Concrete poetry/Memorial Request/Foyle Award – Poetry News Roundup October 15th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at a new exhibition dedicated to concrete poetry. We also look at a request for a monument for a poet and one of the winners of this year’s Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award.

New Meaning Brought to Poetry and Visual Art By “Sackner Archive”

The main library gallery at the University of Iowa has just unveiled its latest exhibit. The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry is a collection containing over 75,000 works of art. The exhibit showcases a number of pieces that offer a new and interesting view of poetry and looks at the link between visual art and literature.

The collection was created by Marvin and Ruth Sackner, who began accumulating items in 1979. The pair are now deceased; however, their work will be immortalised in the archive and is a selection of both literary and artistic works hung on walls and shown in glass cases.

The archive was originally founded in Florida. However, over the years, it has been housed in a number of different locations before in 2019 it finally found its way to its permanent home at the University of Iowa.

The exhibition was unveiled in August, with just a small sample of around 70 selected poems taken from the full collection. The idea is that the works on display will help the public and students to learn about concrete poetry – this is a style of poetry where the meaning of the poem is conveyed in either a visual manner or through patterns. They will also be able to learn about the history of the style. The exhibition is only available to visit by appointment at the moment; however, some of the pieces can also be seen in the online gallery.

Request Made for Monument to Poet-Civil Rights Leader

The town of Wiscasset has made a request to have a monument erected in the memory of James Weldon Johnson. Johnson, who was killed in a train crash in 1938 was a Black poet-civil rights activist.

Jacksonville, the poet’s home city are planning to erect a monument and name a park, that will open in 2022, after Johnson. The town feel that it would be an appropriate move to also mark the place of his death with a monument as well

In 2013 there was also a request, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Johnson’s death, to erect some form of marker, but this never went ahead.

Foyle Young Poet of the Year

The winner of this year’s Foyle Young Poet of the Year award, a worldwide poetry competition, has been named as Anna Gilmore Heezen, a 17-year-old Scottish teenager.

Her poem, which is written in the style of a supermarket receipt is called total and looks at the subject of the stress young people encounter over their exams. She wrote it in the week before the exam results were due to be published and attributed each line of the poem a price to equate to the emotional stress that she was under.

The award ceremony this year will take place virtually due to the pandemic.

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