Folio Prize/Descendent’s Poetry Collection Search – Poetry News Roundup March 29th

Today’s poetry news round-up takes a look at the 2023 winners of the Rathbone Folio Prize and the search for a special poetry collection as part of a family genealogy project.

Rathbone Folio Prize Winner Announced

Margo Jefferson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and critic; Michelle de Kretser, the novelist; and Victoria Adukwei Bulley, the poet, have all been named as winners of the Rathbone Folio Prize. This year marks the inauguration of the new prize structure for which Jefferson has been named as the overall winner.

This year, the prize has been awarded to winners in just three categories, Poetry, Fiction and non-fiction. From the three category winners, the judges picked one winner to be the Book of the Year winner. There is a prize of £2000 in each category, with the Book of the Year winner taking home £30,000.

The prize-giving ceremony took place in London on 27th March.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley, who has been described as the Rising star of British poetry, won the poetry category with “Quiet”, her debut collection.

The Rathbone Folio Prize is considered to be rather a unique one. It is judged solely by other writers. The Longlist was created by the 300+ writers who make up the Folio Academy. The shortlist was selected from this by the panel of three judges.

This year marks the end of Rathbone’s seven-year tenure of the prize, and it has been announced that conversations are going on to find a new sponsor for the prize. The Folio Prize was launched 10 years ago and has really taken off in that time. Rathbones began sponsoring the prize in 2017 with an initial commitment that was supposed to last just 3 years. This was extended by a further 3 years, and then a final year was added.

African American Poet’s Descendants Find Their Roots in the Special Collection at LSU Libraries

Two cousins from Maryland have spent the last 50 years looking for the long-lost publications of their grandfather in order to complete a family genealogical project. They have finally found what they were looking for just 1000 miles from their home.

A signed first edition of their Grandfather’s “Gems of the Soul: A Book of Verse and Poetic Prose”, which was published in 1938, has been found in the LSU Libraries Special Collections. The book by Harry Wilson Patterson was acquired by the collection as part of the acquisition of the Wyatt Day Collection of Poetry by African Americans. The collection was purchased in 2022 and features over 800 works that date back as far as the 18th century. Some of the more prominent books in the full collection include titles by Gwendolyn Brooks , the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, a typed manuscript of music cues for “Ask Your Mama,” the 12-part poem by Langston Hughes and a first edition of “Majors and Minors” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The collection also included a copy of the broadside of the poem “Sleep On!” which won Patterson a citation from the Navy Department.

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