News Articles in the category 'General'

The winner of the WOA and SSF book review competition

Posted: 05/11/2017 16:13 | News Home

A small but distinguished batch of entries was received for this competition. The judging was done completely anonymously: Meg Crane, who processed the entries, stayed out of the decision-making; and Merryn Williams, Mhairi Pooler Hellbrandt and Lucy Elder had no idea of the identity of any of the authors until the winner had been decided.

There was detailed discussion, and at one point the possibility of splitting the prize money was discussed; but in the end the choice was unanimous - an original, stimulating and provocative review of the book Fierce Imaginings by Rachel Mann. Only after this decision did they learn the identity of the reviewer. He is John Davies, of Gobowen in Shropshire. This, of course, is deep Wilfred Owen country; and John - then Bishop of Shrewsbury - was the first President of the Wilfred Owen Association. Long-standing members of the Fellowship are particularly delighted to have him amongst us again.

We thank all the entrants, and hope very much to publish all the entries in one or other of our two Journals. We hope that all of them will review for us again in the future.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen on The People's History Show

Posted: 27/09/2017 16:44 | News Home

Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon's time in Edinburgh in 1917 is discussed on STV's The People's History Show:

http://player.stv.tv/episode/3jvc/peoples-history/

The War Poets Collection at Craiglockhart, now part of Edinburgh Napier University, is featured in this piece.

Tags: Craiglockhart | Category: General

Robert Hardy CBE

Posted: 04/08/2017 10:37 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Assocation is saddened to hear of the passing of Robert Hardy CBE. We are grateful for his long-standing support as Vice-President of the Association and offer our condolences to his family and friends at this time.<

Category: General

The Send Off

Posted: 17/07/2017 07:32 | News Home

Radio General – a not-for-profit hospital broadcaster based in Warrington - is proud to present a dramatisation of Wilfred Owen's "The Send Off", devised and written by Walter Dain. It goes out on the Afternoon Mix on Monday, 24th July, from 12noon till 3pm. You can tune in by visiting our website - www.radiogeneral.co.uk - from your computer or laptop, or by using an app such as Tune In on your mobile.

Radio General's remit is to promote health and well-being, and the arts have a proven track record in this regard. My own view is that we should also strive to inform, educate and entertain, and when you put these two things together you get radio drama. When Walter first suggested the idea I jumped at it straightaway: "The Send Off", and a drama based on William Wordsworth's "Westminster Bridge", are our first forays into it.

The arts can speak truth to power. Sometimes, as in Communist-era science-fiction in the USSR, it has to do so obliquely. But at other times it can be more explicit, such as in the Vietnam protest songs of the 60s – or the poetry of Wilfred Owen.

Our target audience is anybody and everybody. Obviously those who enjoy these two poets, poetry in general or radio drama. But more generally, anybody who has the curiosity to tune in. If such a person enjoys it, but then takes that enjoyment no further, we shall still have succeeded. But if they pick up a book on poetry or history, or put pen to paper and unleash that hidden scribe, or in some way engage with their community, we will be jackpot winners many times over.

It's as simple as that.

Tags: Send-Off | Category: General

June 10th 1917

Posted: 10/06/2017 19:25 | News Home

After many delays and false starts had prolongued his evacuation by a month, on 10th June Wilfred finally got a train to Étrétat, where he was in No.1 General Hospital, staffed by Americans. Having spent a week there, he travelled in a single cabin in a luxurious liner to Southampton on the 16th. After a further 9 days at the Welsh Hospital at Netley, where he was visited by his cousin Leslie Gunston, he was allowed to travel to London. After some shopping and viewing the Summer Exhibition at the Burlington, he caught the night train to Edinburgh, where he “breakfasted hugely” in the Waverley Hotel, walked the length of Princes Street, admiring the Castle, and finally took a taxi to Craiglockhart, 26th June 1917.

Category: General

10 May 1917

Posted: 11/05/2017 20:57 | News Home

10 May 1917

 

Wilfred enjoyed 40 days being assessed at Gailly, where he went for a ride along the Somme Canal in a steam barge, on the 10th May, which inspired the later poem:

                                      Hospital Barge

                   Budging the sluggard ripples of the Somme,
                   A barge round old Cérisy slowly slewed.
                   Softly her engines down the current screwed,
                   And chuckled softly with contented hum,
                   Till fairy tinklings struck their croonings dumb.
                   The waters rumpling at the stern subdued;
                   The lock-gate took her bulging amplitude;
                   Gently from out the gurgling lock she swum.

 

The lock was right next to the hospital at Gailly, while Cérisy was a mile East along the dead straight canal.

Category: General

May Day, 1917

Posted: 01/05/2017 21:02 | News Home

One day, around 18th April, Wilfred was almost killed by a stray shell, while asleep near Savy: “One wet night, when we lay up against a railway embankment, a big shell lit on top, just two yards from my head…I was blown in the air right away from the bank,” as he wrote to his mother. He goes on to say that he was in a small hole, covered with corrugated iron, the remains of his erstwhile friend Lieut. Gaukroger scattered near-by. In fact Gaukroger had been killed in the Savy Wood attack on 2nd April, over a fortnight earlier, but it is possible that the shell disinterred his body, which his military file says was buried “in the vicinity of Savy”, before it was transferred to Savy British Cemetery after the war. Also Owen was in the line 9 days, not 12; clearly the explosion that concussed him a second time had confused his memory. This was one of the symptoms noticed by his CO, on May 1st, along with his being “shaky and tremulous and his conduct peculiar.” So when Colonel Luxmore handed over the Regiment to his temporary replacement, the “odious” Major Dempster, 1st May, the Medical officer sent him down to Gailly again. He arrived the next day.

Gailly was now a specialist hospital for Shell-shock cases, of which there were some 20 officers and 400 other ranks. They were now labelled with “neurasthenia”, which covered a range of symptoms: shaking, gibbering, stuttering, unable to walk. As Wilfred hinted in a letter home, part of his problem stemmed from concussion, but the doctor was also “nervous about my nerves”. He is confident however: “Do not suppose for a moment that I have had a ‘breakdown’. I am simply avoiding one.” And he describes the Nerve Specialist Dr. Browne, as a ‘kind of wizard’.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen in action at Savy Wood, April 14th 1917

Posted: 14/04/2017 11:39 | News Home

14 April 1917

After only two days at Beauval, Wilfred moved up to Savy Wood to prepare for another attack. 14th April, his battalion advanced north-east to assault trenches north of St.Quentin. Reaching exposed ground, their colonel took them on a detour via Selency to the village of Fayet, thence to Squash Valley where they rested prior to the attack. With Wilfred’s A company leading, they advanced over a ridge and came under heavy fire, with 30 casualties, before dropping down into the safety of Fig Wood. Having regrouped, they climbed a long hill to the Dancourt trench on the crest, relieved to find the Germans had just fled. This attack was the origin of his poem “Spring Offensive” …

        ‘…So, soon they topped the hill, and raced together
        Over an open stretch of herb and heather
        Exposed. And instantly the whole sky burned
        With fury against them; earth set sudden cups
        In thousands for their blood; and the green slope
        Chasmed and deepened sheer to infinite space.

        Of them who running on that last high place
        Breasted the surf of bullets, or went up
        On the hot blast and fury of hell's upsurge,
        Or plunged and fell away past this world's verge,
        Some say God caught them even before they fell…’

Wilfred’s attack was praised by his Colonel: “The leadership of the officers was excellent…” but, he writes to his mother, “the reward we got was to remain in the line for 12 days… I did not wash my face, nor take off my boots, nor sleep a deep sleep…”

Category: General

Baberton Golf Club revealed as place where Owen, Sassoon and Graves met

Posted: 12/04/2017 22:23 | News Home

University lecturer Neil McLennan has discovered that war poets Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves met at Baberton Golf Club in Juniper Green, Edinburgh.

McLennan searched libraries and archives for clues to solve the mystery of where the men met, which had remained unknown for 100 years. The answer was found in letters from 1917 at Southern Illinois University.

Full article on the BBC website
(11 April 2017)

See also: The Edinburgh Evening News (11 April 2017)

And for a press release click here.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen in action, April 1917

Posted: 03/04/2017 14:21 | News Home

Wilfred soon started to recover from his fall. After a week he sent his youngest brother Colin a sonnet dedicated to him called “With an Identity Disc”, which ends:

    “But let my death be memoried on this disc.
    Wear it, sweet friend. Inscribe no date nor deed.
    But let thy heart-beat kiss it night and day,
    Until the name grow vague and wear away.”

These lines are inscribed upon the Western Front Association’s memorial plaque on the bridge over the canal at Ors.

Wilfred enjoyed relaxing beside the Somme river and canal, which lay alongside the Gailly hospital encampment. He hitched into Corbie to replace the watch he had lost in his fall, and when he left, 30th March, to Amiens, to replace his revolver, before hitching and walking east to find his regiment, along roads blocked by the retreating Germans, who had laid waste to the countryside. The highlight of his journey was his last night, spent with the Lemaire family, who all took him to their hearts, treated him like a hero and greatly revived his spirits.

Arriving 3rd April, he learnt that he had just missed the battalion’s victorious attack on Savy, capturing a quarry, hill (dubbed Manchester Hill) and 6 German heavy field guns.

He was at once sent to fortify the new front line with trenches and wire, expecting a German counter-attack. He described this tour to his mother:

“…We stuck to our line 4 days (and 4 nights) without relief, in the open, and in the snow. Not an hour passed without a shell amongst us. I never went off to sleep for those days, because the others were far more fagged after several days of fighting than I fresh from bed. We lay in wet snow. I kept alive on brandy, the fear of death, and the glorious prospect of the cathedral Town (St.Quentin) just below us, glittering with the morning…"

On Easter Day, 10 April, he returned to camp at Beauval for 4 days rest and witnessed the shooting down of a German plane.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen in Edinburgh 1917-2017

Posted: 28/03/2017 19:27 | News Home

2017 marks the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s time at Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, where he first met Siegfried Sassoon.  To mark this, several events are taking place in the city this year.

Click here for further details.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen in action 100 years ago

Posted: 11/03/2017 07:35 | News Home

11th March 1917

On the night of the 11th or 12th March, Wilfred fell into a concealed well, or cellar, near Bouchoir and Le Quenoy, banging the back of his head on the way down and lying at the bottom for over 24 hours with concussion. In the fall he lost both his watch and his revolver. When he came round he either escaped or was rescued, and staggered back to his camp, where he attempted to resume his duties, but a few days later he was violently sick and got a fever, so was sent down to the 13th Casualty Clearing Station at Gailly, on 17th March.

Arriving the next day he was too concussed to remember that it was his birthday! He was put to bed for several days, then spent the rest of the month recuperating, gradually regaining his strength.

 

 

Category: General

Book Review Competition - deadline extended

Posted: 02/03/2017 16:22 | News Home

WILFRED OWEN ASSOCIATION AND SIEGFRIED SASSOON FELLOWSHIP

Book Review Competition


You are invited to submit a review of any book (in or out of print) which deals in some way with the theme of the Great War. This may be fiction or non-fiction. Reviews should be between 500 and 1500 words long, and should be submitted by July 1st 2017. There will be a prize of £150; the winning review(s) will be published in the Wilfred Owen Association Journal or in Siegfried’s Journal, and one or more of the winners will be invited to review for the Journal on other occasions.

The competition will be judged by Merryn Williams, Literary Adviser to the WOA Committee; Mhairi Pooler Hellbrandt, the present Editor of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship Journal; Meg Crane, the Editor of the Wilfred Owen Association Journal and former Editor of Siegfried’s Journal; and Lucy Elder, the Assistant Editor and Membership Secretary of the Wilfred Owen Association.

Reviews should be sent in the first place to Meg Crane at the address below - as an e-mail attachment wherever possible, though typed submissions will be accepted if necessary. There will be an entry and administration fee of £5 for each submission from a member of either of the two societies, and £10 for each submission from non-members. Payment should be sent at the same time, and should normally be made by cheque or bank transfer to the Treasurer of the WOA, Sam Gray, using the following details:

UK entrants:  Account Number:  00454221
Sort Code:  30-97-62

Overseas entrants: one or other of the following, depending on your country’s arrangements:

BIC:  LOYDGB21301
IBAN:  GB31 LOYD 3092 6200 4542 21

Reviews should be sent in the first place to Meg, at megmcrane@googlemail.com or at 21 Culverden Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9RE, UK, attaching the following details:

  • Author and title of the book
  • Publisher, year and place of publication
  • Number of pages
  • Price if still in print
  • Number of words in review
  • Name, address and e-mail address (where relevant) of reviewer
  • Member or non-member of WOA/SSF


This competition is open only to new reviewers, for whom we are always looking – here is your chance!

