I have the very good fortune to be in Germany this week, as a Fellow at the International Youth Library for a week-long study and as a presenter at their special 60th anniversary celebration and two-day Symposium focused on—what else?—POETRY! I promise to post more about this amazing opportunity afterward, but for the mean time, I thought it would be fun to share a few nuggets of European poetry news that have come my way.
***The “shortlist” of books for the 2009 British CLPE Poetry Award (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in London) has been announced. It includes:
John Agard, The Young Inferno
Allan Ahlberg, Collected Poems
Sharon Creech, Hate That Cat
Sophie Hannah and John Hegley (eds), The Ropes
JonArno Lawson (ed), Inside Out
This year’s Poetry Award winner will be in conversation with Jackie Kay on Tues., July 7 (5-7pm) in London. For more info, go here.
***I read in a recent Publisher’s Weekly Children’s Bookshelf newsletter (June 11, 2009), that a new Ted Hughes poem for children has been discovered by Hughes’ second wife, Carol, and is being is being published this fall by Thames & Hudson. Apparently, he wrote it in the mid-1950s and it was lost for decades.
According to PW, it is entitled “Timmy the Tug,” and “was inspired by Hughes' former flat-mate Jim Downer, who had written and illustrated his own version to impress his future wife, and convince her that ‘he would not only be a suitable husband, but a good father too.’ After reading the poem, Hughes told Downer he would create his own version, and took the original to add his verses.”
***IN THE OOPS, "CHECK YOUR FACTS" CATEGORY-- J. Pat Lewis has been kind enough to offer a correction on the following news item-- see his "comment" below. Either way, it's a juicy poetry-related story. (Thanks, Pat!) And for even MORE backstory, see Julie Larios's additions in the "comments" below. (Thank you, Julie). And finally, J. Pat Lewis shared this nugget with me from The New York Times. Ruth Padel, has been elected the new Oxford professor of poetry and will be the first woman to hold the post since it was established in 1708, According to Steven McElroy at the Guardian, Ms. Padel, the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, was chosen following a controversial contest for the position. Ms. Padel’s selection follows closely on the heels of Carol Ann Duffy’s appointment as Britain’s poet laureate; a post held by male writers for 341 years.
***To celebrate European poetry for kids, I’m digging into the holdings of the IYL to see what I can find. I’m also looking forward to hearing several poets at the Symposium, including Andrew Fusek Peters from Great Britain. Here’s a nugget from his Web site to whet your appetite:
by Andrew Fusek Peters
I am a very tiny verse,
Noticed by no-one at all,
My ending is unhappy,
Because I am so small.
Published in Shorts, Edited by Paul Cookson, Macmillan.
Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2009. All rights reserved.
Image credit:www.news.appstate.edu; (Photos courtesy of Kimberly McFall Benfield)