Today in our poetry news roundup, we take a look at the American School which will no longer be named after a poet, the winners of this year’s Premier League poetry competition and the poet’s house that has become a rather special museum.
Austin School to be Renamed
In the next step to remove any monuments to figures associated with the Confederate side of the civil war, a school board in Austin, Texas has voted to rename the Sidney Lanier High School.
During the Civil War, Lanier was a renowned musician and poet. Unfortunately, he served on the Southern side. The school will now be renamed the Juan Navarro High School in honour of a local veteran who lost his life in 2012 during the War on Terror.
This makes the school the latest in a list of 3 other schools and establishments in the area to receive a change of name. This is a part of a project to remove the names of those who were involved in the Confederacy and replac them with names of local people past or present.
According to an informal poll that was carried out by a local newspaper the name changes were, in fact, opposed by most local residents.
The House State Affairs committee has been asked to look at a bill to preserve historical monuments, but this has so far not been actioned.
Poetry Competition Won by Nine-Year-Old
A nine-year-old girl from Ipswich has been named as the winner in the Premier League poetry competition. The winning poem was picked by the footballer Rio Ferdinand, Olly Murs, Lauren Child, the children’s laureate and Joseph Coelho, the poet.
Over 25,000 children ranging in age from 5-11 entered the competition, which was run by the Premier League Writing Stars. The theme this year was diversity, and Evie Haynes was the winner in the East of England.
The judges felt that Evie’s poem had a beautiful use of rhyme and a clear structure that was impressive from one so young.
The judges also picked a poem, again on the topic of diversity, that had been written by a class of five-year-olds as another of the winners. The pupils from a Catholic Primary School in Liverpool wrote a poet called “Being Different”.
Kenyan Poets House Made into Museum
The Kenyan poet Khadambi Asalache, who passed away in 2006 settled in London in 1981. He purchased a run-down property on Wandsworth Road and began to renovate it into something rather special.
In 2013 the house became the newest museum in London when it was officially opened to the public. The items inside were just as the poet had left them. On the poet’s death, the property had been left to the National Trust. They felt that it was so deserving that they decided to turn it into a museum which can be looked around only with pre-bookable guided tours.
Visitors to the property are required to bring a pair of slippers or socks with them to walk on the handpainted floors. In addition, the number of visitors to the property is limited to 200 per year, and only 6 per visit – this is due to the delicate nature of many of the objects in the house.