Memorial Stone/Magazine’s 100th Anniversary/Ghanian Poet Passes Away – Poetry News Roundup September 13th

Today in our poetry news roundup we take a look at a memorial stone planned for a Scottish poet, the 100thissue of a literary magazine and the death of one of Ghana’s foremost poets.

Borders Poet Memorial Stone Plans

A tribute to William H. Ogilvie, the Borders poet is being planned by the Ex-Kelso Laddies Club.

They are hoping to mark the occasion of the 150thanniversary of the poet’s birth by erecting a memorial stone. They hope to place the stone at Holefield, which is near Kelso where the poet was born.

When he was a young man Ogilvie found some fame in Australia where he was a prominent “bush poet” – he had travelled there to work on sheep farms – before eventually returning and settling in the Scottish Borders near to Ashkirk.

It was here that he continued with his poetry and penned “The Land We Love” a verse which took the form of a love letter to the Borders, he also wrote “Ettrick” which is still sung on the occasion of the Selkirk common riding.

The planned memorial will also include information boards about Ogilvie. With a total expected cost of £12,650 the fundraising has already begun with £1000 raised by the club and a further £2000 secured as a grant. The club are looking for the Kelso common good fund to

The councillors were due to meet yesterday to discuss the application for funds.

100thIssue of Boulevard

The literary magazine, which is produced in St. Louis will be celebrating its 100thedition this week.

It has been almost 35 years since the magazine which publishes works of non-fiction, fiction and poetry began. The 100thedition will be no exception to their previous publishing ideals and will feature a fantastic mix of thoroughly contemporary entries penned by a wide range of writers.

In advance of the release of the 100thedition the editor in chief of the magazine, together with two writers who have contributed over the years will be taking part in a local radio show.

Carl Phillips, who is referred to by many as one of the most influential, and original producers of lyric poetry and Joyce Carol Oates who is an acclaimed essayist and poet will both be taking part in the interview. Two poems by Phillips will also appear in the 100thedition.

State Burial for Professor Atukwei Okai

A former Secretary-General of the Pan African Writer’s Association, Professor Atukwei Okai is to be given a state funeral on Friday this week. He passed away at the age of 77

The professor was a renowned cultural activist, academic and Ghanaian poet, his early works were published under the name John Okai. He is acknowledged by many to have been one of the very first true performance poets to have emerged from an African country.

In 1975 he appeared at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London at Poetry International. He shared a stage with Stanley Kunitz and Robert Lowell the US poets and Cuban poet Nicholas Guillen.

He is survived by his wife and 5 daughters.

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