 

Category: General

25th February 1917

Posted: 25/02/2017 07:41 | News Home

Wilfred's Transport Course finished 25th February and he started out to rejoin his regiment. During the month the Manchesters had left Beaumont-Hamel and travelled south across the Somme, following the German retreat eastwards towards their new Hindenburg Line at St.Quentin. He caught up with HQ at Bouchoir 1st March, and was made a platoon commander in 'B' Company, under Captain Sorrell. He was nearly sniped leading a digging party his first night, and spent the next fortnight on numerous working parties, improving the trenches and building dug-outs, although the weather was exceptionally cold. Ten miles north, at Chipilly on the Somme, Robert Graves succumbed, and was invalided out of the war with bronchitis.

 

Category: General

February 1917

Posted: 01/02/2017 16:05 | News Home

Having been posted in Bertrancourt for two days’ rest, Wilfred was surprisingly selected for a three week Transport Course in Abbéville - his fellow lieutenants were very jealous of his good luck!


He set off 1st February and arrived the next day. He was still freezing cold, but was made Mess President of the School Mess, started writing poetry again - sonnets with cousin Leslie Gunston and their friend Olwen Joergens -  and told his sister Mary that “these days are the best I’ve ever had in the army.”

One of the sonnets he wrote at Abbéville was “Happiness”, the last three lines of which he later described as his "only lines that carry the stamp of maturity”:

                The former happiness is unreturning:
                Boys’ griefs are not so grievous as youth’s yearning,
                Boys have no sadness sadder than our hope.

Category: General

“Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us…"

Posted: 21/01/2017 23:07 | News Home

January 1917

                                        “EXPOSURE”

14-21, Owen had a week’s rest at Courcelles, during which he had to ‘go up’ with a party one night, got lost in the snow and was caught by a whiff of Gas.

21-25, Owen and his company marched, via Beaussart and Beaumont Hamel to the Redan Ridge, to occupy shallow trenches facing Munich Trench between 'White City’ and B. Hamel, lying ‘in the snow under the deadly wind’; ‘one of my party actually froze to death’; ‘we were marooned on a frozen desert’.

26-28 in 'Support' in a ‘vast Bosche dug-out' at B. Hamel, then back through reserve lines to rest at Bertrancourt; but led working party five miles up the ridge to dig frozen ground on the 29th.

This tour of duty later inspired the poem “Exposure”…


"Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us . . .
Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent . . .
Low drooping flares confuse our memory of the salient . . .
Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous,
       But nothing happens.

Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,
Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.
Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles,
Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.
       What are we doing here?

The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow . . .
We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.
Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army
Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of grey,
       But nothing happens.

Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence.
Less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow,
With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and renew,
We watch them wandering up and down the wind's nonchalance,
       But nothing happens.

Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces—
We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow-dazed,
Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun-dozed,
Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses.
       —Is it that we are dying?

Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk fires, glozed
With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there;
For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is theirs;
Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed,—
       We turn back to our dying.

Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn;
Now ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit.
For God's invincible spring our love is made afraid;
Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born,
       For love of God seems dying.

Tonight, this frost will fasten on this mud and us,
Shrivelling many hands, and puckering foreheads crisp.
The burying-party, picks and shovels in shaking grasp,
Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice,
       But nothing happens."

Category: General

Wilfred Owen in action at Serre 100 years ago

Posted: 12/01/2017 09:10 | News Home

12th January 1917 - Wilfred Owen went into action for the first time, leading two sections of his platoon of the 2nd Manchesters, at Serre (France). He occupied a captured German dug-out in the middle of No Man’s Land for 48 hours, during which he had to crawl across to check on another platoon. One of his sentries was blown down the stairs by a German shell, and blinded. This event is related in a letter to his mother and vividly reproduced in his poem, “The Sentry”:

 

“…….. There we herded from the blast

Of whizz-bangs; but one found our door at last, -

Buffeting eyes and breath, snuffing the candles, 

And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping

And sploshing in the flood, deluging muck,

The sentry’s body; then his rifle, handles

Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck.

We dredged it up for dead, until he whined, 

‘O sir - my eyes, - I’m blind, - I’m blind, - I’m blind.’ 

 

Click here for more information about Owen's action at Serre.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen Association Bursary at The Hurst: The John Osborne Arvon Centre

Posted: 07/12/2016 19:08 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association will award, in alternate years, a bursary or bursaries amounting  to the total cost of residence (£760) at one of the poetry courses offered by Arvon at The Hurst: The John Osborne Arvon Centre, in Wilfred Owen’s county of Shropshire. (The cost of travel is not included.)

For this coming year, the course of choice is “From Ideas to Fruition”, which runs from 17th-22nd April 2017, and is tutored by Jo Shapcott and Ian Duhig. The course description says:

"This is a week in which we will explore the many ways
poetry can bring ideas, stories and emotions to fruition
Come prepared to write, to be open to techniques and
approaches old and new, to be ready to stretch yourself
but above all to revel in the language. All are welcome,
beginner poets and experienced writers alike".

The Bursary is intended to benefit those who would find it difficult or impossible to pay for attendance on the course out of their own resources. This can cover a multitude of situations, so it is not a necessary requirement that the applicant be a student, unemployed or receiving welfare benefits. Applicants will be asked to give some details of their financial situation - but the award is, in the end, based on the merit of the work submitted.

There is a lower age limit of eighteen: this is set by Arvon, not by the Association. There is no upper age limit, and no requirement to be resident in Shropshire, but in the event of a dead heat in the judging, preference will ultimately be given to candidates living in the Marches.

The Award is intended for those who have not yet had a major collection published (pamphlets or privately-printed collections do not count for these purposes). Applicants are asked to send four poems, together with a letter, in which they tell us something about themselves, their writing, and why they feel that they are eligible for the Bursary. It is not in any way necessary for these to be "war poems"; but poems for children, “found” poems, or purelydidactic poems, are not appropriate for this particular award.

The winner of the Bursary will be decided by members of the Wilfred Owen Association Committee. Please send your submissions as an e-mail attachment, to megmcrane@googlemail.com. The closing date for submissions is 31st January 2017: late entries cannot be accepted.

For more details about Arvon and The Hurst, go to www.arvon.org. For more details about the Wilfred Owen Association, go to www.wilfredowen.org.uk. We look forward to your applications.


Click here for a flyer.

Category: General

Carol Ann Duffy awarded the Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Award

Posted: 02/12/2016 16:40 | News Home

Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy has been awarded the Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Award 2016.

http://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/2016/11/28/dame-carol-ann-duffy-presented-with-award-in-shrewsbury/ (Shropshire Star, November 28th 2016)

Below is the presentation plate, engraved with lines from Wilfred Owen's “Strange Meeting” and Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “The Christmas Truce”.

 

Category: General

Book Review Competition

Posted: 06/11/2016 20:44 | News Home

WILFRED OWEN ASSOCIATION AND SIEGFRIED SASSOON FELLOWSHIP

Book Review Competition


You are invited to submit a review of any book (in or out of print) which deals in some way with the theme of the Great War. This may be fiction or non-fiction. Reviews should be between 500 and 1500 words long, and should be submitted by March 1st 2017. There will be a prize of £150; the winning review(s) will be published in the Wilfred Owen Association Journal or in Siegfried’s Journal, and one or more of the winners will be invited to review for the Journal on other occasions.

The competition will be judged by Merryn Williams, Literary Adviser to the WOA Committee; Mhairi Pooler Hellbrandt, the present Editor of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship Journal; Meg Crane, the Editor of the Wilfred Owen Association Journal and former Editor of Siegfried’s Journal; and Lucy Elder, the Assistant Editor and Membership Secretary of the Wilfred Owen Association.

Reviews should be sent in the first place to Meg Crane at the address below - as an e-mail attachment wherever possible, though typed submissions will be accepted if necessary. There will be an entry and administration fee of £5 for each submission from a member of either of the two societies, and £10 for each submission from non-members. Payment should be sent at the same time, and should normally be made by cheque or bank transfer to the Treasurer of the WOA, Sam Gray, using the following details:

UK entrants:  Account Number:  00454221
Sort Code:  30-97-62

Overseas entrants: one or other of the following, depending on your country’s arrangements:

BIC:  LOYDGB21301
IBAN:  GB31 LOYD 3092 6200 4542 21

Reviews should be sent in the first place to Meg, at megmcrane@googlemail.com or at 21 Culverden Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9RE, UK, attaching the following details:

  • Author and title of the book
  • Publisher, year and place of publication
  • Number of pages
  • Price if still in print
  • Number of words in review
  • Name, address and e-mail address (where relevant) of reviewer
  • Member or non-member of WOA/SSF


This competition is open only to new reviewers, for whom we are always looking – here is your chance!

Category: General

Daniel Day-Lewis reads Wilfred Owen works in War Poets Collection

Posted: 01/11/2016 16:00 | News Home

Sir Daniel Day-Lewis has recited seven of Wilfred Owen's most famous works to help relaunch Edinburgh Napier University's War Poets Collection.

More information on the BBC website.

Tags: Craiglockhart | Category: General

The Wilfred Owen Poetry Award 2016

Posted: 23/09/2016 09:29 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association are honoured to announce that the Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, has accepted the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award for 2016. She will be appearing at the Gateway, Shrewsbury, on Saturday 26th November 2016, to receive the Award and to present her tribute, in this centenary year, to the abiding memory of the Great War.

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson - her favourite court musician – will bring over an hour of light and shade, reflection and laughter to Shrewsbury. Carol Ann will read from her acclaimed collections, remembering the Last Post, the Christmas Truce and other works, including The World’s Wife and The Bees.

Lucid, honest and accessible, her writing explores both everyday experience and our inner worlds in deceptive, profoundly resonant poems. Alongside the words, John Sampson takes us on a virtuoso tour through musical highlights of the past 500 years - played on a fascinating collection of period and modern instruments.

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson have collaborated for over thirteen years.

Click here for a press release.

Category: General

A close reading of 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Dr Santanu Das

Posted: 26/06/2016 20:26 | News Home

In a close reading for the British Library's online feature Discovering Literature: 20th Century Dr Santanu Das examines the crafting of one of Owen’s most poignant poems, ‘Dulce et Decorum est’, and shows how Owen’s war poems evoke the extreme sense-experience of the battlefield.

You can read the article in full at:

https://www.bl.uk/20th-century-literature/articles/a-close-reading-of-dulce-et-decorum-est

 

Category: General

A giant Wilfred Owen?

Posted: 28/05/2016 13:10 | News Home

Wirral council leader Phil Davies said the borough will capitalise on its connection to the war poet Wilfred Owen in the return of the massive marionettes as they commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

The Liverpool Mayor said he and Wirral council leader Phil Davies had talked about the famous war poet Wilfred Owen who had lived in Birkenhead and said: “We had a conversation about wouldn’t it be great to bring this over to Wirral, to Birkenhead.”

More on the Liverpool Echo website (26 May 2016)

Category: General

Celebrating Rabindranath Tagore & Wilfred Owen

Posted: 08/02/2016 16:03 | News Home

A concert was held at the Royal Academy of Music on 16th January 2016,
produced by Fiona MacDonald, of the Scottish charity GLEN ART.

It recalled the letter sent to Tagore by Wilfred Owen’s mother Susan, and also paid tribute to the 1.4 million Indian soldiers who fought in World War I. The director of the Cultural wing of the Indian High Commission, Mr Srinivas Gotru, was a guest of honour, representing the land of  Tagore.

The concert opened with a rendition of “Silent Night” by the Indian baritone Darwin Leonard, with the second verse sung in Hindi!

Renowned actor Timothy West read a passage from Tagore, and one of Wilfred’s letters to his mother, from the front line in February 1916, a hundred years ago. He also read the poem “Disabled”.

Rufus Lawrence, cellist from Imperial College, and member of the RAM Isabella Schofield, pianist, gave a fine interpretation of Moeran’s “Prelude”, and Jeremy Limb played “Improvisations for the Left Hand”, composed by Frank Bridge for a pianist who lost his right arm in the war.

Helen Ryan gave a moving reading of Owen’s poem “S.I.W.” and the concert ended with Prunella Scales reading Susan’s letter to Tagore, and West reading the poem which inspired it - “Parting Words”.

But for this listener the highlight was the singing of four of the six songs from Butterworth’s settings of  “A Shropshire Lad”, ending with a magical interpretation of my favourite “Is My Team Ploughing?”. Darwin Leonard most sensitively contrasted the plangent melancholy tone of the ‘ghost’ with the hearty confidence of his surviving friend, now living with his former girlfriend  - a most poignant performance!

The President of the Wilfred Owen Association, Wilfred’s nephew Peter Owen, gave an impromptu Vote of Thanks to all the performers, and the RAM for hosting, and our thanks go out to Fiona MacDonald for arranging such a moving and enjoyable concert.

