TS Eliot Prize Shortlist/National Black Poetry Day/JP Clark’s Passing/National Translation Award’s Poem – Poetry News Roundup October 16th

Our final news round-up of the week looks at the shortlist for the TS Eliot Prize, National Black Poetry Day, the death of JP Clark and the poem that has won the National Translation Award.

Unsettling and Captivating Shortlist Unveiled for TS Eliot Prize

The judges for this years £25,000 TS Eliot Prize have unveiled the shortlist of 10 collections of poetry which they describe as being “as urgent as they are artful”.

The TS Eliot prize is a prestigious one, and is considered to be the most valuable prize available in British poetry. This year, they believe that their exceptional shortlist shows just how potent and resilient poetry can be.

The shortlist of just 10 collections was created by the judges from a total of 153 collections. The shortlist includes JO Morgan for “The Martian’s Regress”, Will Harris for “Rendang” his first collection, Natalie Diaz who was selected for “Postcolonial Love Poem” her collection, which has also been shortlisted for the Forward prize, and Sasha Dugdale  for “Deformations”, which looks at Homer’s Odyssey against Eric Gills controversial art work.

All of the books on the shortlist were written before COVID-19 hit the world, but the judges noted that they each have a sense of urgency about them and they commanded their attention completely.

The winner of the TS Eliot prize last year was Roger Robinson. This year the winning poet will be named in January.

J.P Clark-Bekederemo Dies Aged 85

Professor John Pepper Clarke, a writer and poet, passed away on 13th October at the age of 85. He died at home surrounded by his family.

The poet was born in 1935, and studied at Princeton University, the University of Ibadan, and the University of Lagos in Nigeria.

He was a published poet and playwright in his native country, publishing under the names J.P. Clark and John Pepper Clark.

Clark was considered to be one of the four voices of the “pioneer quartet” of contemporary literature in Nigeria, of the four, Clark, Prof. Chinua Achebe and Christopher Okigbo have all died, leaving only Wole Soyinka remaining.

National Black Poetry Day

Tomorrow marks National Black Poetry Day, an annual event that takes a look at the work of Black poets who are no longer with us and those who are. It is also the birth anniversary of Jupiter Hammon, the first Black poet to be published. He was born in 1711.

People are encouraged to look at the works of poets like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Sonia Sanchez, and James Baldwin, alongside the poems of those Black poets who have not yet made their mark in the world of literature.

“Hysteria” Wins US Translation Award

The South Korean poem “Hysteria” penned by Kim Yi-Deum has been awarded this year’s National Translation Award.

The poem was translated from its original Korean into English in a confident translation that the judges felt mimicked the style of the poet very well. It was a join translation effort between Seo So-eun, Jake Levine and Choi Hedgie.

The winners of the award will each get $2500.



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