Youth Awards/ Poetry Fellows / Laurel Prize – Poetry News Roundup September 6th

Today on My Poetic Side, we bring you news about the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards, the Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows and the shortlist for the Laurel Prize.

Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards

The seventh annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards, which celebrates young writers from Illinois, has announced the 2023 winners.

The Poetry Foundation, Illinois Humanities, Brooks Permissions and the Reva and David Logan Centre for the Arts run the competition. The winners, of which there are 25 with an additional 16 honourable mentions, are all in grades K-12. This year, the competition saw a record-breaking 810 entries from 151 schools.

Six of the young people who won an award this year were either winners of previous competitions or those who received an honourable mention. A celebration will take place for the winning poets on 9th September. Each of the winners will get an opportunity to recite their poem in front of an audience, and the current poet laureate for the state will read a brand new poem that has been written in honour of the winners.

The poetry award was founded by Brooks in 1969. Whilst she was the poet laureate for Illinois, she was involved with work for the awards until her death in 2000.

2023 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows

Five outstanding poets have been honoured in this year’s Poetry Fellows Awards.

The award is given to poets who are still in their careers’ infancy to encourage ongoing study and aid with writing poetry in their chosen style. In 2022, the prize for each winner was increased from $25,800 to $27,000. This means that the fellowship is one of the largest that is available to younger poets living in the US. As well as the prize money, each poet gets the chance to publish their poetry in Poetry Magazine, and they also have a stipend which allows them to attend their choice of professional development opportunity.

On 21st October 2023, all of the fellows will meet at a special event, which will include a free public reading where they will be able to not only share their poetry with others but also celebrate all of the achievements that they have made.

Laurel Prize Shortlist

The Poetry School and Simon Armitage, the poet laureate, have announced the shortlist for The Laurel Prize. This is an annual award for nature and eco-poetry.

The prize is funded by Armitage’s honorarium which is an annual amount that he receives from the King for his work as poet laureate. The prize is given for the best collection of nature or environmental poetry that has been published during the year.

The prizes range from £5,000 for the winner to £1,000 for the third place. There are also smaller awards for the Best International First Collection and the Best First Collection UK. All of the winners receive a commission from the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which will see them creating a poem that is inspired by their favourite landscape.

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