Timothy West (L) and Prunella Scales (R). Copyright GLEN ART

Review by Sam Gray, WOA Treasurer

Category: General

Ticket offer for the BBC Singers: The Somme Remembered

Posted: 07/02/2016 19:24 | News Home

BBC London Performing Groups is offering our members, and website visitors, ‘£12 best available’ tickets for the BBC Singers concert in London’s Milton Court Concert Hall on Thursday 11 February.  The concert reflects on the Battle of the Somme, in words and music from both sides of the war, and in pieces by composers of our time and of the day.

The offer can be redeemed online using the code ‘81015’ at barbican.org.uk or by phone 020 7638 8891.

 You can find more information about the event here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ez28gw

Category: General

War poet Wilfred Owen honoured at Craiglockhart hospital site

Posted: 02/12/2015 22:41 | News Home

Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs has unveiled a tribute to the war poet Wilfred Owen at the former hospital where he was treated for shell shock.

The flagstone was donated to the university by Glen-Art, a military charity supporting former members of the armed forces.

It lies outside the old main entrance to the building as a permanent memorial to Owen and all those affected by the First World War and other conflicts.

Fiona MacDonald, founder and director of Glen-Art and a trustee of the Wilfred Owen Association, said: "We are delighted to be able to donate this beautiful stone as the first of many events and activities commemorating the centenary of the time Wilfred Owen spent at Craiglockhart, where he met Siegfried Sassoon."

More on the BBC News website

Tags: Craiglockhart | Category: General

Greengate memorial to Salford war heroes unveiled

Posted: 27/11/2015 18:28 | News Home

A 'lost' tribute to 158 Salford war heroes has been replaced after a campaign led by the Manchester Evening News and Cassie-Ann Creely, who had relatives on the memorial

The memorial includes part of Wilfred Owen’s poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth". His nephew, Peter Owen said: “Wilfred would be very pleased to know that some of "Anthem for Doomed Youth" is to appear on the memorial. Wilfred went back to France after leaving Craiglockhart to be with his men. Hence this memorial would be greatly respected by Wilfred.”

Click here to read more (Manchester Evening News, 11 Nov, 2015)

Category: General

In Memoriam - Wilfred Owen

Posted: 09/11/2015 15:45 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association once again arranged for an In Memoriam announcement to go into The Times newspaper on 4 November, to commemorate Wilfred Owen's death.  Unfortunately, due to a system error, which The Times has taken full responsibility for, it was not published.  The newspaper has apologised and will publish the following notice on Wednesday November 11th, Armistice Day.

OWEN Lieutenant Wilfred MC, Poet, killed when crossing the Sambre-Oise Canal, Ors, France 4th November 1918. 

"But they who love the greater love

Lay down their life, they do not hate."

 

As well as being Armistice Day, the 11th November is the anniversary of the day on which Wilfred’s mother, Susan Owen, received the news about her son’s death in 1918.

Category: General

Mersey Poet's Tribute to Wirral's Wilfred Owen

Posted: 26/10/2015 13:53 | News Home

On his recent visit to the Wirral, legendary Mersey Poet Brian Patten paid tribute to his hero Wilfred Owen.

Brian donated a handwritten copy of his poem 'Sleep Now', which was originally dedicated to the memory of the great war poet (who was educated in Birkenhead) when it was first published in the 1960s.

Presenting the transcript to The Wilfred Owen Story Museum, Brian said, “It was one of my first successful adult poems. I think I was sixteen when I wrote it; a few words in it have been changed over the years. Congratulations on keeping Owen's light alive in his hometown.”

Click to read more.

Tags: Brian Patten, Wilfred Owen Story | Category: General

Special offer on new edition of "Undertones of War"

Posted: 17/10/2015 18:35 | News Home

Oxford University Press  (OUP) is delighted to offer our members (and website visitors) a 30% discount on the cover price of Edmund Blunden's spell-binding prose memoir Undertones of War, edited by John Greening.

The discount can only be claimed when ordering directly through OUP’s website (www.oup.com/uk/literature) by adding the code AAFLY7 to your shopping basket.

The discount is valid until 31/12/2015 and there is a limit of 10 copies per customer.

Tags: Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War | Category: General

Re-Drafting the Draft: Wilfred Owen's "The Send-Off" Re-Considered by Paul Norgate

Posted: 17/10/2015 18:01 | News Home

A major analysis by Paul Norgate of the various drafts of Wilfred Owen's "The Send-Off".

This paper was first delivered at the English Association conference at Oxford in September 2014.

The paper is also published in the Wilfred Owen Association Journal (2015, issue 2).

Click here to download the paper.

Images of the manuscripts can also be viewed on the Frist World War Poetry Digital Archive

Tags: Send-Off | Category: General

New anthology - The Day Destroyed

Posted: 19/09/2015 19:22 | News Home

The Day Destroyed 

New anthology from The Wilfred Owen Association

The title of this volume is taken from “The Manor”, by Alan Franks, the poem which won the first prize in The Wilfred Owen Association International Poetry Competition 2014
 
All the prizewinning poems are included here, together with another sixteen under the categories of “Highly Commended” and “Runners-up”.

Click here to order

We received more than seven hundred entries, from all over the world, and it took three judges – Gladys Mary Coles, Merryn Williams and Meg Crane – about six weeks to come to their conclusions. Many excellent poems were brought to light by the competition, and it was inevitable that not all of them reached the final list: we hope, in the fairly near future, to ask their authors’ permission to print some more of them in the Wilfred Owen Association Journal.

All the entries were judged anonymously. In the event, in spite of knowing nothing about the authors until after we had decided upon the final list, we have ended up with a selection in which men and women poets are almost exactly balanced. All the winning entries were from Europe; those from the United Kingdom represent more of a geographical spread than we usually achieve in the Journal. Most areas of England are represented, but there is only one representative apiece from Scotland and Wales, and none from Northern Ireland – next time, perhaps ….  And three of our six winners ended up with two poems which reached the final selection: a tribute, we like to, to our consistency of judgment.

Some of the poems are more obviously “literary” than others – Martin Bennett in “Now Thrive the Armourers” draws upon Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Alan Franks in “Late Rendezvous” weaves a subtle web of his own and Wilfred Owen’s words and images  -  but all use language in some way which brings new light, even in so many poems in which darkness is a theme. We had asked for poems “in the spirit of Wilfred Owen”, which was the title of the Association’s previous anthology, edited by Merryn Williams and published in 2002 after our last poetry competition. We had no fixed expectations, and certainly no policy statement. A few of the poems we chose have no direct bearing on war as such, but we felt that they exhibited Owen’s characteristic imaginative sympathy with the forgotten, the marginalised, the victimised - Pat Winslow’s “Stroyka 51”, Susan Davies’s “The Mango Tree”, Gill Learner’s “The Lodestone of the Upper VIth”, Margaret Holbrook’s “In a Village of Many Ash Trees”. Of course we did not all agree on every specific poem; but given that we had made few or no pre-conditions, it was remarkable how closely the three of us agreed most of the time, particularly when it came to the short list.

Unsurprisingly, there are no “pro-war” poems - whatever that means - and there is a full measure of tragic sympathy. But not all the poems dwell exclusively on the waste and futility of war: like Wilfred Owen himself, many competitors “found music” in stories of friendship and generosity (Susan Davies’s “The Invaders”); courage and loyalty (Greg Freeman’s “Learning by Heart”) even alongside the horrors. The poems which most often aroused our admiration were never literally in the style of Wilfred Owen, though some competitors drew upon his sound-patterns and stanza forms (Alan Franks in both poems, and Mark Haworth-Booth in “The Anthropocene”). Those entries which were in effect a pastiche of Owen or of lesser First World War poets - “mud” rhymes with “blood” and “death” rhymes with “breath” - were often quite effective and moving in their way: but more as a tribute to Owen than as an addition to the canon, and none of them reached the final list.

In fact none of the finalists has written directly about the experience of conflict in 1914-18. Alan Franks’s winning poem itself presents the Great War and its aftermath through an extended metaphor. Others - Pamela Trudie Hodge with “Those Green-Thumbed Boys”; Conor McKee with “The Miners”; Hazel Hutchison with “Intermezzo:  Gallipoli”, Chris Raetschus with “How to Survive the News”, Don Nixon with “War Wreck of a Torpedoed Troopship” - all look at that war obliquely. The war which almost as much pervades the collection (and I don’t think that we had foreseen this) is the Second World War.  Even poets now well into their adult lives have no literal memories of that time: but inherited memories can make powerful poetry - “Pat Winslow with “Utah”, Andria J. Cooke with “The Last One Left” – as can collective memories raised in the imagination:  Rebecca Bilkau with “On Not Visiting Bergen-Belsen”, Kathy Miles with “Picking the Grapes”.

And then there are those other, later wars, the civil wars which we ourselves have escaped bodily but cannot escape in the imagination – Bosnia (Michael Brett with “Every Dead Baby is a Baby Croatian”) and Syria (Roger Elkin with “Fishing the Khabur River”).

In this volume the Wilfred Owen Association has the privilege of presenting twenty-two fine new additions to the world of poetry. We thank all our competitors for making it possible.

The anthology is dedicated to the memory of Richard Graham (1942-2014).  Richard was a loved and valued member of the Wilfred Owen Association.  Almost his last gift to us, before his sudden death, was the administration of the Poetry Competition.

Tags: Poetry Competition, Poetry Award | Category: General

Help unearth the hidden history gems from Wilfred Owen's military training camp in Surrey.

Posted: 06/08/2015 13:02 | News Home

An army of volunteers is needed to help uncover the secrets of a former Surrey military camp where Wilfred Owen penned a prelude to his famous “Anthem for Doomed Youth”.

A century after Owen trained for First World War service at the camp near Godalming, Surrey County Council’s archeological unit is leading a project to excavate the area for the first time and document the findings.

Click here for more information

Category: General

Memorial to Salford Heroes

Posted: 06/08/2015 12:47 | News Home

Our President Peter Owen will be attending the unveiling of a new memorial to 156 men from the Greengate area of Salford who fought in WW1.  The men served in the Manchester Regiment and a line for Anthem for Doomed Youth is to be inscribed on it.

Manchester Evening News (21st July 2015)

Category: General

Wilfred Owen honoured in Dunsden

Posted: 20/05/2015 20:55 | News Home

Residents of Dunsden have honoured First World War poet Wilfred Owen, who once lived in the village.

They staged a spring festival on Sunday which included poetry readings, games, Maypole dancing and the launch of a visitors trail.

More in Henley Standard (20 May 2015)

See also: Get Reading website

Tags: Dunsden, Dunsden Owen Association | Category: General

Wilfred Owen Story named in top Merseyside museums

Posted: 20/05/2015 20:51 | News Home


Conciding with National Museum Day, The Wilfred Owen Story in Birkenhead has been placed second in the top nine of some lesser-known smaller museums in Merseyside.

Based in Argyle Street, The Wilfred Owen Story opened its doors on the poet’s birthday (18th March) four years ago. It is the UK's only permanent exhibition dedicated to the World War One poet, who was educated in Birkenhead.

The full top nine Merseyside museums are listed here.

See also: Wirral Globe article (19 May 2015)

Tags: Wilfred Owen Story | Category: General

Wilfred Owen commission - artist sought

Posted: 12/01/2015 12:18 | News Home

A community partnership between Oswestry Town Council, Qube and The Best Of Oswestry is seeking to commission a work commemorating Wilfred Owen.

The bold commission looks to be a poetic and poignant bridge between the town of Owen’s birth, Oswestry, and Ors, the French village where he was killed, just days before armistice was declared.

Once an artist has been selected, a bid will be made to the National Lottery for up to £100K (depending on the work/artist selected).

Click here for a press release.

For information on The Wilfred Owen Commission: http://www.isendyouthis.com/opportunities.aspx?id=5386 or email c.jackson@qube-oca.org.uk

Deadline 13th Feb 2015

Tags: Artwork, Oswestry | Category: General

Mahim awarded Grade II listed status

Posted: 16/12/2014 14:55 | News Home

"Mahim" (69 Monkmoor Rd) has been awarded Grade II listed status, confirming it is of national importance.

Peter Owen – Wilfred's nephew and President of the Wilfred Owen Association, said: “It is an extremely good idea":

“It means that nothing can be done to it without permission. I think it is really amazing that they are listing the building – they don’t do it every day of the year.”

More in the Shropshire Star (16th December 2014)

BBC website (29th December 2014)

Guardian (29th December 2014)

See also: List Entry

Tags: Monkmoor Road | Category: General

Professor Jon Stallworthy

Posted: 20/11/2014 13:45 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Professor Jon Stallworthy on November 20th.  Professor Stallworthy passed away at home at the age of seventy-nine.

Jon Stallworthy was a much admired poet, biographer and literary scholar.  He was the leading authority on Wilfred Owen.

