Award for poetry/Shelley Tribute/ Hidden Letters – Poetry News Roundup May 17th

Today’s poetry round up looks at an article about another award for poetry, a campaign for a tribute to Shelley and the Hidden Letters event that will be taking place in Sofia shortly.

Taranaki Poet Wins Third Award

Elizabeth Smither who has an OBE and is a Taranaki poet has been awarded the prestigious Ockham New Zealand Book Award – the third occasion she has done so.

The 50thOckham New Zealand Award winners were announced on Tuesday that has just passed as part of the Auckland Writers Festival, they were the first event to take place. The festival will run until Sunday and more than 2000 of the best writers and thinkers from New Zealand will be taking part in a variety of events.

Smither was awarded the $10,000 prize for her poetry collection “Night Horse”. It is the third time that she has won the award for the poetry category. The poems in the collection were described by the judges as gentle, tender and uplifting but also humorous and well crafted.

Winners were also announced for the Acorn Foundation Prize for Fiction, the Non-Fiction (General) category and the Non-Fiction (Illustrated) Category.

Campaigner Call for Plaque to Remember Romantic Poet

A campaign has been launched in Oxford by a writer whose specialty is Romantic poetry study. John Webster wants to see a new memorial to Percy Bysshe Shelley installed.

There is already a memorial to the poet in the town, at the University College but Webster feels that a tribute that is much more public should be built and he has suggested a nearby bank. The proposed location is near to the bookshop that in 1811 the poet launched his treatise

The poet was only in University college for one year, he was expelled when he refused to lay down his treatise. The memorial which was commissioned by his son”s wife in the later part of the 19thcentre was originally planned for Rome”s Protestant cemetery where the poet is buried. It was too big for that plot, so another location was needed. It was eventually offered to the University College and an offer was made to part fund an enclosure to put it in. It was inaugurated in 1893.

“Hidden Letters” Project

Starting on the evening of 22ndMay, the City of Sofia in Bulgaria will be the location for the “Hidden Letters” project.

“Hidden Letters” is a project that will be embracing poetry, typography and in general the urban environment around the city. The hope is that the project will create new reading places around the city.

From the 22ndto 28thMay there will be a selection of benches, 12 in total, dotted all over the city. Each will be labelled with a letter from the Cyrillic alphabet. There will be a map that shows the location of the benches.

The benches outline a route that takes in some of the most significant and contemporary Bulgarian poets including Mirela Ivanova, Tsocho Boyadjiev, Nadezhda Radulova and Stefan Ivanov. Each bench will contain a poem that is linked to the letter.

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