Dantedi/ Blue Plaque Unveiled/ Underwriter in Residence – Poetry News Roundup March 25th

Today on My Poetic Side we mark “Dantedi” with a look at some of the events taking place all over Italy. We also have a blue plaque unveiling and the first “(under)writer in residence”.


Today is the day that Italians celebrate all things Dante, with Dantedi. This national day is a relatively new addition to the literary calendar in Italy; it was inaugurated in 2020. The idea of a special day to celebrate the poet Dante Alighieri was suggested by Paolo Di Stefano, a journalist and writer and the formal decision to create the day was made on 17th January 2020. The 25th of March was chosen because it is the day that traditionally is used to mark the beginning of the poet’s 1300 journey through Hell. The day offers a chance for those around the country to celebrate the life and work of the poet through performances, readings and discussions.

There will be events taking place all over the country and in particular in those cities associated with Dante. In Florence, the “city of Dante” there will be a late afternoon lecture on the language of the Comedy which will include a reading of Una Lettura per Dante.

The Caves of Castellana will play host to an immersive show “Hell in the quarries” which will be held at 65 meters deep and will be inspired by Inferno with narratives, aerial dances and an evocative music and light show. Rome will be hosting a special event that will be in place until 28th April. This will take the form of an AI-created exhibition, which will look at Dante’s journey and also that of the poet Virgil through a range of images.

Tribute Plaque to John Clare Unveiled

In 1820, The Crown in Great Casterton played host to the poet John Clare and his new bride on the occasion of their wedding. Now a blue plaque has been unveiled at the location to commemorate the poet who is widely thought of as one of the greatest of the English poets.

The poet lived for the first 40 years of his life in the nearby village of Helpston and met his wife in the village of Great Casterton.

The plaque has been placed on the wall of the pub to commemorate the poet’s visit to the area. The landlord of the pub is delighted that its history has been marked in this way.

Poet Becomes First “(under)writer in residence”

Hiscox has announced a partnership with the punk poet John Cooper-Clarke, which will see him take up the position of “(under)writer in residence. The move is part of a new advertising campaign for Hiscox. As part of the role, Cooper-Clarke has composed a series of five poems; all of which have been inspired by some of the “most colourful claims” that the company have had. These include a thieving poltergeist, camera equipment stolen by baboons and a farmer who claimed for the loss of semen from his prize bull.


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