 

Jon Stallworthy obituary (Guardian, December 3rd 2014)

Jon Stallworthy: Poet and scholar acclaimed for his own work and championing the poets of the First World War (Obituary published in The Independent, December 1st 2014)

Acclaimed professor drew his inspiration from Port Meadow (Oxford Times obituary, December 4th 2014)

Tags: Jon Stallworthy | Category: General

British Empire Medal for Jacky Duminy, Mayor of Ors

Posted: 19/11/2014 16:53 | News Home

Jacky Duminy, Mayor of Ors, is to receive the British Empire Medal for his role in keeping the memory of Wilfred Owen alive.

Wilfred Owen is buried in a British military section of the communal Ors cemetery, close to the canal where he was killed in action on November 4th 1918.  Each year the people of Ors commemorate Owen on the anniversary of his death.

More on the Shropshire Star website (11/11/2014)

Tags: Ors, Jacky Duminy | Category: General

Sir Andrew Motion awarded the 2014 Wilfred Owen Poetry Award

Posted: 17/11/2014 10:10 | News Home

Peter Owen, Wilfred Owen's nephew and president of the Wilfred Owen Association, presented the prize at 'The Past Hovering: An evening of War Poetry', held at the British Academy on November 12th. 

More on the British Academy's website.

Sir Andrew Motion and Peter Owen (copyright Sam Gray)

(copyright Garry Rigby)

Tags: Andrew Motion, Poetry Award | Category: General

Imperial War Museum library threatened with closure

Posted: 14/11/2014 11:52 | News Home

One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, the Imperial War Museum is under threat.

The Museum is facing an annual deficit of £4m because of cuts in government funding.

It has drawn up proposals to:

•   close its unique library and dispose of the majority of its collection

•   cut important education services

•   cut 60-80 jobs

•   close the widely emulated ‘Explore History’ facility in London.

The Museum’s library gives ordinary people access to research materials on all aspects of British and Commonwealth involvement in conflict since 1914.

Prospect trade union believes the world's leading authority on conflict will be irreparably damaged by the £4m deficit.

It has launched this petition to help ensure that the Imperial War Museum continues to provide for, and encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience'.

Please show your support by signing today.

See also: Imperial War Museum library petition gathers strength (Daily Telegraph, November 11th 2014)

Imperial War Museum library threatened with closure (Bookseller, November 7th 2014)

Category: General

The Wilfred Owen Virgin Super Voyager?

Posted: 07/11/2014 15:44 | News Home

Virgin Trains will launch its first service from Shrewsbury to London on December 14 and to celebrate the Shropshire Star-led London Link Campaign, readers have been given the chance to suggest the nameplate on the Virgin Super Voyager, which will be seen across the UK.

The best five were shortlisted by a panel of judges, who looked at hundreds of suggested names. "Wilfred Owen" has been shortlisted for the nameplate.

For more information - and a chance to vote - go to the Shropshire Star website:

http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/11/05/all-aboard-to-name-shropshire-to-london-train/

Category: General

Simon Jenkins on the "responsibility" of playing Wilfred Owen

Posted: 09/10/2014 16:44 | News Home

Actor Simon Jenkins is taking on the role of Owen in the Feelgood Theatre production of Not About Heroes opposite Alasdair Craig as Sassoon.

More in the Liverpool Echo (6 October 2014).

Click here for tour dates.

See also: In an interview the Director, Caroline Clegg, explains the significance of the current tour dates: http://www.northernsoul.me.uk/not-about-heroes/

Tags: Not About Heroes | Category: General

Highly Commended and Runners-up poems announced

Posted: 29/09/2014 20:00 | News Home

The Highly Commended and Runners-up poems entered into the Wilfred Owen Association's International Poetry Competition are:

Highly Commended

  • Mark Haworth-Booth : “The Anthropocene”
  • Don Nixon: “Wreck of a Troopship 1916”
  • Chris Raetschus: “How to Survive the News”
  • Gill Learner: “The Lodestar of the Upper VIth”
  • Kathy Miles: “Picking Grapes”
  • Pat Winslow: “Utah”
  • Hazel Hutchison: “Intermezzo: Gallipoli”   

Runners-up

  • Greg Freeman: “Learning by Heart”
  • Michael Wood: “Bergen-Belsen” 
  • Martin Bennett: “Now thrive the armourers”
  • Michael Brett: “Every dead baby is a baby Croatian”
  • Margaret Holbrook: “In a village of many ash trees”
  • Andria J Cooke: “The Last One Left”
  • Alan Franks: “Late Rendezvous”
  • Susan Davies: The Invaders”
  • Roger Elkin: “Fishing in the Khyber River”
  • Rebecca Bilkau: “On not going to Bergen-Belsen”

First prize in the competition was awarded to Alan Franks for his poem “The Manor”.  Click here for more information.

Tags: competition, Poetry Competition | Category: General

Sir Andrew Motion awarded 2014 Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Award

Posted: 18/09/2014 20:16 | News Home

We are delighted to announce that the 2014 Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Award is presented to Sir Andrew Motion.

Press enquiries: please email WOA's Press Officer, Fiona MacDonald, at fiona@wilfredowen.org.uk

Click here for more about the Award.

The Presentation will take place at The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH during the event, The Past Hovering: An Evening of War Poetry
6pm-7.30pm

If you wish to attend you MUST register.  Details at www.britac.ac.uk/events

Tags: Poetry Award | Category: General

Alan Franks wins Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Competition

Posted: 06/09/2014 17:26 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association has announced the winners of its International Poetry Competition, held to commemorate Wilfred Owen in this WW1 centenary year.

Adult category

  • First prize has been awarded to Alan Franks for his poem “The Manor”
  • Second prize: Pamela Trudie Hodge for "Those Green-Thumbed Boys"
  • Joint Third prize: Susan Davies for "The Mango Tree"

                          Pat Winslow for "Stroyka 501"

Click here to read all four poems.

Young person’s prize

Joint winners:

  • Conor McKee for "The Miners"
  • Peter Mumford for "Ein Unbekannter Deutscher Offizier" ​

Both poems are published here.

Alan Franks receiving his prize from Michael Longley

Press enquiries: please email WOA's Press Officer, Fiona MacDonald, at fiona@wilfredowen.org.uk

Category: General

Two 2018 events announced

Posted: 27/08/2014 17:17 | News Home

WILFRED OWEN AND BEYOND - Conference at Girton College, Cambridge
Friday 26 October – Sunday 28 October 2018

Download a flyer

WILFRED OWEN: FROM THE SOMME TO ORS - a Poets on the Western Front
Battlefield Tours in conjunction with Battle Honours Ltd

2 – 5 November 2018 

Download a flyer

Category: General

Plaque unveiled at Tynecastle High School in Edinburgh

Posted: 27/08/2014 16:32 | News Home

Wilfred Owen has been honoured with a plaque at a school where he taught English while recovering from shell shock in 1917.

The commemorative plaque scheme is designed to celebrate the life and achievements of significant figures, with plaques marking their home or a particular building that is linked with their achievements. In the case of Owen, it also forms part of the centenary events around the outbreak of the World War One.

More on the BBC website

Copyright: Carolyn Kerr (2014)

Tags: Edinburgh, Craiglockhart | Category: General

Lights Out

Posted: 04/08/2014 06:57 | News Home

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime” Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, August 1914.

On Monday 4 August 2014, everyone in the UK is invited to turn their lights out from 10pm-11pm, leaving on a single light or candle to mark the moment the UK entered the First World War, one hundred years ago. More about Lights Out

This evening, August 4th, our President Peter Owen, his wife Elizabeth, our Chair Meg Crane and a small number of our members will be attending a vigil at Westminster AbbeyOur Treasurer, Sam Gray, will be at a vigil at All Saints Church, Dunsden, where Wilfred Owen worked as a lay assistant to the vicar from October 1911 to February 1913. 

How will you mark the First World War Centenary?

The Wilfred Owen Association is a member of the First World War Centenary Partnership network, which is led by the Imperial War Museum. Please watch and share this First World War Centenary video ad (made by www.1914.org).

Tags: Centenary | Category: General

Siegfried Sassoon's war diaries published online

Posted: 01/08/2014 13:37 | News Home

The diaries of war poet Siegfried Sassoon are being published online for the first time.

The archive of 23 journals and two notebooks of poetry has been digitised by the Cambridge University Library, which bought the collection in 2009.  It is freely available from August 1st. Click here for access.

More on the BBC website

Tags: Sassoon | Category: General

New Wilfred Owen App

Posted: 23/07/2014 10:44 | News Home

Ian Bennett, a lecturer in film and media at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, has designed and built a new iPad app which explores the works of Wilfred Owen.

Forty five of the poet’s works are featured on the app. All are read by women from a wide variety of backgrounds, some with connections to the armed forces.

More in Cambridge News (22 July 2014)

Click here to buy the App

Category: General

Dulce et Decorum Est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

Posted: 09/07/2014 15:15 | News Home

Wilfred Owen features in the Independent newspaper's series "A History of the First World War in 100 Moments"

See: Independent, 8th July 2014

Category: General

The Wilfred Owen Violin

Posted: 27/06/2014 16:16 | News Home

For the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in August 2014, a violin is being made which will have extraordinary historical associations and which can be used for concerts and in an educational outreach programme to a wide and diverse audience for many years to come.

The violin, to be called The Wilfred Owen Violin is being made from a branch of a sycamore growing in the grounds of Craiglockhart, the Edinburgh hydropathic institute which became a most important military psychiatric hospital for the treatment of shell-shocked officers.  Most well-known of the patients, treated were Owen and Siegfried Sassoon (who wrote about his experiences of being sent to the hospital as a response to his anti-war letter a 'Soldier's Declaration' in his semi-autobiographical novel Sherston's Progress).

As it becomes known and used in the future the violin might come to stand for all those who were damaged by their involvement in the war. Its particular links with Owen and Sassoon will be constantly stressed as their stories are told and poems used. Music as a recognised healing power will flow from the instrument and by way of the project to allow discussion of what Wilfred Owen famously called 'the pity of war'.

The violin is being made by Steve Burnett, an Edinburgh instrument maker with a passion for using wood from trees with unique connections to individuals or historical events. He writes, 'For some time I have had in mind to make a violin/fiddle to honour the memory of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and their generation. Now is the most fitting time to realise this idea, with the approach of the centenary of the beginning of the Great War. Inside the violin are the words of Owen's pre-war poem, Written in a Wood 1910. 'We have chosen a limb from a sycamore tree growing alongside a lovely beech tree at Craiglockhart and this will make this a poignant statement of the sacrifices of that generation.'

A number of projects featuring Steve Burnett's instruments have already been successfully initiated. Perhaps the most important of these is the Conan Doyle project: Until 2009 (coincidently the 150th anniversary of his birth) a sycamore tree grew in the garden of Liberton Bank House in the south of Edinburgh, a place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spent part of his childhood. The tree was approximately 175 years old when it had to be felled because of diseased roots so it is very likely that the great author would have played in and under it as a small boy. Five instruments were fashioned from the wood,  what became known as 'The Sherlock Violin' and two violins, a viola and a cello which have been dubbed 'The Conan Doyle Quartet'. Since they were made the instruments have featured in many concerts in Edinburgh and beyond for a variety of local and international children's and environmental charities. The critically acclaimed 'Sherlock Violin' has been accepted into Edinburgh University's Collection of Historical Musical Instruments and is now valued at £30,000.

Concert and educational work will be very much a priority of The Wilfred Owen Violin Fund project; to engage with young people in particular, as a reminder of the sometime necessity, but ultimate futility, horrors and Pity of War (as Owen entitled his poem) and of the importance of reconciliation and understanding across all nationalities and faiths. The violin will act as a voice for peace and unity and as a hub for schoolchildren and others to consider their opinions through music, art and writing. Plans are already afoot to engage with well known violinists to use the instrument as a voice  and envoy for peace and reconciliation in the spirit of Wilfred Owen and that generation.

The Wilfred Owen Violin Fund

The Wilfred Owen Violin Fund Committee is seeking to raise £10,000 for the making of the violin (£8,000) and the staging of an initial concert to launch the violin.  Benefactors will be acknowledged on a plaque in the War Poets' Collection (part of Napier University's Craiglockhart campus) where it is planned to house the violin in between concert touring in the UK and abroad and visits to schools.

For further information about the Wilfred Owen Violin Fund project please e-mail wilfredowenviolin@gmail.com.  A dedicated account has been set up with the Clydesdale Bank [The Wilfred Owen Violin Fund: sort-code: 826227   account number: 10563307].

Click here to listen to a BBC radio programme about the violin

Tags: Violin | Category: General

International Poetry Competition in commemoration of Wilfred Owen

Posted: 14/04/2014 12:47 | News Home

To mark the Centenary of the outbreak of WW1, The Wilfred Owen Association has launched an International Poetry Competition in commemoration of Wilfred Owen (1893-1918).

