Dylan Thomas Award/Reina Sofia/Pedal Library – Poetry News Roundup May 14th

We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with articles about the International Dylan Thomas Award winner 2018, the Reina Sofia Prize for Poetry and a pedal-powered poetry lending library.

Winner of This Year’s International Dylan Thomas Award Announced

Kayo Chingonyi the 31-year-old Zambian born British poet is the winner of this year’s International Dylan Thomas Award. Not only is he the first British poet to ever win the award he is also only the second poet in the history of the award to win.

The award which carries a £30,000 prize is a celebration of the best English language literary work that has been published by an author aged 39 or under. Chingonyi won for Kumakanda his debut poetry collection. The book explores the rites of passage that all boys go through on their journey to become men.

The other contenders for the prize included several novels and a book of short stories a number of which were also debut publications.

This year marks the 10thanniversary of the award; it is also the 65thanniversary of the death of Dylan Thomas.

Reina Sofia Prize for Poetry Won by Venezuelan Poet

Friday saw Rafael Cadenas, named as the winner of this years Reina Sofia (Queen Sofia) Prize for Iberian-American poetry.

Considered to be the most prestigious award the Reina Sofia Prize, which is now in its 27thyear, is awarded for poetry that is written in either Spanish or Portuguese. The winner not only receives a prize of €42,100, around $50,238 but an anthology of their work is also published.

Cadenas who is also an essayist, university professor and translator is considered by many to be one of the most influential poets of his generation. Born in 1930, his first poetry was published in 1946, during the last 20 years he has won a number of awards including the García Lorca Prize in 2015. He is the first Venezuelan to have been awarded the Reina Sofia prize.

Cadena succeeds from last years winner Claribel Alegria the Nicaraguan writer who sadly passed away in January of this year.

First Year Anniversary for Pedal-Powered Poetry Library

It has been a year since the pedal-powered lending library began spreading a love of literature and poetry throughout Oxford.

Run by volunteers the collection of books is transported around the city in a trusty custom-built cargo bike. It visits the weekly farmers market, fairs, festivals and a many other community run events.

The library was put together following the success of a similar scheme in Edinburgh. They have a collection of around 650 books of all different genres. Becoming a member of the library is free and readers can request, borrow and reserve books as they would with a standard library. Books are returned by visiting the library at one of its stops of by dropping them in the returns box.

The 12 months of lending was celebrated this weekend with an open mic session and poetry-themed games.

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