Atwood Honoured/Burial Poetry – Poetry News Roundup October 28th

We begin the week here on My Poetic Side with a look at another honour for Margaret Atwood. We also take a look at the poet who has created poetry about burial objects for a museum.

Margaret Atwood Honoured by The Queen

Earlier this month, she was named a joint winner of the Booker Prize, and last week the poet and author Margaret Atwood was given a great honour by The Queen. Atwood was awarded an Order of the Companions of Honour for her significant services to literature.

The investiture service took place at Windsor Castle in front of Queen Elizabeth II. This is a prestigious award that has only been given to 62 other people. The award is given to those people who have made outstanding achievements in the fields of politics, the arts or science. Atwood is the third Canadian who has received this honour.

Perhaps best known for The Handmaid’s Tale, which was made into a television series which saw her becoming a household name, Atwood has in fact written over 40 books, everything from essays, to fiction and poetry.

When asked about the investiture Atwood said that she had become a bit “emotional” at being awarded such a rare award. She also remarked on how much The Queen has done in her lifetime and what an inspiration she is. She also remarked that at her age, Atwood is 79, it is more common for someone to start fading into the background but that is certainly not happening for her.

The Testaments, which is the long-awaited sequel for The Handmaid’s Tale was published after a lengthy 34 years and was the novel that won Atwood the Booker Prize for Fiction which she shared with Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, who was the first black woman to have ever won the prize.

A Poets Incite on Ancient Graves

The poet Michael Rosen will be giving a talk at the British Museum during which he will be giving his take on several prehistoric items that were included in burials. These items include the Folkton drums.

Three of the items were buried with a child estimated to be six years old, four of them are gold discs and one is a bronze mirror. These items were buried, and remained lost and forgotten for thousands of years before being dug up.

Now they will be shown to the general public and combined with new poems by Rosen which will celebrate the fantastic nature of these long-forgotten grave finds.

Rosen will be reading the poems aloud on Halloween at the Museum. They are special poems commissioned for the event by the museum and the universities of Manchester and Reading. They form part of a project which is hoping to help people understand the significance of burial objects and just how important they were to the people they were buried with.

The Folkton drums were buried approximately 5000 years ago with the body of a small child in North Yorkshire, The Knowes of Trotty in approximately 2000BC with a woman’s body on Orkney and the Portesha mirror which is intricately decorated in around AD 40-50 in Dorset with the body of an old woman.

Rosen believes that poetry can help to unravel the emotions of these ancient burial object and the symbolic power that they might have held.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.