1st Prize: £500
2nd Prize: £250
3rd Prize: £150

and a special young people’s prize of £250 for the best poem by a poet under 19 years.

10 Runners-up and Commended poems to be published in an anthology.

The Judges, Gladys Mary Coles, Merryn Williams and Meg Crane, will be looking for poems ‘in the spirit of Wilfred Owen’, poems with compassion and empathetic insight, on any subject or theme (not necessarily on war).

Download a flyer

Download more information, including competition rules, and an entry form.

Alternatively email wilfredowen1918@googlemail.com

Deadline for entries: June 30th 2014

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED

Category: General

Lost copies of The Hydra found

Posted: 19/03/2014 10:58 | News Home

Three copies of "The Hydra", the magazine of Craiglockhart War Hospital, which Owen edited during his time there, have finally been discovered.

Edinburgh Napier University established a War Poets Collection in 1988, but until now the permanent exhibition has relied on photocopied copies of "Hydra" supplied by Oxford University.

However, edition number 6 dated 7 July, 1917 is still missing - even Oxford University does not have this.  If you have a copy, please get in touch - woa@1914-18.co.uk.

More in The Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2014

The War Poets Collection

See also: Secrets of The Hydra: how Tolkien research uncovered lost Wilfred Owen magazines by John Garth

 

Tags: Hydra | Category: General

The Adlestrop Poetry competition

Posted: 08/03/2014 10:16 | News Home

Adlestrop’ is one of Britain’s best-loved poems conjuring up a picture of an idyllic countryside glimpsed before the horrors of the First World War and the poet’s own death in 1917 at Arras.

A hundred years ago, on Midsummer’s Day, the 24th of June 1914,  Edward Thomas made his memorable journey from London to Ledbury on a steam train which happened to stop at Adlestrop Station.  His recollections of that hot summer afternoon were later distilled into the poem ‘Adlestrop.’ To celebrate the poem, the village of Adlestrop in association with Cotswold Life is marking the centenary of the train journey with this poetry competition.
The entrance fees for entering the competition are to raise funds for the historic parish church of Adlestrop, St Mary Magdalene, which faces a £40,000 shortfall after a recent fabric review.

The entrants to the competition are asked to write a poem of sixteen lines which has been inspired by the original Edward Thomas poem. The judge will be the poet P.J. Kavanagh. The winner will receive a cheque of £400 and their poem will be published on this website and also in Cotswold Life.


•    The Adlestrop Poetry Competition is open to anyone, including non-UK applicants
•    Entries must be in English.
•    The closing date of the competition is 30 April 2014.

More information at: http://adlestroppoem.wordpress.com/

Category: General

Call for new WOA Committee Members

Posted: 15/02/2014 15:13 | News Home

Are you interested in helping to shape the future of the Wilfred Owen Association?

The Wilfred Owen Association is looking for people to join its Committee.  This is an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of the Association, as your decisions and contributions will have a direct impact on how we commemorate Owen’s life and work. 

Roles include Membership Secretary, Secretary, Events Coordinator, Press Officer (including social media), Fundraising Officer, Education Officer and Journal Editor.

If you have the interest and also the time to help us, and you are either a current WOA member or willing to join, please get in touch with the Chair, Meg Crane (megmcrane@gmail.com), or email woa@1914-18.co.uk.

Category: General

International Poetry Competition in commemoration of Wilfred Owen

Posted: 20/01/2014 12:42 | News Home

To mark the Centenary of the outbreak of WW1, The Wilfred Owen Association has launched an International Poetry Competition in commemoration of Wilfred Owen (1893-1918).

1st Prize: £500
2nd Prize: £250
3rd Prize: £150

and a special young people’s prize of £250 for the best poem by a poet under 19 years.

10 Runners-up and Commended poems to be published in an anthology.

The Judges, Gladys Mary Coles, Merryn Williams and Meg Crane, will be looking for poems ‘in the spirit of Wilfred Owen’, poems with compassion and empathetic insight, on any subject or theme (not necessarily on war).

Download a flyer

Download more information, including competition rules, and an entry form.

Alternatively email wilfredowen1918@googlemail.com

Deadline for entries: June 30th 2014

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED

 

 

Category: General

Dunsden Owen Association

Posted: 18/12/2013 15:31 | News Home

An article about the Dunsden Owen Association, which was formed earlier this year to promote Wilfred Owen’s connections with the Dunsden area and to link the village with Ors, where Owen was killed and is buried.

http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=1387221

(Henley Standard, 9 December 2013)

See also: Project honours the memory of First World War poet Wilfred Owen (Get Reading, 31 March 2014):

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/project-honours-memory-first-world-6896159

 

Tags: Dunsden Owen Association | Category: General

In Memoriam: Wilfred Owen

Posted: 31/10/2013 16:22 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association has again arranged for an In Memoriam announcement to go into The Times newspaper on Monday 4 November, to commemorate Wilfred Owen's death.

Category: General

World War I National Portrait Gallery show announced

Posted: 28/10/2013 14:36 | News Home

The centenary of World War I is to be marked in a National Portrait Gallery show of paintings, films and sculptures inspired by the conflict.

It will feature portraits of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24655091

Tags: National Portrait Gallery | Category: General

Seamus Heaney 1939-2013

Posted: 30/08/2013 16:14 | News Home

The world-renowned poet Seamus Heaney has died aged 74.

Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and was presented with the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award in Shrewsbury in 2000.

BBC news has published an obituary (30 August 2013):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13930435

An obituary will also be printed in the next issue of the Wilfred Owen Association Journal.

 

 

 

Tags: Seamus Heaney | Category: General

Life-size statue of Owen unveiled in Shrewsbury

Posted: 26/06/2013 16:38 | News Home

Life-size statues of famous Salopians, including Wilfred Owen, have been unveiled in Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Star readers were asked to vote for their favourite “local heroes” to feature in the art sculpture.

More on the Shropshire Star website (25 June 2013)

Tags: Shrewsbury, Statue | Category: General

Call for volunteers to participate in the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival

Posted: 17/06/2013 15:14 | News Home

Sam Gray, The Wilfred Owen Association’s Treasurer, is organising a reading on Poetry Sunday (July 7th).  Poetry Sunday forms part of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival.

If you are interested in contributing, please contact Sam direct at swgray@talktalk.net  You do not have to read Owen; any appropriate poem can be added to the programme, including your own work if relevant.

Tags: Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, Poetry Sunday | Category: General

War poet Wilfred Owen can boost Oswestry tourism

Posted: 13/06/2013 16:08 | News Home

Oswestry Councillor Chris Schofield said more should be done to market the town as the birthplace of Wilfred Owen as Britain gears up for the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.

From The Shropshire Star (22 May 2013)

See also: Why we should revere links to Wilfred Owen (Shropshire Star, 13 June 2013)

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

Opening of the "Walking in Wilfred Owen's Footsteps Trail" in Ors, France

Posted: 01/06/2013 12:56 | News Home

The Walking in Wilfred Owen’s Footsteps Trail opened on 2nd June in Ors, France, where Owen is buried. It is the result of collaboration between the Nord and Nord-Pas de Calais Tourist Boards, as well as the Cambrai and District Tourist Office, and the dedication of Ors Mayor Jacky Duminy. 

Read more on the allmediascotland.com website (31 May 2013) 

More information is also on www.tourisme-nord.com

Tags: Ors | Category: General

The Wilfred Owen Bursary - 2013 recipients announced

Posted: 27/03/2013 11:48 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Bursary - awarded each year to a promising poet, in the form of a course at the Arvon Writers' Centre at Ty Newydd, near Criccieth in North Wales - has this year been given to two worthy recipients: Carole Powell from Narberth in Pembrokeshire, and Andrea Gosling from East Grinstead in Sussex. The WOA is grateful to Ty Newydd for the financial help which has made it possible to award two bursaries this year.
 
The course will take place in April, and the tutors will be Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales - and also, of course, the most recent holder of the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award - and Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate. We congratulate Carole and Andrea, and we look forward to hearing from them about their experience of the course, and to seeing more of their work.

Tags: bursary | Category: General

The Humane Society, debut pamphlet from Jodie Hollander

Posted: 11/01/2013 16:06 | News Home

"The Humane Society" is the debut pamphlet from Jodie Hollander, recent recipient of a Wilfred Owen Association bursary.

"Romantic, surreal and tender, it paints a family portrait that is a mixture of memoir, ghost story and artistic obsession, as well as being an elegy for an older, more mannered, world".

Jodie is originally from Wisconsin and now lives and works in Washington DC. An alumni of the Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa University, her poetry has appeared in a number of poetry magazines and journals both in the UK and America. She has also received a Fullbright Scholarship and is due to receive a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2013.  She was awarded the Wilfred Owen Association bursary to study at Ty Newydd in 2012.

The Humane Society is available from tall-lighthouse publishing

Click here for a scan of the cover

"The Glass Elephants", a sample poem from the pamphlet, can be downloaded from here.

 

 

Tags: Jodie Hollander | Category: General

NEW Owen inspired artwork in Craiglockhart

Posted: 11/01/2013 13:13 | News Home

A new public artwork inspired by Wilfred Owen’s time at Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, has gone on display.

Entitled Hillside and designed by artist Lara Greene, the distinctive work was commissioned by the local community council and is located outside the Post Office on Colinton Road.

Wilfred Owen met fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon at the former hydro in 1917.

Read more on the Edinburgh Evening News website

 

Tags: Craiglockhart | Category: General

Birkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields development will go ahead

Posted: 06/12/2012 19:11 | News Home

The Government will not prevent Tranmere Rovers building houses on Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Fields in Birkenhead. 

Wirrall Council approved the club's application to build up to 90 houses in October.

The building work was stalled while the Department for Communities and Local Government decided whether to scrutinise the application.

But Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has now passed up the opportunity to intervene because the department has to be "very selective" about which applications it looks at.

More in the Daily Telegraph, 6 December 2012

The plans were opposed by the Wilfred Owen Association.

 

 

Tags: Birkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields | Category: General

New statue of Wilfred Owen in Shrewsbury

Posted: 27/11/2012 10:17 | News Home

Thousands of people cast their votes on the Shropshire Star’s website to pick their favourite Salopians from a shortlist of nine nominees. Wilfred Owen topped the male category, receiving more than 51 per cent of the vote.

Read more on the Shrewsbury Star website (November 27th)

 

Category: General

Vote for a Wilfred Owen statue in Shrewsbury

Posted: 16/11/2012 09:49 | News Home

The public are being asked to help choose three Shropshire heroes to be turned into life-sized statues.  Wilfred Owen is on the shortlist.

Click here to vote

For more information, and for other ways of casting your vote, see the BBC Shropshire website

Please vote!

 

 

Tags: Statue | Category: General

Tranmere Rovers' Wilfred Owen memorial field plan halted

Posted: 15/11/2012 09:18 | News Home

The decision to approve an application to build up to 90 houses on the Ingleborough Road memorial field could be "called in" by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The land was formerly part of Birkenhead Institute school and the fields and pavilion serve as a memorial to former pupils, including Wilfred Owen, who died in World War I.

BBC News, 13 November 2012

 


Tags: Birkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields, Tranmere Rovers | Category: General

Tranmere Rovers' Ingleborough playing field development plans are approved

Posted: 01/11/2012 11:14 | News Home

Plans to develop the Birkenhead Institute's former playing field have been approved. The field is a memorial to former pupils – including Wilfred Owen – who died during World War I.

Wirral News, 31 October 2012

The Wilfred Owen Association objected to the proposal and submitted a consultation response.  Click here to read it.

 

Tags: Tranmere Rovers, Birkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields | Category: General

Wilfred Owen's birthplace given listed status

Posted: 18/10/2012 09:47 | News Home

English Heritage has granted Plas Wilmot, where Owen was born on March 18th 1893, grade II listed status.

Read more on the BBC Shropshire website.

See also: War poet Wilfred Owen’s birthplace is given listed status (Shropshire Star, 15 October 2012)

 


 

 

 

Tags: Plas Wilmot | Category: General

In Memoriam - Dr Dominic Hibberd

Posted: 29/08/2012 12:18 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association’s Committee was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr Dominic Hibberd.  Dr Hibberd passed away on 12 August 2012 after a long illness. He was seventy.

Dominic Hibberd will be remembered as the second biographer of Wilfred Owen and as a penetrating analyst of Owen’s work. He was one of the WOA’s Vice Presidents.

Dr Hibberd was a graduate of King’s College, Cambridge and taught at universities in Britain, the U.S.A., and China before becoming a full-time writer. His biographies of Wilfred Owen (2002) and Harold Monro (2001) were highly praised, as was his critical study, Owen the Poet (1982). His most recent publication was the anthology The Winter of the World: Poems of the First World War (2007), edited by John Onions.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Dr Hibberd also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cambridge. 

