup March 24th

Today in our poetry news round-up we look at the print exhibition inspired by a poet and the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

Gallery Show Inspired by Poet

On Thursday last week, a fortnight-long art exhibition opened in Henley. The work on display was produced by a group made up of 14 different printmakers.

The exhibition, titled “The Poetics of Print” had been put together to celebrate the works and life of John Betjeman, the former poet laureate. Betjeman was friends with John Piper; the artist who produced the British countryside guidebooks for Shell.

In his 1902 Royal Regatta, Betjeman wrote about Henley and its stunning natural beauty. He found it to be a beautiful place and one that he knew very well.

The painter and the poet were good friends and worked together in the post-war period to produce the shell guide which was put together to help new motorists venturing out into the local countryside. The style that they lent to the project was very different from anything that was around at the time and at times rather quirky. The thing that shines through in the work they produced together if their love of architecture, both the English country house and the small village church.

In 1972 Betjeman was made poet laureate. His poetry was both reflective and comical and full of memories of how things had changed from what they used to be. In particular, he reflected on the post-war years and how he had seen changes and expansions in the railway provision around London.

The Poetics of Print is inspired by Betjeman’s poems and includes more than 40 prints of an original nature from the Bodenpress studios.

The preview night that had been planned for the public on the Friday was cancelled due to the coronavirus announcement made by the government, and the exhibition will now not go ahead until further notice.

Biggest Children’s Poetry Competition in Australia

Aspiring young Australian poets from all over the country are being invited to submit entries for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. This is the longest-running children’s poetry competition in Australia.

Andrew Gee, the Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, has stated that the competition represents an opportunity for young people to have their voices heard whilst exploring poetry.

The award is named in memory of Dorothea Mackellar, a renowned bust poet who famously penned My Country; one of the most beloved and quoted poems in Australia.

The competition is open to students from every year group and will offer them a fantastic opportunity to be creative whilst exploring their love of poetry. It will also offer them the chance to win up to $500 in prize money.

Last year the competition received almost 7000 entries. This year, the organisers are hoping the response will be even greater.

The Australian Government has given $160,000 to support the Awards and this year’s theme is “We Used to Live There”. Young people have until 30th June to submit their entries.

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