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Posts tagged poetry

Further reflections on the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award
September 6, 2014 | 11:31 am

Edwin MorganThe inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award with its £20,000 [$31,300] first prize was one of the highlights of this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival. After the Award, I polled some of those involved for their reaction to it. Asked what she thought of how the Award had been put together, and its significance, Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library commented The Award was specificed in Edwin Morgan's will, so it has been run according to his wishes. He wanted to reward and encourage poets under 30. When we were running it at the Scottish poetry library, I was quite anxious,...

Interview with Claire Askew, runner-up in the first Edwin Morgan Award
August 31, 2014 | 3:30 pm

At this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival, I spoke to Claire Askew, runner-up for the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for her unpublished collection ‘This changes things". She received the £1000 ($1660) awarded to all shortlisted poets, "and a further amount to support her work towards publication." Judge Stewart Conn praised her "voice that is arrestingly and distinctively her own… words and imagery constantly seeming fresh-minted." I spoke to her about the Award, her work, and modern Scottish poetry. TeleRead: To what extent do you find yourself working within a specifically Scottish tradition? Claire Askew: I definitely do. I'm an interesting person to...

Interview with Niall Campbell, winner of the first Edwin Morgan Award
August 27, 2014 | 3:56 pm

At this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival, poet Niall Campbell came first in the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for young Scottish poets with a first collection (published or unpublished). Under the terms of the Award, he received £20,000 ($33,000), twice the value of the venerable and highly regarded James Tait Black Prize for fiction. I spoke to him about the Award and his own feelings regarding the Scottish tradition....

James Clerk Maxwell: Scot, physicist, mathematician … and poet
August 25, 2014 | 1:51 pm

While at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, I'd like to pay tribute to one of the city's many great intellectual sons: James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79), the titanic Victorian scientist whose work was described by Albert Einstein as the "most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton." His genius touched pure mathematics, electromagnetics, optics (color theory), kinetic theory and thermodynamics, astronomy (the rings of Saturn), and many other disciplines. And he was also a poet....

Edwin Morgan Poetry Award honors Scotland’s best young poets
August 17, 2014 | 3:25 pm

Endowed by the late great Edwin Morgan, the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award is an annual prize for young Scottish poets, "in the region of £20,000 [$31,300]," which replaces the previous Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition (2008–2012). The Award is open to poets under the age of 30, "born in Scotland, or continuously resident in Scotland for the last two years, or brought up in Scotland, or having a Scottish parent," and is awarded on the basis of a published or unpublished first collection of poetry. This year's inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award was presented at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The Award website explains that Morgan "was in his...

The Scottish Poetry Library turns 30
August 17, 2014 | 12:45 pm

The Scottish Poetry Library this year reaches its 30th birthday, an occasion celebrated with a special event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Founded by Tessa Ransford, the Scottish Poetry Library initially consisted of "some rooms off the Royal Mile in the Old Town of Edinburgh, 300 books – mostly donated – and a part-time staff of two." Supported by the Scottish Poetry Library Association, founded in 1982,the Library itself opened January 1984 "in the former packing-room of publishers Oliver & Boyd in Edinburgh’s historic Tweeddale Court." In 1999, the Library moved to "an award-winning building designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects...

Hugh MacDiarmid: A blessing or a curse on modern Scottish nationalism?
August 11, 2014 | 10:25 am

Today, August 11th, marks the birth of Christopher Murray Grieve, otherwise known as Hugh MacDiarmid, one of the greatest Scottish writers of modern times. He was also one of the most fervent and articulate advocates of an unique Scottish identity, and practically the instigator of the modern Scottish Renaissance in Caledonian literature and art. And in this year of the Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, it's worth looking at MacDiarmid's influence on modern Scottish nationalism, and how much he did to help - or hinder - the movement. Politically as well as poetically engaged, MacDiarmid was an early...

Step up now to save Blake’s Cottage
July 25, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Cottage-in-Milton-1024x571 William Blake is not only one of England's most celebrated and beloved literary and artistic sons worldwide, he is also author of what has become the unofficial English national anthem, "Jerusalem." Yet the cottage in Felpham, Sussex, where he composed "Jerusalem" is now up for sale to private buyers after UK cultural bodies failed to make a move to save it. The Blake Society, custodians of his memory, have been given a strictly time-limited opportunity to buy the property at a discount - if they can find enough donors. "We have until the 31 October 2014 to raise enough money to...

Faber iPad app brings Scots via Irish with Seamus Heaney Henryson versions
May 26, 2014 | 12:47 pm

One of the most interesting posthumous Seamus Heaney publications to appear since the great Irish poet's death has just debuted in the shape of Seamus Heaney: Five Fables, an iPad app "based on Seamus Heaney’s translations of Scottish poet Robert Henryson’s fables, recently adapted and animated for the BBC," according to the app's introduction from Northern Ireland Screen. "A partnership between Touch Press, Faber and Flickerpix, funded by Northern Ireland Screen's Ulster–Scots Broadcast Fund, the app presents an immersive, interactive experience." The app even has its own website, here. Robert Henryson was a late 15th-century Scottish poet, part of the extraordinary...

High school freshmen poetry anthology reaches #1 in Apple’s iBook Store
May 9, 2014 | 12:25 pm

poetryThe prom can be expensive. From dresses and tuxedo rentals to limousines and flowers, high school seniors could spend some serious cash. A group of freshman from Los Gatos High School in California is saving up for it now. They are doing it by collaborating on an e-book. More than 120 freshman English honor students put together a poetry anthology, [easyazon-link asin="B00K60NEF2" locale="us"]Windows to the Teenage Soul[/easyazon-link]. It is being distributed through Smashwords and is featured on Amazon, Barnes& Noble, Apple’s iBook store, Kobo and more. “Unlike the self-publishing of the past, when an author would pay to have an unsuccessful book printed,...

Herrick backdates emoticons to 1648?
April 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Robert_Herrick_HesperidesWhile attending the WCF Davos Forum in March, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Scott E. Fahlman, widely hailed as "father of the first smiley emoticon in 1982." As it happens, though, there have been other challengers to that claim - the New York Times once ran a story citing an excerpt from an Abraham Lincoln speech in 1862 that may have had a smiley inserted. Now, though, writer and editor Levi Stahl claims he may have discovered one of the earliest emoticons of all - a line in the poem "To Fortune" by 17th-century English poet...

Jimmy Carter endorses grant to Dylan Thomas Centre
April 10, 2014 | 4:37 pm

DSC_3730aIn the centenary year of his birth on October 27th, 1914, great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is to be recognized with a grant of almost £1 million ($1.68 million) from the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund to further develop the Dylan Thomas Centre in his home city of Swansea, according to advance reports from The Guardian. The move has been praised by ex-U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who has cultivated a long-standing enthusiasm for the poet. "I have continuously advocated the importance of commemorating his life and work," said Carter, as quoted by The Guardian. "It is great to see that this funding...