Dove Cottage Goes Digital/Montreal Prize Winner – Poetry News Roundup September 23rd

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the annual Dove Cottage poetry event and the winner of this year’s Montreal International Poetry Prize

Dove Cottage Goes Digital

Dove Cottage, the former home of the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy is going digital for the first time. On 1st October, in honour of National Poetry Day, the cottage will be playing host to a virtual poetry event with Simon Armitage the poet laureate.

The cottage reopened earlier this year following a complete restoration, which saw the inside of the cottage being refurbished as an authentic re-interpretation of what it might have been like when the poet lived there. This year marks the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth and The Wordsworth Trust who run the cottage had a number of very special events planned that had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

The readings by Simon Armitage will be a combination of his favourite poems by Wordsworth and also a selection of his own poetry. The event will be live-streamed from Dove Cottage in their first-ever digital event. This is a ticketed reading. Those who are interested in listening will need to purchase tickets in advance.

The annual reading by Simon Armitage is the Wordsworth Trust’s most popular event that takes place every year and they are very excited that this year despite all the restrictions that are in place they will be able to go ahead, just digitally. The event will not only offer people the opportunity to listen to the poems of two poet laureates at the same time but also to take a look around the newly refurbished cottage.

Montreal International Poetry Prize Winner Announced

The winner of the 2020 Montreal International Poetry Prize has been named as Victoria Korth, a practising psychiatrist and poet from Rochester New York.

Korth was awarded the prize of $20,000 for her poem Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center, which is described as “a meditation on the intersection of humanity and medical practise”. Korth has worked in a professional capacity a the centre and also spent time there when she was younger as the daughter of a patient.

The poem as chosen by an international panel of poets from a shortlist of 55. There were over 4600 entries for the prize this year from 107 different countries. The judging panel each pick 5 poems for the shortlist, not knowing who they are written by. The winner is then selected by the panel chief.

This is a biennial competition and was founded by the Montreal poet Asa Boxer in 2010, it’s now managed by the English department of McGill University.

The anonymity of the entries for the competition is one thing that sets it apart from other competition however their unusual fee structure is the other. Worldwide entrants to the competition are allowed to cover the cost of entry fees for other poets though anonymous online donations. This has meant that over 100 poets assisted their fellow entrants this year.

The winning poems will be published in an anthology later this year.

The competition will next be open for entries in January 2020.

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