An appropriate event to remember Dominic Hibberd and his work will be announced in the next few months and details will be posted on this website as soon as they are available.  A full obituary will also be published here shortly.

Selected obituaries

Dominic Hibberd

Daily Telegraph, 17 September 2012

Dominic Hibberd obituary

Leading authority on the life and work of the war poet Wilfred Owen.

Guardian, 12 September 2012

Dr Dominic Hibberd: expert on war poets

Oxford Mail, 30 August 2012

 


Tags: Dominic Hibberd | Category: General

Tickets now on sale for the 2012 Poetry Award presentation

Posted: 29/08/2012 12:00 | News Home

 

The Wilfred Owen Association is pleased and proud to announce that Gillian Clarke has agreed to accept the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award for 2012. Click here for more information

The Award presentation will take place at the Gateway, Shrewsbury, on Saturday October 27th. 

The presentation will follow a day of events, including the WOA AGM:

Noon-1pm AGM (all welcome, but only current WOA members can vote)

1pm-2pm Lunch (see below)

2pm-3.30pm Showing of the film Resistance, from the bestselling book by the poet, novelist and broadcaster Owen Sheers

3.30pm-4.30pm Discussion on Boarder Literature

4.30pm-5pm Tea (see below)

5pm-6pm Presentation of the 2012 Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Award to Gillian Clarke, with a discussion chaired by Meg Crane, Chair of the Wilfred Owen Association

The costs for attending the events after the AGM (the AGM is free) are as follows:

£7 for the film (£10 non-members)

£8 for all events, except the film (£11 for non-members)

£15 for all events, including the film (£18 for non-members)

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Lunch and tea

Lunch and tea are not included in the above costs and may be purchased from The Gateway on the day.

Email: woa@1914-18.co.uk for more information about the event.

We look forward to welcoming many of our members - and non-members - to The Gateway on Saturday 27 October.

 

 

Tags: Gillian Clarke, AGM, Poetry Award | Category: General

Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Fields redevelopment plans re-submitted

Posted: 23/07/2012 09:46 | News Home

The application to develop Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Fields in Birkenhead has been re-submitted. 

Tranmere Rovers acquired the land, formerly the school playing field for Birkenhead Institute, from the Council in 1994.  Wilfred Owen attended the Institute between 1900 and 1906.

The Wilfred Owen Association objects to the proposal and has submitted the following consultation response:

"Wilfred Owen Association (WOA) is disappointed to see that this application has been re-submitted without any consideration of our comments on the first proposal. The planning application does not give adequate consideration to the war memorial status of the whole site, or to the question of how  best to sustain the memory of the young students of the Birkenhead Institute who were killed in the First World War.  WOA views the application in its present form as ill-considered. It identifies only the tablet on the pavilion as the war memorial - without regard to the memorial status of the playing field, pavilion and trees - and the simplistic solution offered is that in moving the tablet off-site, the whole memorial status and meaning has been retained. This is not the case as the memorial was meant to be a facility for the young to enjoy sporting life. We, the Wilfred Owen Association, would like the planners to consider a way of sympathetically incorporating the memory of these young men by ensuring facilities for sport and recreation in any development and retaining the commeorative tablet as part of this. This is an important case, since whatever is decided may act as a precedent for future planning applications relating to war memorial playing field sites."

More information on the plans is on the Wirral News website: http://tinyurl.com/cu4342a

See also Daily Telegraph coverage (26 July 2012):

 

Tags: Tranmere Rovers, Birkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields | Category: General

Plas Wilmot could be listed by English Heritage

Posted: 22/07/2012 10:51 | News Home

The birthplace of World War I poet Wilfred Owen could be listed under a bid being considered by English Heritage.

More on the BBC Shropshire website

Read The WOA's letter of support, submitted by Peter Owen.

Tags: Plas Wilmot | Category: General

Gillian Clarke awarded Wilfred Owen Poetry Award

Posted: 14/03/2012 19:47 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association is pleased and proud to announce that Gillian Clarke has agreed to accept the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award for 2012. She will be the first woman poet to receive it.

The Award presentation will take place at the Gateway, Shrewsbury, on Saturday October 27th. Click here for more information.

See Carcanet press release.

Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales, and recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010, was born in 1937 and brought up in Cardiff. Although both of her parents were Welsh-speakers, she was not brought up to speak the language but – like R.S.Thomas – learned it as an adult.  She and her husband now live in mid-Wales, where, in addition to all their other activities, they run an organic smallholding.

Gillian studied English at the University of Wales in Cardiff, and worked briefly at the BBC before marriage and motherhood.  Her first mature poem, “The Sun Dial”, became the title poem of her first collection in 1978: there have been eleven volumes since, published mostly by Carcanet. Gillian was Editor for some years of the Anglo-Welsh Review, and is closely connected with the Writers’ Centre at Tŷ Newydd, near Cricieth in North Wales – at which the WOA now offers an annual bursary.

The WOA likes to give the Award to writers who have created a substantial body of work over the years. We do not at all insist that the recipient should be primarily a “war poet”, but it is naturally a major theme for modern poets, and all the recipients so far have, at one time or another, tackled the subject of war. Gillian Clarke has written a number of such poems – notably about the Bosnian War and the First Gulf War.  Poems such as “The Field Mouse” and “Siege” dramatically and poignantly use the Welsh landscape as both backdrop and metaphor for human hope and human cruelty.

In October 2011, a number of WOA members were able to meet Gillian, and to hear her read, at the opening of the Forester’s House near Ors. Following upon this, the Committee unanimously agreed to offer her the WOA Award for this coming year. The award is made every two years, and previous recipients include the late Christopher Logue, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Tony Harrison, Dannie Abse and Professor Jon Stallworthy.  Gillian Clarke is a distinguished addition to this list. 

The Award presentation will follow a day of events planned for Saturday October 27th at the Gateway in Wilfred Owen’s home town of Shrewsbury.  We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Tags: Gillian Clarke | Category: General

The Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Field Preservation Society

Posted: 15/02/2012 20:32 | News Home

Following Tranmere Rovers football club's decision to withdrawn its application to build almost 100 homes on the Ingleborough Road playing fields, a memorial to pupils of Birkenhead Institute who died in WW1, the Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Field Preservation Society has been formed.  The Society pledges "to honour the memory of 88 Fallen WWI Heroes remembered at this field by preserving it as was intended: for future generations to enjoy and commemorate the price that was paid... the ultimate sacrifice".  

If you would like to join, please download and complete an application form (click here) and return it to the Wilfred Owen Story in Birkenhead.

 

Category: General

Tranmere Rovers withdraw plans for Ingleborough Memorial Fields

Posted: 13/02/2012 21:06 | News Home

The football club has withdrawn its application to build almost 100 homes on the Ingleborough Road playing fields.  The fields are a memorial to pupils of Birkenhead Institute who died in WW1, including Wilfred Owen.

The plans sparked objections from many residents and Dean Johnson, founder of the Wilfred Owen Story, launched a high profile campaign to save the memorial field.

Wirral Globe (February 10th, 2012)

Category: General

Commonwealth War Graves Commission launches new website

Posted: 02/02/2012 18:48 | News Home

The CWGC website has undergone a major redesign aimed at improving the user experience and the ease with which people find information about the Commission, their work and the men and women they commemorate.

In particular, the site has been made more colourful, dynamic and easy to navigate.

Take a look - www.cwgc.org

 

 

Tags: Commonwealth War Graves Commission | Category: General

Dannie Abse CBE

Posted: 07/01/2012 16:42 | News Home

Poet and playwright Dr Dannie Abse, recipient of the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award in 2009, has been awarded a CBE for services to poetry and literature in the 2012 New Years Honours List.  

Dr Abse talks about his CBE on the BBC Wales website.

Tags: Dannie Abse | Category: General

The Wilfred Owen Poetry Award

Posted: 16/12/2011 21:40 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association is pleased and proud to announce that Gillian Clarke has agreed to accept the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award for 2012. She will be the first woman poet to receive it.

Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales, and recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010, was born in 1937 and brought up in Cardiff. Although both of her parents were Welsh-speakers, she was not brought up to speak the language but – like R.S.Thomas – learned it as an adult.  She and her husband now live in mid-Wales, where, in addition to all their other activities, they run an organic smallholding.

Gillian studied English at the University of Wales in Cardiff, and worked briefly at the BBC before marriage and motherhood.  Her first mature poem, “The Sun Dial”, became the title poem of her first collection in 1978: there have been eleven volumes since, published mostly by Carcanet. Gillian was Editor for some years of the Anglo-Welsh Review , and is closely connected with the Writers’ Centre at Tŷ Newydd, near Cricieth in North Wales – at which the WOA now offers an annual bursary.

The WOA likes to give the Award to writers who have created a substantial body of work over the years. We do not at all insist that the recipient should be primarily a “war poet”, but it is naturally a major theme for modern poets, and all the recipients so far have, at one time or another, tackled the subject of war. Gillian Clarke has written a number of such poems – notably about the Bosnian War and the First Gulf War.  Poems such as “The Field Mouse” and “Siege” dramatically and poignantly use the Welsh landscape as both backdrop and metaphor for human hope and human cruelty.

In October 2011, a number of WOA members were able to meet Gillian, and to hear her read, at the opening of the Forester’s House near Ors. Following upon this, the Committee unanimously agreed to offer her the WOA Award for this coming year. The award is made every two years, and previous recipients include the late Christopher Logue, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Tony Harrison, Dannie Abse and Professor Jon Stallworthy.  Gillian Clarke is a distinguished addition to this list. 

The Award will take place as close as possible to Remembrance weekend in 2012 – details will follow as soon as they can be confirmed.


Tags: Gillian Clarke | Category: General

Christopher Logue 1926-2011

Posted: 05/12/2011 21:22 | News Home

Poet Christopher Logue, recipient of the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award in 1998, has died aged 85.  

An obituary will be printed in the next issue of the Wilfred Owen Association Journal.

Christopher Logue obituary (Guardian, 3 December 2011)

 

 

 

Tags: Christopher Logue | Category: General

E-petition to change Scrap Metal Dealers Act, 1964

Posted: 05/12/2011 21:15 | News Home

Due to a significant rise in value, metal has become a much sought after commodity. This increased demand has resulted in a sharp rise in metal theft nationally. War memorials and statues are amongst the items that have been taken.

Historically the scrap metal trade has been a cash in hand industry. This creates difficulties as there is no audit trail, making identification of individuals who may be trading stolen metal or who may be committing tax or benefits fraud, a difficult proposition. An amendment to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 to prohibit cash transactions would make payment by cheque or directly into a bank account mandatory and would be a significant component in reducing metal theft.

Please sign the e-petition on the HM Government website.

Tags: Scrap Metal Dealers Act | Category: General

The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize for young people

Posted: 22/11/2011 13:57 | News Home

The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize is the Vimy Foundation’s flagship programme. Providing young students with a historical perspective second to none, the annual scholarship brings together youth from Canada, the United Kingdom and France, so that they can better appreciate the intertwined history of their three nations and come to understand the bravery and sacrifice of war.

The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize is awarded on the basis of essay submissions and interviews. Participants must be 15-17 years old with a 70% grade average at school and proven leadership skills. Winners take part in an intensive scholarship program in Europe, participating in educational seminars and museum events, including visits to the iconic Vimy War Memorial and other historic battlefields and gravesites, in England, Belgium and France.

Application deadline is February 15th, 2012.  Download a form from the Vimy Foundation's website.

 

Click here for more on the Vimy Foundation.

 

Tags: Beaverbrook Vimy Prize, Vimy Foundation | Category: General

Anthony and Lorraine Brown's portrait of Wilfred Owen goes on display at Liverpool Cathedral

Posted: 10/11/2011 21:21 | News Home

A new portrait of Wilfred Owen has been placed on display at Liverpool Cathedral.

Created by Anthony and Lorraine Brown, it is the first piece in a major new art project dedicated to soldiers through time and the impact of war on society. It features a background of images of memorabilia, photographs and, poignantly, Owen’s own hand written poems and letters.

More in the Liverpool Daily Post (November 1st 2011)

See also the Liverpool Cathedral website.

 


Tags: Liverpool Cathedral | Category: General

Bleached Bone and Living Wood - the Forester's House

Posted: 10/11/2011 21:15 | News Home

 

BBC Radio 4 broadcast about Wilfred Owen and the Forester's House, where Owen wrote his last letter.

Available for 7 days from November 10th.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016x2jy

Articles about the Forester's House:

A shrine to war poet hero Wilfred Owen

(The Telegraph, 13 November 2011)

How Wilfred Owen’s poetry lives on in his forest hideout

(Daily Mail, 24 October 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Forester's House | Category: General

Matthew Hollis wins the Biographers' Club Best First Biography Award

Posted: 01/11/2011 13:26 | News Home

The winner of this year's £5,000 HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize was Matthew Hollis for Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas, published by Faber.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Michael Prodger said: ‘Matthew Hollis's Now All Roads Lead to France is not just an account of one of the First World War's less starry poets but of two worlds. The first is the febrile poetry world of the time, full of arguments, striving and intense friendships; the second is the world of creativity inside Thomas's head and just how the poems came about and were crafted. Hollis depicts both with extraordinary insight and in prose that is in the very best sense poetic.

