Turkish Commemoration/National Poetry Day/Tony Walsh – Poetry News Roundup December 21st

In todays news round up we look at the annual commemoration ceremony that takes place in Turkey to honour 13th century poet Rumi, we also have an article about the winners of the National Poetry Day competition which was run back in September and finally a new poem from Tony Walsh which looks back on the events of 2017 and celebrates the North west of England.

Turkish President Celebrates the Works of Rumi

This year on 17th December, the Turkish President Erdogan gave a speech about the poet Rumi on the 744th anniversary of his death.

The Thirteenth-century poet, Sufi mystic and scholar who died in 1273 is still very popular even though seven and a half centuries have passed since his death. Every year from 7th to 17th December an international commemoration ceremony is held in Konya, in the Central Anatolian province in which he is buried. The ceremony celebrates the union of Rumi with God – known as
“Mesnevi” Rumi’s epic poem which is considered to be the most influential poetry work in Sufism. It contains more than 50,000 verses and has been translated into a staggering 25 languages.

National Poetry Day Competition Winners

This year National Poetry Day, the 28th September, ran a children’s poetry competition with the theme of “Freedom”. The competition was run in association with Amnesty International and Frances Lincoln Children’s books. Children were asked to write a poem that was inspired by the theme of the competition and in particular the words of “Imagine” by John Lennon.

In total they received over 700 poems which were read by the ambassadors for National Poetry Day, before the winners were picked. The overall winner was 10-year-old Molly Suggitt from Bradford. In addition to having her poem illustrated Molly also won a visit to her school from poet Matt Goodfellow.

Tony Walsh Pens Poem Looking Back on 2017

Tony Walsh aka Longfellow, the poet who shot to fame following readings of his emotional poetry after the Manchester Arena bombing back in May has written a new poem. The poem which takes a look back over the events of 2017 also captures the very unique character of the people of Manchester.

The poem was filmed at the top of Blackpool Tower and is due to be broadcast as part of the BBC North West Tonight programme on Friday 22nd December. The programme will also feature a live broadcast from St Ann’s Church in Manchester; St Ann’s Square was a focal point for people following the bombing as they came together to express their grief. The iconic tower features in the poem which is called “Up ‘ere”.

The poem which is full of emotions will be put together with all sorts of visuals, images that capture local sport, countryside and iconic landmarks, before being broadcast.
The special edition of the North-West Tonight programme will also feature a special award for Saxon Miller, one of many people who comforted a victim of the bombing until help arrived.

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