Florida Book Awards/Ledbury Poetry Festival/Irish Rugby – Poetry News Roundup March 19th

We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with three stories. The first takes a look at the 2917 Florida Book Awards, the second the 2018 Ledbury Poetry Festival, and finally, we take a quick look at the poet inspiring the Irish Rugby team with a poem.

2017 Florida Book Awards

The winner of the 12th annual Florida Book Awards have just been announced. The award has been given for books that were published in 2017. There are 11 categories in the competition ranging from literature for a variety of different age groups, poetry, cookery, nonfiction and even Spanish language, and this year there were over 200 eligible publications that were submitted.

Coordinated by the State Universities of Florida, the Book Awards are the most widely known book awards in  Florida. For the majority of categories, the entrants must be Florida residents, however for the categories of visual arts and Florida nonfiction then the requirement is that the piece must focus on Florida.

The gold prize winner in the poetry category was Tallahassee resident, Kaveh Akbar with “Calling a Wolf a Wolf”.

2018 Ledbury Poetry Festival

Entries are now invited for this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival . The winners will not only have the opportunity to read their poems at the 2019 Ledbury Poetry Festival but also to take part in a course (residential)  at the
One of this year’s judges is Nia Davies, Poetry Wales’ editor and also a published poet with several books that have been translated. Davies’ most recent book is “Interversions” which contains an account of her collaborative efforts with Mamta Sagar, the Kannada poet.

The Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition has been running since 1997 and has played a very important part in the career of many poets. Many winning Ledbury poets have gone on to win other prestigious poetry awards. The 2001 winner Jacob Polley won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2016, and Jacqueline Saphra (the winner in 2007) was shortlisted for the same prize in 2017.

There are a number of different categories in the competition which is open to any works that have previously been unpublished and are original, including categories for children and young people.

Poetry Tribute to Ireland Rugby Team

Saturday saw Ireland attempting to achieve Grand Slam glory for the third time, and Irish poet and playwright, Stephen James Smith, was on hand to offer his support to the team in the form of a poem.

The poem in question was “Bring it Home” and it tells the journey through some of the greatest sporting moments in Irish history before delivering a rousing message to the team to “Bring it Home.” As well as mentioning many successful sports events, the poem also gives a nod to those previous sporting events that have ended in heartbreak.

Smith said that he was proud to have been asked to play his part and especially since the match took place on St Patrick’s Day. Whether the poem helped or not who can tell but Ireland did indeed “Bring it Home”.


  • Jayne

    I want to start sending my scripts, where do I start?

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