Rahtbones Prize Changes/ Japanese Manuscript Found/New Poetry Book Released – Poetry News Roundup 10th October

Today in our poetry news round-up we take a look at the details for this years Rathbone Folio Prize, a rare Japanese manuscript that has been found and the release of a new poetry book.

Rathbones Folio Prize Schedule Changes

The organisers of Rathbones’ Folio Prize have announced that the winner and shortlist schedule for 2020 will be brought forward and will now be a few months earlier than it has been in other years.

25th February is the date that has been set aside for announcing the shortlist whilst the winner of the prize should now be revealed on 23rd March. The Women’s award will be announced a week later – 31st March. The winner of the Booker Prize (international) will now be announced in May.

The judges for 2020 will be the novelist Nikita Lalwani, Paul Farley the writer of non-fiction and poet, and the winner of the Young Writer of the Year award from the Sunday Times.

Last years winner Raymond Antrobus, who was also awarded the Ted Hughes Poetry Award, was the first poet to win the prize. He was awarded the increased prize of £30,000 for his debut collection “The Perseverance (Penned in the Margins).

Oldest “Tale of Genji” Copy Found in Tokyo

Experts in Tokyo, Japan have confirmed that a manuscript that was found in February at the family home of the 72-year-old head of the Okochi family is, in fact, the fifth chapter of “Genji Monogatari” the oldest manuscript of what is the Japanese classic novel.

The manuscript which is of “Wakamurasaki” has been confirmed as the translation of poet Fujiwara no Teika who loved from 1162 to 1241. This particular chapter contains one of the most important parts of the story.

The document measures almost 22cm by 14cm and has been stored in a large chest. Documentation shows that it has been in the possession of the Okochi family since 1743.

The four other existing chapters of the manuscript are all registered as items of national important cultural significance, this fifth chapter will now join them.

Scholars who specialise in the literature of the period are ecstatic about the find and are hoping to be able to study it in greater detail very soon.

Ring of Bone

Had he still been alive, the poet Lew Welch would have celebrated his 93rd birthday over the summer. Welch was one of the Beats poets alongside Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg and Michael McClure his fellow Reed College graduates.

Welch was something of a misfit, he worked in advertising copy whilst penning his own poetry. In May 1971 he wrote a suicide note and took a gun for a walk. His body was never found, and he hasn’t been seen since.

Now his name is once again at the forefront of the literary world with the publication of a collection of his poems, drawings and songs under the title “Ring of Bone”. The book contains a short foreword by Gary Snyder, and has something for everyone. It is a complete and diverse collection of the poet’s work.

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