Lemn Sissay Honoured/Cavafy’s Home Restoration/Beckett Festival Anniversary – Poetry News Roundup May 4th

Today on My Poetic Side we look on the poet who has been honoured by the Royal Geographical Society, the Museum that is to be restored, and the 2022 Beckett Festival.

Lemn Sissay OBE, Honoured by Royal Geographical Society

The writer, poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, who is also Chancellor of the University of Manchester, has been awarded the Ness Award by the Royal Geographical Society.

The prestigious award has been given to Sissay in recognition of
The award will be presented during a special ceremony which will take place on 6th June and will be hosted by the president of the Society, Nigel Clifford. This year the awards being given by the Society have recognised the work of a total of 23 different organisations and people.

C.P. Cavafy’s Alexandria Home to be Restored

The Cavafy Museum which is located in Alexandria is to go a programme of restoration that will be funded by the Onassis Foundation in cooperation with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

The announcement was made on the 29th of April, the date of the poet”s birth and also his death. The date marked 89 years since the death of the poet and 159 since his birth.

The museum is known to locals as “Cavafy’s House” and it is situated in the apparent where the poet spent the last 35 years of his life. The museum was inaugurated in 1992 and has been maintained since then by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Alexandria. The street where it is found was renamed in honour of the poet.

10 years ago The Onassis Foundation acquired the archives of the poet, and these have now been digitalised in order to make them much more accessible. There are over 2000 items in the archive. The Foundation also unveiled plans to hopefully inaugurate a museum to the poet in Athens as well. It is there that they hope to create a more personal archive to the poet including furniture and personal belongings.

10th Anniversary of the Beckett Festival

The Beckett Festival, named after the poet Samuel Beckett, will be returning to Enniskillen this year. Following an absence of 2 years because of Covid 19 the festival will be markings its 10th anniversary. This year also marks a special event in the life of the poet and his connection with Enniskillen, as it also marks 100 years since the poet attended the Portora Royal School.

The event will take place over a number of days and will include a wide range of music including a rendition of Schubert’s Winterreise which was a particular favourite with the poet. There will also be some more modern music as well.

Plays by Beckett, including “Ohio Impromptu” and “Waiting for Godot”! will also be performed over the course of the weekend. The sculptor who created “Angel of the North” has been commissioned to create a special tree for the occasion which will form part of the “Walking for Waiting for Godot” exhibit – which will see the audience take a bus trip and then walk around the hills to see a surprise performance.

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