Booker Prize Winners/Du Bois Medal/Iqbal Lecture – Poetry News Roundup October 15th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the joint winners of this year’s Booker Prize. We also have the recipients of this years E.E.B. Du Bois medal and the 1000th lecture in the Allam Iqbal series.

The Booker Prize 2019

The winner of this year’s booker prize was announced last night, and in a completely shocking decision which saw the judges breaking their own rules, two joint winners were announced.

The Booker Prize not only carries literary acclaim for the winner which traditionally leads to a boost in sales but also a cash prize of £50,000.

Margaret Attwood, the poet and author of The Handmaids Tale was named as one of the winners; at the age of 79, she is, in fact, the oldest ever winner of the Booker Prize. In 2000 she won the prize with her work “The Blind Assassin”.

Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, Attwood has been writing since the 1970s when her career began with a number of poetry collections. It wasn’t until the mid-1980’s that she really hit the public eye with The Handmaids Tale, a previous Booker nomination.

The second winner of this year’s prize is the British author Bernardine Evaristo who in addition to writing novels has also produced poetry, literary criticism and verse fiction. Evaristo is of Anglo-Nigerian descent and writes predominately about the lives of modern British women from the African point of view.

Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal

FILE – In this Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Queen Latifah arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Musical artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture. Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

On 22nd October Harvard University will be awarding the W.E.B Du Bois medals for this year. The award is given to those who have made significant contributions to black culture and history. The award ceremony will take place at the Hutchins Center at the University which is dedicated to African American Research.

This year there will be 7 recipients of the award including; Elizabeth Alexander a poet and educator, Queen Latifah, the poet Rita Dove and Sheila Johnson the cofounder of Black Entertainment Television.

Du Bois was a writer, editor and a pioneer of civil rights, who in 1895 was the first black student to earn a Harvard doctorate.

“Iqbal” Lectures Seek Guinness Record

In 1997 Gulam Yazdani, a senior High Court advocate established a lecture series about the poet Allama Iqbal. The series has now totalled 1000.

Now Yazdani is seeking a distinction in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest lecture series. Titled “Iqbal Shinasi” the lecture series began in October 1997 with lectures being held every week.

Allam Iqbal is considered by many to be one of the greatest Urdu speaking poets of all time., and Yazdani believes that for this reason, it is very important that recognition of the record should be pursued.

The 1000th lecture was attended by noted poets, writers, academics and eminent literary personalities from all over the country.

To mark the occasion a number of literary research papers on the poet were also presented. There were also a number of experts on hand to offer insights into the poet and his work.

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