Darwish Tribute/Scafell Pike’s Wordsworth/ACU Poetry Prize – Poetry News Roundup September 11th

Today in our poetry roundup we take a look at a tribute to the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, we also look at the Wordsworth who climbed Scafell Pike and finally this years winner of the ACU poetry prize.

Tribute to Mahmoud Darwish

The Festival Arabesques is now in its thirteenth year, it is the first festival of its kind to take place within Europe and looks at the arts, music, storytelling, spoken word and shows the Arab world to its European audience.

This is an 11-day festival that will begin tomorrow and run until 23rdSeptember in the Southern French city of Montpellier. The festival is historically held earlier in the year, May or June time, however this year this clashed with the holy month of Ramadan and so a decision was made to reschedule it.

Over the years the festival has attracted a number of top performers in their fields, this year is no different with Algerian folk singer Souad Massi and Palestinian group Le Trio Joubran. This year the festival will be closing with a special concert in tribute to Mahmoud Darwish, the late Palestinian poet on the occasion of the 10thanniversary of his death.

This Girl Did

A new exhibition is to open at Dove Cottage in Grasmere that will run until Christmas. “This Girl Did” is a celebration of the achievements of women and will coincide with the centenary of votes for women.

Dove cottage was the home of the poet William Wordsworth, his wife and Dorothy Wordsworth, his sister.  Both the Wordsworth siblings were keen enthusiasts of walking and in particular climbing some of the breath-taking peaks of the Lake District at a time when such a pastime didn’t really exist, and the only people found on the fells were the farmers and shepherds.

In October 1818 Dorothy Wordsworth and her friend ascended Scafell Pike. Dorothy wrote an account of their climb – it is the earliest such account ever to be written by a woman. This account was later to be included in “Guide through the District of the Lakes” written by her brother. No attribution was made, and it was assumed that it was William who had scaled Scafell Pike. As part of the exhibition, the truth is now being told with the rightful place in history being given to Dorothy Wordsworth who at the age of 46 ascended Scafell Pike – a feat of defiance and something completely unheard of in its day.

2018 ACU Poetry Prize

Annie Hunter the Castlemaine based poet has been announced as the winner of the Australian Catholic University Prize for 2018. The winning poem is “Athene noctua” and wins her a prize of $10,000.

The poem tells of the lament for a dead mother and discusses the rebellions that took place in the poet’s own childhood.

There were two runners-up in the competition and a number of entrants received prizes for “points of recognition”. In total 540 poems were received for consideration for the prize this year.

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