Wordsworth Exhibition/Moth Poetry Prize/Oxfam PEN Award – Poetry News Roundup March 7th

Today, we take a brief look at the new exhibition opening at Wordsworth House and Gardens. We also bring you information about this year’s Moth Poetry Prize Shortlist and the Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Dareen Tatour.

This Land is Our Land

This weekend will see the launch of a new exhibition at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth. To mark the occasion, local residents will be offered the chance to visit free of charge.

The exhibition will offer people the chance to see a rather unique collection of artefacts some of which have been found locally and others which were owned by the poet William Wordsworth, such as a pair of his ice skates.

The exhibition looks at the multiple and all too often contradictory voices and every changing aspects of the landscape we live in.

Wordsworth House, which is owned by the National Trust and has been a designated World Heritage Site since 2017, is the birthplace of the poet. Cumbrian residents will be able to visit free of charge on both 9th and 10th March.

Wordsworth’s ice skates are on loan from the Wordsworth Trust which is in Grasmere, there are also several important natural history exhibits on loan from Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

One item that might be of interest to visitors is a set of stone chisels which are 5000 years old and where discovered just last year in Langdale at Copt Howe. There is also a shadow box which commemorates the destruction of Mardale village when the Haweswater reservoir was created. 

Moth Poetry Prize Shortlist Released

The shortlist for this year’s €10,000 Moth Poetry Prize is now released. This is one of the most well-respected and coveted poetry prizes for one single poem that is unpublished. Over 25% of the poems that are received for the prize come from other countries, and that fact is especially reflected in the shortlist this year, which has been selected by Jacob Polley, the poet, who is a previous winner of the TS Eliot award.

The four poems that have made the shortlist will be published in the most recent issue of The Moth; two of them are from poets in the US, one from a Canadian poet and the final one a poet in Australia. Jude Nutter, one of the US poets on the shortlist, was also shortlisted in 2015.

The shortlisted poets will have to wait until 2nd May to see who the judges have chosen as the winner. The announcement will be made as part of the Poetry Day Ireland celebrations at a special awards ceremony.

Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression

Just four months after her release from prison in Israel, the Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour has been presented with the Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression at the Hague.

The prize has been running since 2001.

Tatour was kept under house arrest for 3 years before being sentenced to five months in jail, on the charge of “incitement to violence”.

Tatour was delighted to receive the award, she feels that while much of her inspiration comes from female poets, she is particularly inspired by the work of Mahmoud Darwish.

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