Tolkien Auction, Childbirth and the 40-year Poem – Poetry News Roundup 25th July

Today’s stories include new about a rare volume of poetry that will shortly be up for auction, the inspiration behind a very successful poetry festival in Uganda and a poem that took the poet rather longer to write than he would probably have liked.

J.R.R. Tolkien Poetry Under the Hammer

If you are a fan of Tolkien and would love the opportunity to own something rather special then this might be your chance. An extremely rare piece of work by the author and poet is due to go up for auction on August 2nd at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

Originally printed by Swan Press, this rare first impression of a volume of poetry which contains early work by J.R.R. Tolkien, was part of a first impression of just 170 copies that was produced in June 1923. A further second impression of 200 copies was produced the following month. There are three original works included in the volume which is titled “A Northern Venture”.

The work is predicted to obtain between £3,000 and £5,000 is part of an auction of Books, Maps, Prints and Manuscripts.


Childbirth: The Inspiration for a Poetry Festival

The Babishai festival which is the brainchild of Beverley Nambozo, began life in 2008 shortly after the birth of her first child. Nambozo wanted to combine her love of poetry with her work in a regional women’s organisation and so the Baishai festival came into being. The aim of the festival was to promote Ugandan women poets, offering them a chance to bring their work to the public eye in Uganda and hopefully the rest of the world, whilst helping them towards the possibility of publishing. Many of the winners from the first festival went on to be published in anthologies of poetry, and the festival was proclaimed a success.

Over the years, the poetry festival, together with the Beverly Nambozo Poetry award have become so popular that by 2014 it was decided that entries should be opened up, not only, to men but also participants from other countries.

To date the festival has been responsible for the publication of several anthologies of poetry, the introduction of primary school poetry competitions and this year will see the launch of its first Children’s poetry and story anthology. What started as one woman’s small idea has ignited a love of poetry in a whole country.

Prize Winning Poem Took 40 Years to Complete

A Brisbane playwright, Tim Collins has won the 2017 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize. Collins who is the author of seven volumes of poetry and a short story collection says that whilst most poems just happen, his winning poem “Stage Whispers” had been taunting him for 40 years before he was finally able to complete it. It just goes to prove that sometimes patience is needed in order to produce the best results.

The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize was set up in 1999, in honour of one of the most popular and influential poets Australia has ever produced.

Have you ever struggled to complete a poem, but stuck with it for the results to be especially worthwhile?

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