We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with a look at the poets who have been shortlisted for this years Forward Poetry Prize. We also have a short article about a play commemorating the life of a World War II poet and finally we take a quick look at the National Poet of Nepal who is to be flown to India for treatment.
2018 Forward Prize Shortlist Announced
The shortlist for this year’s Forward Prize has been announced. The award which is often referred to as the “Poetry Oscars” has been running since 1992 when it was founded by William Sieghart. The frontrunners on this year’s shortlist include Vahni Capiledeo, Danez Smith and Abigail Parry.
In 2016 Capildeo won the prize for Best Collection, this year she is in the running for the same award which has a prize of £10,000 with “Venus is a Bear” a collection of poetry that is inspired by her trips to Iceland and Puerto Rico and her visits to the Ashmolean museum. Danez Smith the American performance poet and Tracy K Smith the US Poet Laureate are also in the running for what is the main prize.
Speaking for the judging panel, BBC Broadcaster Bidisha, the panels chair, said that this year’s shortlist represented an art form that is in roaring health, with collections of poetry that were full of possibility, raw emotion and showed great craft.
The shortlist includes entries for the best collection, best first collection and best individual poem.
The 15 shortlisted poets will have to wait until 18th September when the winners will be announced at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
War Poet Remembered in New Play
23rd May saw the opening of a new play to commemorate the war poet Keith Douglas. The play which opened at the Swan theatre in Hay-on-Wye is the work of Resistance author Owen Sheers.
Unicorns. Almost is a one-man show depicting the life and works of Keith Douglas, a World War II poet. The audience are treated to a walk through the life of the poet interspersed with his poems along the way.
The play will run until 7th June.
National Poet of Nepal Flown to India For Treatment
Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Nepal’s national Poet who is 99 has been flown to India for further hospital treatment following a deterioration in his health. The poet had been undergoing treatment in Nepal’s Grande International hospital for the last 12 days for high blood pressure and chronic gastritis. In the last three months he has also been suffering with heart, kidney and liver-related issues.
The decision to move the poet was made following a visit from the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who announced that the government of Nepal would foot the bill for any treatment the poet required including sending him abroad for better treatment if it was deeded medically necessary. The poet who hold the honorary rank of Brig Gen in the Nepalese army was also visited by the Chief of the Army in hospital.