Read about the prize on the Biographers' Club website.

 

Tags: Matthew Hollis | Category: General

In Memoriam announcement

Posted: 22/10/2011 17:20 | News Home

An In Memoriam announcement for Wilfred Owen will appear in The Times on November 4th to mark the 93rd anniversary of his death.  It has been placed by the Wilfred Owen Association.

The notice reads:

OWEN Lieutenant Wilfred MC, poet, died while crossing the Sambre Canal, 4th November 1918. ‘And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.’

Category: General

Rosalind Hudis wins the 2011 Wilfred Owen Association Bursary.

Posted: 13/10/2011 20:49 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association is delighted to announce the winner of this year's Wilfred Owen Association Bursary, which takes the form of a fully-paid place on one of the courses at the Ty Newydd writers' centre near Cricieth. 

Out of almost twenty submissions - many of them of excellent quality - for the bursary this year, all three judges chose Rosalind Hudis, of Pont Newydd, Aberystwyth, as the outright winner. Her work seems to us to be of outstanding quality: her poetic voice is individually distinctive, but also takes its place in the tradition of R.S.Thomas and Gillian Clarke - which is high praise indeed. We particularly admired the way in which she makes the Welsh landscape act in various ways as a metaphor for the human condition and the human drama.

Ms Hudis will be a student on the "Poetry, Memoir and Fiction" course run by Owen Sheers and Paul Henry at Ty Newydd in November. We hope that she will let us have an account of the course, and also some of her poems, to publish in a future issue of the Journal of the Wilfred Owen Association. 

Category: General

Maison Forestière - pictures from the opening

Posted: 05/10/2011 21:09 | News Home

Over 900 people attended the opening of the stunning Maison Forestière last Saturday (October 1st).

Turner Prize nominee Simon Patterson was commissioned to convert the Forester's House (Maison Forestière), where Owen wrote his last letter on October 31st 1918, into a permanent sculptured memorial to Owen

More information about the Maison Forestière is on the Travel Editor website.

A feature in the Oxford Times (13 October 2011) and the Mail on Sunday (23 October 2011)

If you'd like more information please email woa@1914-18.co.uk or contact the Wilfred Owen Association France (contact@wilfredowen.fr).

 

Peter Owen (far right) with dignitaries at the opening

The inauguration

The stunning Maison Forestière

Photos by Sam Gray

 

Tags: Forester's House | Category: General

Birkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields

Posted: 07/09/2011 21:32 | News Home

 

The Wilfred Owen Association has submitted a response to Wirral Borough Council concerning Tranmere Rovers’ application for planning permission to build 100 homes on its Ingleborough Road training ground in Birkenhead.

Tranmere acquired the land, formerly the school playing field for Birkenhead Institute, from the Council in 1994.  Wilfred Owen attended the Institute between 1900 and 1906.  In the 1920s 88 trees were planted in memory of former pupils, including Owen, who had been killed in WW1.  There is also a memorial plaque.  

More information about the memorial fields is on the UK National Inventory of War Memorials website.

The WOA response

"This planning application does not give adequate consideration to the war memorial status of this site, or to the question of how  best to sustain the memory of the old boys of the Birkenhead Institute. The Wilfred Owen Association request that an attempt be made to identify and preserve the trees planted in memory of the Birkenhead Institute old boys killed in the First World War, and that full consideration be given to the fact that the playing fields and pavilion have a commemorative purpose.

The application in its present form seems ill-considered. It identifies only the tablet on the pavilion as the war memorial - without regard to the trees, or to the field itself - and the simplistic solution offered is that in moving the tablet, the whole memorial has been moved. We, the Wilfred Owen Association, are asking the planners to go back to the drawing board and to think of a way of sympathetically sustaining the memory of the old boys. This is an important case, since whatever is decided, it may act as a precedent for future planning applications relating to war memorial sites."

 

Tags: irkenhead Institute Memorial Playing Fields | Category: General

Wilfred Owen bursary

Posted: 07/09/2011 21:27 | News Home

 

The Wilfred Owen Association is offering a bursary to an aspiring poet who would like to attend one of Ty Newydd’s courses in November 2011, but who is unable to do so because of his or her financial circumstances.

It is recognised that being unemployed, on income support or being a full-time student are not the only reasons for not being able to afford the full fees.  We would be grateful therefore, if you do not come under one of these headings, if you would explain briefly your circumstances and the reasons for your application for this bursary. 

We would also like you to explain why you consider that the course you have applied for would be of particular benefit to you. This can be done in the space below or in a separate letter.

Please send with your application form a small selection of your work (maximum 4 poems of moderate length), preferably by e-mail, to arrive at Ty Newydd by Monday, September 19th.  Make sure that all your work has your name on it and is marked “Wilfred Owen Bursary”.

We will inform you during the first week of October whether you have been awarded the bursary. 

The decision will be made by the Wilfred Owen Association Committee and is final.

The successful applicant will be expected to write a short report on the course which should be sent to Ty Newydd by the end of 2011.

There may be the opportunity for poems created on the course to be published in the Wilfred Owen Association Newsletter and on the Ty Newydd website.

Poems sent by post cannot be returned.

Further information, and an application form, can be downloaded from the Ty Newydd website.

See also the Literature Wales website.

Tags: Ty Newydd, Tŷ Newydd | Category: General

Musical about Wilfred Owen to be directed by former Brookside actor Dean Sullivan

Posted: 07/09/2011 21:21 | News Home

Bullets and Daffodils, penned by Wirral songwriter Dean Johnson, will be previewed at the Lyceum in Port Sunlight in October. Dean Sullivan, well known for his role as Jimmy Corkhill in the former Liverpool soap will be directing the show and for the two preview performances will also be the narrator.

More information on the Liverpool Echo website (6 September 2011)

Tags: Dean Sullivan | Category: General

Philip Levine appointed 18th Poet Laureate of the United States

Posted: 14/08/2011 20:15 | News Home

In an interview in The New Yorker, and in The Washington Post, Philip Levine, America's new poet Laureate, talks about Owen:

"When Levine was 17, his English teacher lent him a book of Wilfred Owen’s poetry. Levine, coming of age during WWII, immersed himself in this “exquisitely antiwar book” based on Owen’s experiences as a lieutenant in WWI.

“'It validated my own feelings about a future in combat,” he said. “I did not look forward to graduating high school and getting drafted. . . . If you went to the films, which we did all the time, it was very clear that you were less than a man if you weren’t willing to go out there and get blown apart in battle. And I didn’t really want to kill anybody either. . . . That was my first powerful attraction to great poetry.'”

From The Washington Post, August 10, 2011

"When I was in the eleventh grade and the war was still going, a teacher read us some poems by Wilfred Owen. And after class, for some reason, she called me up to her desk and said, “Would you like to borrow this book?” How she knew that I was responding so powerfully to these poems, I’m not sure, but I was. She said, “Now, I want you to take it home, and read it with white gloves on.” In other words, don’t spill soup on it. It was probably the most significant poetic experience I had in my whole life, and I was only seventeen."

From The New Yorker, 2006

Tags: Philip Levine | Category: General

Rhymes on Rails poetry competition

Posted: 01/08/2011 20:31 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Story and Merseyrail are launching a poetry competition aimed at youngsters travelling by train this summer. "Rhymes on Rails" hopes to encourage children to create poetry inspired by their journey across Merseyside, however long or short.

It is free to enter and the best poems will take pride of place alongside those of Wilfred Owen at the Wilfred Owen Story and Gallery in Birkenhead. Owen spent his formative years in Birkenhead where his father Tom worked on the railway.

Sponsors Merseyrail will present the winner with a book token, and a collection of the best poems will be published in a booklet later in the year.

Entry forms are free and will be available from all Merseyrail stations. "Rhymes on Rails" will be launched on 1 August, check both here and Merseyrail’s websites for updates or email info@wilfredowenstory.com.

Download the flyer

 

Tags: Dean Johnson, Wilfred Owen Story, Rhymes on Rails | Category: General

William Mostyn-Owen obituary

Posted: 21/07/2011 13:17 | News Home

A charming obituary of WOA's co-founder, William Mostyn-Owen, who has died aged 81.

The Guardian, 20 June 2011.

Tags: William Mostyn-Owen | Category: General

Artist's delight as Wilfred Owen bust finds a home after ten years

Posted: 15/07/2011 14:13 | News Home

A bust of Wilfred Owen, which lay unwanted in a garage for ten years, has finally found a home at the Wilfred Owen Story in Birkenhead.

"Artist and museum worker Jim Whelan was inspired to create the cast cold resin piece after learning more about Owen and his experiences in the First World War. But he was unable to find anywhere to display it until the opening of the Wilfred Owen Story in Argyle Street, Birkenhead earlier this year".

See Wirral News (July 6th)

Tags: Jim Whelan | Category: General

Postcards from Siegfried Sassoon found in book at charity shop

Posted: 23/06/2011 21:41 | News Home

The manager of a charity shop checking through some old books found two postcards written by Siegfried Sassoon.

After months of research to confirm they are genuine, they are now being sold at auction and are expected to fetch between £600 and £800.

More in the Daily Mail.


Tags: Sassoon | Category: General

New portrait of Owen unveiled at the Wilfred Owen Story

Posted: 19/06/2011 21:23 | News Home

 

A new portrait of Wilfred Owen has been unveiled at the Wilfred Owen Story, a new museum opened in Birkenhead in March this year. 

This ceremony preceded a preliminary performance of Bullets and Daffodils, a musical drama about Owen’s life.

Among those in attendance was John Gorman, famed for his comedy sketches on TV and as a member of the Scaffold, whose 1960s’ hits included Thank U Very Much and Lily the Pink.

Gorman is organising a Festival of Wirral Firsts to be held in Hoylake and Oxton during July.

The portrait was painted by Anthony Brown, who was acclaimed in 2007 for his exhibition featuring prominent Merseysiders called "100 Heads Thinking As One", which marked the 800th anniversary of Liverpool being granted its Royal Charter by King John.

Wilfred Owen by Anthony Brown

Click here to read more.

 

Tags: Afghanistan, Anthony Brown | Category: General

Remembering Owen at the Forester's House and in Ors

Posted: 06/06/2011 14:53 | News Home

With the co-operation of two French communes (Haute Sambre-Bois L’Eveque, Mayor Marc Dufrenne, and Ors, Mayor Jacky Duminy) and the Wilfred Owen Association France, the Rector of the Academie de Lille, Mme Marie-Jeanne Philippe, organized a special event to mark the 13th Day of Remembrance in Education in France on Friday 27 May. The event was supported by the Vimy Foundation, the War Graves Commission and the Wellington Quarry at Arras. Peter Owen, President of the Wilfred Owen Association, and his wife Elizabeth were special guests.

The event honoured the memory of Wilfred Owen and brought together 160 students from colleges and lycees in Nord Pas de Calais who have studied Owen’s work.  Students from a school in Maidstone, Kent, were also invited.

The day began near the Forester’s House, where Owen wrote his last letter.  Turner Prize nominee Simon Patterson has been commissioned to convert the House into a permanent sculptured memorial to Owen.  The exterior of the house will remain ostensibly the same, but the walls will be rendered white, the roof will be white and the whole building will look like a solid sculptural object. Viewed from the north, the roof will appear normal but when viewed from the south, the structure reveals itself to be in the form of an open ‘book’, face down with spine uppermost, the ‘pages’ constructed out of glass to admit maximum daylight into the interior. The central idea is to create a sanctuary away from the outside world. The interior will therefore be gutted, leaving an open white space, lit from above. The interior of the house will be clad with a translucent skin of glass onto which are etched drafts of Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth.  The cellar remains untouched and is accessed by a curved ramp alongside which runs the text of Owen’s last letter home to his mother. More information is on the Art Connexion website.

Photos of the work, which is due to be completed in July, are below. The inaugural ceremony will be held on October 1 2011 (all welcome). For more information email woa@1914-18.co.uk

 

Work on the House

The Forester's House from the road

The cellar where Owen wrote his last letter

Inside the Forester's House

After visiting the Forester’s House, a ceremony took place at Owen’s grave in the small cemetery of the village of Ors, where there were speeches, as well as poetry readings, in English and French.  A wreath was laid by the children on Wilfred’s grave.

