Virtual Poetry Talk/Poetry Together/Collingwood Laureate – Poetry News Roundup October 23rd

Our final poetry round-up of the week takes a look at a virtual poetry talk, this year’s Poetry Together and the new poet laureate for Collingwood.

Elizabethan Club and Yale Literary Magazine Host Poets

Earlier this week, the Elizabethan Club and Yale Literary Magazine played host to the poets Danez Smith and Fatimah Asghar. During the event, the two poets discussed their experiences and expressed themselves through poetry.

They both gave readings of their individual work and also answered questions that were put to them by the panel of moderators, made up of staff from the magazine and members of the club committee. The event had originally been planned for this spring, when it would have been held with an audience. It was, however, postponed and instead rescheduled for the autumn. It had hoped that it would be able to go ahead as originally planned, but the decision was made to move it online. It was streamed on YouTube.

Asghar, who was the creator of the web series “Brown Girls” is the author of a collection of poetry and a 2017 Emmy nominee. Smith is a performer and writer who has published three poetry collections. The pair are both members of the Dark Noise Collective, a group of six poets that describes itself as

“nationwide, multi-genre and multiracial”.

Asghar and Smith have been collaborators and friends for a long time, even before they both gained recognition for their poetry.

Poetry Together 2020

The event Poetry Together 2020 has been conceived, with the idea of helping children to reach out to residents of local care homes using the power of poetry despite the current restrictions the country is under due to the pandemic.

Poems have a way of making people laugh, reflect, cry and even to feel inspired. There is little doubt that poetry is special, and the organisers are hoping to use the power of poetry to do some good.

Last year, the event was able to bring children into the care home where they and the residents learned poetry by heart, laughed together and even had tea parties. This year the event will look a little different.

Gyles Brandreth, the former MP and author, is finding ways in which he can still make sure that poetry brings joy to everyone as part of the event. This year, he is asking schools and the children to learn their poetry, record it and then share it with the resident of local care homes instead of doing it in person.

Poet Laureate Changeover Ceremony

The town of Collingwood has had its first-ever change over ceremony for the position of poet laureate. The inaugural poet laureate, Day Merrill, will be handing over the position to Claudia Ferraro, who will be in place for the next two years.

The changeover took place during a council meeting on 19th October. Merrill sent an audio message thanking everyone for their support. She also read a poem. Ferraro was present via a zoom link. She said that she was looking forward to bringing her ideas to the town during the next two years.

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