Donation By Poet/Poet’s Regional Award/Virtual US Laureate Reading – Poetry News Roundup September 4th

Our final news round-up of the week takes a look at the surprise donation received by a poet, the poet who has won a regional award, and a virtual poetry reading with the US Poet Laureate.

Surprise Donation for Donegal Poet

A poet from Donegal who is using an online donation page in order to fund his first poetry book has received a surprise contribution.

John O’Donnell Cotter, who is hoping to be able to release his 120 poem collection entitled “The Wild Atlantic Poet” soon, was very surprised to see a contribution from Shane MacGowan, the frontman of The Pogues had dropped a €20 into the fund.

John, who has been to 83 of The Pogues concerts and has even met MacGowan on several occasions, was not expecting a contribution from the legendary hellraiser.

John O’Donnell Cotter is not just a prolific writer (he has a back catalogue numbering almost 3000 poems), but he is also a songwriter as well with more than 100 songs to his name. He has had work published in America and song recorded in the USA, Switzerland, Australia and Italy.

He started writing poetry and lyrics at an early age, and has been putting snippets on Facebook. Recently people have been suggesting he should put a book together and so he decided to set up a Go Fund Me page to see if he could make the €1,000 that he needed to make this a reality.

That reality is about to become a published book and will be available to buy in the shops very soon.

Renee Pettitt-Schipp Gets Regional Arts WA Grant

The Denmark based poet Renee Pettitt-Schipp has been awarded a grant of $50,000, which she says will help to strengthen her writing career.

She is one of 4 already established artists from all over WA to have received the award, which will be paid out over the course of 2 years as part of the Regions inaugural Regional Artists Fellowship.

Not only will the grant allow her to improve her writing skills, but it will also give her more time to do so as she is currently juggling her doctoral studies and two jobs, which has left her little time for being creative.

Pettitt-Schipp is working on a manuscript that looks at the contradictions and tensions that come from being a white West Australian living in a country with a complex colonial history.

An Evening with Joy Harjo US Poet Laureate

Joy Harjo, the current US poet laureate, will be taking part in a virtual poetry reading as part of the Bryan Cultural Series. She will be sharing some of the inspirations behind her work as well as looking at how storytelling and poetry bind everyone together.

Due to the pandemic, Harjo will be taking part from her home in Tulsa, using Zoom to participate. The event will take place on 10th September.

Harjo is the first Native American Poet Laureate that the United States has appointed, and her poetry is rooted in her upbringing and heritage. She has written nine poetry books, and several children’s books and plays. She is a winner of many awards, including the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a PEN USA Literary Award.

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