RSL Anniversary/Charity Poetry Book For Sale – Poetry News Roundup November 30th

We begin another week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the 200th anniversary of the RSL and a poetry book that has been written for charity.

New Initiatives for RSL See Appointment of 60 Fellows

The Royal Society of Literature has recently announced RSL 200. This is to be a five-year festival that will be launched in conjunction with a number of new initiatives. They will also be making 60 new appointments and promoting the diversity that exists amongst writers in the UK. The announcement was made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the society.

The RSL collection of Roll Book signing has also had two new pens added, one is the first pen for a writer of colour.

In their announcement, the RSL confirmed that over the course of the next two years they are planning to elect 60 new fellows. These individuals will come from a range of different backgrounds and communities and will represent some of those groups who are prominent at the society, including LGBTQ+ writers, writers of colour, writers who are not based in London and those who are from different socio-economic backgrounds.

Writers from all over the UK will be asked to nominate those people they feel should become fellows, and the nominations will be looked at by a panel of some of the most prolific writers in the UK, including the newly appointed Vice-President of RSL, Bernardine Evaristo and the poet Daljit Nagra who has just been appointed the RSL chair.

The newly appointed fellows will be responsible for leading initiatives, judging prizes and outreach programmes.

The RSL has also, in honour of their 200th anniversary, unveiled a revision to the Benson Medal. The medal was founded in 1916 by A.C. Benson and is awarded for services to literature during a person’s entire career. The award list the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, Diana Athill and Philip Larkin amongst its previous recipients.

Charity Poetry Book Released for Christmas

Poet in Lockdown, a book written by Ian McMillan, the man with the honorary title of Bard of Barnsley, has been released just in time for Christmas.

The book, which has 60 pages and looks at what the poet describes as the highs, and lows, of 2020 features plenty of humour. With a look at lockdown haircuts and the issues of social distancing, summed up with lines like “AFOOR yer start. Mek sure yer all an ironing board apart!”, the book has been put together to help raise money for charity.

Poet in Lockdown is only available as a limited edition and is being sold to raise money for the Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust.

McMillan is a trustee for the museum board and was delighted to be approached to create the book. He had already penned a number of poems during the pandemic when they approached him, but he called on members of the public to join him in recounting their memories of the pandemic and the things that had changed around them

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