We begin the week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the plans for Trinity College to add sculptures of women to its Long Room We also have the winner of this years Foyle Young Poet Award.
Trinity College Planning New Sculptures to Honour Women
Trinity College in Dublin is looking to add 30 new sculptures to its Long Room; this time the candidates who they plan to memorialise in the form of marble busts will be women.
It has taken over 200 years, but now the Trinity College provost is looking to add the first women to the collection. Currently, the Long Room in the Old Library is home to the marble busts of 40 men who have been commemorated by the college.
The figures who are commemorated in the Long Room include Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, John Milton, Homer, William Rowan Hamilton and Aristotle. Their most famous bust is of the writer Jonathon Swift.
Nominations are being requested by the library of worthy females who should be immortalised in bust form to sit in the Long Room. Just like the men commemorated in the room, they do not need to be Irish or have any connection to Trinity. The only requirement is that they are a scholar who is deceased.
There are of course several worthy Irish contenders who they might consider for such an honour:
The patron saint of Ireland Brigid of Kildare was also the goddess of poetry, smithwork and healing in Celtic mythology. She was also responsible for freeing trafficked women and also securing women’s rights to property.
There is also Thekla Beere, the first woman in Ireland to lead a government department, the first female aviation engineer in the world Lilian Bland and a whole wealth of novelists and poets who were Irish.
Poetry is already well represented by the busts in honour of men. With such a wealth of Irish writers, it is hoped that this representation will also be carried on with the new faces that are chosen for the college.
Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award
A 17-year old from Hailsham, East Sussex has been announced as the winner of this years Foyle Young Poet.
Libby Russell has won what is considered to be the “largest poetry competition in the world.” There are over 11,000 poems entered in the competition this year from a total of 6000 entrants. The competition is open to young poets aged 11-17 and the previous winners include the likes of Ellie Kendrick, who starred in Game of Thrones and went on to become a winner of the TS Eliot Prize.
Young poets from all over the world are invited to enter the competition and this year the competition organisers received entries from Mexico, Vietnam, Japan and Romania amongst others.
The winners received their prizes on 2nd October during a ceremony which took place at the Royal Festival Hall in London. This year’s guest judges were Jackie Kay, the Scots Makar, and Raymond Antrobus the poet who won the Ted Hughes poetry prize earlier this year.