Swenson House Construction Begins/Poet Helps Fundraiser/WW1 Poetry Competition for Kids – Poetry News Roundup September 26th

Today”s poetry news round up takes a look at a University house that is being built to honour a former alum, the poet giving his time to a fundraiser and a First World War themed poetry competition for school children.

Work on House Honouring Poet Begins

CHaSS, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, which is based at the State University in Utah, began work yesterday on what will be called Swenson House. The ground breaking was the fist step in the work to create a house dedicated to May Swenson, an alum of the University.

Swenson house has been designed to look like the poet’s childhood home. Construction work will begin in the spring and a café, reading nooks and a conference room are amongst the facilities that are planned as part of the work.

The University also runs an annual Swenson Legacy Poetry contest and this year’s winner was Staci Denetsosie, a graduate student and instructor with her poem “Granddaddy: The Glowing Man”. Swenson’s poem “October” provided her with the inspiration.

The university hasn’t however always been so ready to celebrate its famous alum. Before her death, it is alleged that the poet made a request to place a collection of her papers and work at the university, but the request was denied by the then director of the special collections department. The papers were place at Washington University in St. Louis instead. In recent years it has been considered that this suggestion might not be accurate and that the poet never intended to leave papers at her university but at WUSL, where a number of other poets had already donated their papers to the collection.

Poet Headlining Fundraising Evening

Roger McGough, presenter of BBC Radio Four’s Poetry Please, playwright and poet will be taking part in a fundraiser for the radiotherapy unit at the Dorset County Hospital on 26th October. He will be supported by Annie Freud, a Dorset poet and Appassionata, a flute and guitar duo.

The fundraiser is hoping to raise enough money to supply the new radiotherapy unit at the hospital with furniture and equipment to for the facility which will have space to accommodate relatives as well as patients. They have already raised £44,000 of their £50,000 target.

100th Anniversary of First World War Marked with Children’s Poetry Competition

The York Army Museum is running a competition called “York Remembers” in the run up to the centenary commemorations for the end of the First World War. School children aged 7 – 18, from across the region have been invited to send in their poems to help honour those who lost their lives protecting the country.

The poems need to be original, and no longer than 28 lines for children and 40 lines for young people. The entries will be divided into five different age categories based on school year; children years 3-6 and young people years 7-13.

The winners will be announced as part of the celebrations for National Poetry Day on 4th October.

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