Peter Owen and others in Ors

 Students at the ceremony

Tags: Forester's House, Ors | Category: General

Special day will honour the memory of Wilfred Owen

Posted: 10/05/2011 21:27 | News Home

With the co-operation of two French communes (Haute Sambre-Bois L’Eveque, Mayor Marc Dufrenne, and Ors, Mayor Jacky Duminy) and the Wilfred Owen Association France, the Rector of the Academie de Lille, Mme Marie-Jeanne Philippe, is organizing a special event to mark the 13th Day of Remembrance in Education in France on Friday 27 May. 

This special day will honour the memory of Wilfred Owen and will bring together 160 students from colleges and lycees in Nord Pas de Calais who have studied Owen’s work.  Students from a school in Maidstone, Kent, have also been invited.

The day will begin at 10am near the Forester’s House, where Owen wrote his last letter, and will continue with a walk through the forest, retracing his last steps as he prepared for combat on November 4th 1918.  The official ceremony will take place at 12.30pm at the tomb of the poet in the small cemetery of the village of Ors, where there will be speeches, as well as poetry readings, in English and French, by the students. 

In the afternoon students will visit sites of the two Battles of Cambrai in 1917 and 1918 and will conclude at the Tank de Flesquieres, ten kilometres from Cambrai.

The event has the support of the Vimy Foundation, the War Graves Commission and the Wellington Quarry at Arras.

Peter Owen, president of the Wilfred Owen Association, will be present at this special event to commemorate his Uncle and remember the sacrifices made by soldiers of the British Army during WW1. 

Tags: Ors | Category: General

Last WWI combat veteran Claude Choules dies aged 110

Posted: 08/05/2011 19:19 | News Home

The world's last known combat veteran of World War I, Claude Choules, has died in Australia aged 110.

Read an obituary in the Guardian (5 May 2011)

Tags: Claude Choules | Category: General

World's first permanent Wilfred Owen exhibition opens in Wirral

Posted: 21/03/2011 13:57 | News Home

The man behind the exhibition, singer-songwriter Dean Johnson, is also a former pupil of the Birkenhead Institute.

He hopes the gallery will help establish a formal tourist attraction, guiding visitors to other landmarks in the town associated with the poet.

More in the Liverpool Echo (19 March 2011)

www.wilfredowenstory.com

Tags: Wilfred Owen Story, Birkenhead | Category: General

New sculpture by Paul de Monchaux unveiled in Norwich

Posted: 17/03/2011 09:35 | News Home

A sculpture by artist Paul de Monchaux, whose work includes the Wilfred Owen memorial in Shrewsbury, is a new feature of the war memorial in Norwich. 

Paul de Monchaux created Symmetry, which is in the grounds of Shrewsbury Abbey.

More on the BBC website.

Click here to see the sculpture.

Tags: Paul de Monchaux | Category: General

Vivien Noakes 1937 - 2011

Posted: 08/03/2011 12:37 | News Home

The WOA was very sad to hear that Vivien Noakes, the distinguished academic and literary critic, passed away on February 17th.  We send our condolences to her family.

Vivien was a leading scholar of Edward Lear and Isaac Rosenberg.

An obituary appeared in The Guardian (March 4th 2011)

Tags: Vivien Noakes | Category: General

Birkenhead will welcome the country's first tribute to Wilfred Owen's work

Posted: 02/03/2011 12:51 | News Home

The Wirral is set to become the home of the country’s first permanent tribute to WWI poet Wilfred Owen.

An exhibition organised by Dean Johnson, which opens on March 18th in Birkenhead, will commemorate the work of the famous poet.

Read more in the Wirral Globe (March 1st 2011)

See also:

Wirral News and Click Liverpool.

www.wilfredowenstory.com

Sponsorship opportunity

Dean Johnson is seeking sponsorship to fund this project.  Alternatively, if anyone involved in the printing business could assist with I.T skills (website, video production etc.) he'd love to hear from you too. Dean would also love to hear your thoughts or idea's to help move the project forward.  Contact him at:

deanjohnsonmusic@hotmail.com
07944 398 794

Tags: Wilfred Owen Story, Dean Johnson | Category: General

Frank Buckles, America's last WWI veteran, dies aged 110

Posted: 02/03/2011 12:48 | News Home

Mr Buckles, who joined the US army in 1917, at the age of 16, lying about his age to get enlisted, died of natural causes at his home near Charles Town, West Virginia, on Sunday.

Read more on the BBC website (28 February 2011).

Read an obituary in the Independent (2 March 2011)

Tags: Frank Buckles | Category: General

Boy soldiers' artwork shown outside Parliament

Posted: 20/02/2011 09:48 | News Home

"A three-dimensional art installation depicting child soldiers is being displayed outside the Houses of Parliament as part of a peace campaign. The sculpture, by Hertfordshire artist Schoony, shows the boys sprayed with the words Dulce Et Decorum Est - words from Wilfred Owen's First World War."

BBC news, 20 January 2011

Tags: Parliament Square, Schoony | Category: General

Musician PJ Harvey to be offered chance to become 'official war song correspondent'

Posted: 13/02/2011 11:40 | News Home

"The avant-garde rock star PJ Harvey is being given the chance to travel to conflict zones where the British army is fighting by the Imperial War Museum.

The songs on Harvey's new album, Let England Shake, reflect her strong emotional response to living through a period of war in the Middle East and to other people's memories of previous campaigns."

Read more in the Guardian, 13 February 2011

Reviewing the album in the Irish Times, Tony Clayton-Lea writes: "without coming across as uninformed or pretentious, Harvey has coached her lyrics in the form of elegiac love letters to her country and a series of brittle war poetry that references Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen."

 

Tags: PJ Harvey | Category: General

A permanent Wilfred Owen exhibition in Birkenhead

Posted: 24/01/2011 19:32 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Story, a permanent commemorative exhibition of Wilfred's life and work, with an emphasis on his time Birkenhead is very proud to announce that they will be based at 34 Argyle Street, Birkenhead.

Operating as a information centre and art gallery the Wilfred Owen Story will be the first designated cultural memorial to the poet anywhere in the North West.

It is situated on all major bus routes in the town, and is minutes from Hamilton Square Station (previously Woodside Central, where Wilfred’s father Tom worked as a station manager). 

Argyle Street is steeped in history: Wilfred learned to swim at the public baths there and No. 34 is in a terrace that received a English Heritage Blue Plaque, the site is grade 2 listed.

Work on the exhibition will begin this week and it will have its official opening on 18 March, Wilfred’s birthday.

The Wilfred Owen Story will feature regular art shows, plus poetry and music workshops and performances, and will encourage the community to find and use their voice to the same effect as the iconic figure that the building aims to honour.

Sponsorship Opportunity

Dean Johnson is seeking sponsorship to fund this project.  Alternatively, if anyone involved in the printing business could assist with I.T skills (website, video production etc.) he'd love to hear from you too. Dean would also love to hear your thoughts or idea's to help move the project forward.  Contact him at:

deanjohnsonmusic@hotmail.com

07944 398 794

 

Tags: Wilfred Owen Story, Dean Johnson | Category: General

Military Cross and cigarette case - update

Posted: 23/01/2011 19:10 | News Home

The suspected theft has been covered by several local, national and some international newspaper, including The Shropshire Star, Daily Express, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Telegraph and The Times.  Peter Owen has also given radio and TV interviews, including this interview with ITN (search for Wilfred Owen).

Thank you to all the people who have taken the time to contact us and/or tweet this sad news.

Tags: Cigarette Case, Military Cross | Category: General

Wilfred Owen's Military Cross and cigarette case feared stolen

Posted: 13/01/2011 19:37 | News Home

Peter Owen, Wilfred Owen's nephew, believes that these items have been stolen from his house, sometime last year.

A brief description of the Military Cross and cigarette case follows:-

1) The Military Cross is engraved on the reverse side to Wilfred E.S. Owen and the Fonsomme Line, where he won the medal. It is boxed in a purple case together with the ribbon and a chain.

2) A cigarette case monogrammed with Wilfred Owens’s initials and a silver mark circa 1893, which is the date of his birth.

Whoever took these may try to sell either of them; his Military Cross in particular.

Mr Owen would be very grateful should anyone have any information. He can be contacted through the W.O.A website woa@1914-18.co.uk or wilfredowen1918@googlemail.com.

 

Cigarette case

Wilfred Owen's Cigarette Case

 

Military Cross

Wilfred Owen's Military Cross

 

Military Cross

Wilfred Owen's Military Cross

Military Cross

Wilfred Owen's Military Cross


 

Tags: Cigarette Case, Military Cross | Category: General

Gillian Clarke awarded Queen's gold medal for poetry.

Posted: 24/12/2010 09:33 | News Home

The national poet of Wales has been awarded the medal in recognition of her latest collection, A Recipe for Water, as well as her body of work.

Read more on the Guardian website (24 December 2010).

Tags: Gillian Clarke | Category: General

The Great War Archive extends in to Germany

Posted: 21/12/2010 09:25 | News Home

Oxford University began the initiative when it asked people across Britain to bring family letters, photographs and keepsakes from the War to be digitised. The success of the idea – which became the Great War Archive – has encouraged Europeana, Europe’s digital archive, library and museum, to bring the German National Library into an alliance with Oxford University to roll out the scheme in Germany. The collaboration will bring German soldiers’ stories online alongside their British counterparts in a 1914-18 archive.

There will be a series of roadshows in libraries around Germany that will invite people to bring documents and artefacts from family members involved in the First World War to be digitised by mobile scanning units, and to tell the stories that go with them. There will also be a website allowing people to submit material online if they are unable to attend the local events. Everything submitted will also be available through Europeana, where it will add a new perspective to collections of First World War material from institutions across Europe.

Read more on the RunCoCo website.

Tags: JISC, Europeana, Germany, archives | Category: General

Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War by Harry Ricketts - review

Posted: 16/11/2010 20:55 | News Home

Andrew Motion on a careful account of the forgotten friendships of the soldier poets.

Read Motion's review on the Guardian website, 13 November 2010.

Read Tom Paulin's review of Harry Ricketts's book on the FT website, 30 October 2010.    

For details of a related event click here.

 

Category: General

Dean Johnson performing "Futility"

Posted: 16/11/2010 20:36 | News Home

A film of Dean Johnson performing 'Futility" at Wallasey library on November 11th is now on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axQ-G1kyD_0

Futility is taken from Dean's musical play about Wilfred, Bullets and Daffodils, which will tour schools in the North West in March.

For more information click here.

Tags: Dean Johnson | Category: General

Wilfred Owen Poetry Award 2010 presented to Jon Stallworthy

Posted: 08/11/2010 20:17 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association presents a Poetry Award to honour a poet for a sustained body of work that includes memorable war poems.

The recipient of the 2010 Award is Professor Jon Stallworthy, FBA, FRSL, poet, biographer, and literary scholar.

Jon (Howie) Stallworthy is Professor Emertius of English at the University of Oxford, and Fellow and former Acting President of Wolfson College, Oxford. Born in 1935, he was educated at the Dragon School, Rugby School, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize for Poetry.  He also served in the Royal West African Frontier Force.  He was poetry editor at Oxford University Press and John Wendell Anderson Professor of English at Cornell University, New York. 

His collections of poetry include The Astronomy of Love (1961), Out of Bounds (1963), Root and Branch (1969), Hand in Hand (1974), A Familiar Tree (1978), The Anzac Sonata (1986), The Guest from the Future (1995), Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems (1998) and Body Language (2004).  His autobiography, The Singing School: The Making of a Poet, was published in 1998 and a collection of essays, Survivors' Songs, in 2008.

Jon Stallworthy's work has received numerous awards.  His biography of Wilfred Owen (1974) was honored with the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His study of Yeats won the M. L. Rosenthal Award, while Louis MacNeice: A Biography (1995) won the Southern Arts Literature Prize.

He edited Owen’s Complete Poems and Fragments (1984) and Henry Reed’s Collected Poems, as well as numerous anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Poetry (1996, with Margaret Ferguson and Mary Jo Salter), A Book of Love Poetry (1974), and The Oxford Book of War Poetry (1984). With Peter France, he co-translated Alexander Blok’s Selected Poems (1970, originally titled The Twelve and Other Poems) and Boris Pasternak’s Selected Poems (1983).

The presentation will take place at Wolfson College, Oxford, on Saturday November 13th 2010. Professor Stallworthy will be interviewed by Dr Jane Potter and will read some of his poetry (this event has now sold out).

Thanks to sponsorship from Coutts, the WOA has commission Royal College of Art student Chrystalla Achilleos to design the award itself.   

 

 

Tags: Birdsong, Poetry Award | Category: General

Free prize draw at the WOA AGM

Posted: 30/10/2010 12:18 | News Home

We have a pair of tickets for Birdsong to give away to members attending our AGM on November 13th.  All attendees are automatically entered into the free prize draw.  Members who are unable to attend can enter too - see our Notice Board for details.

Click here for more information about the AGM.

The AGM is followed by the presentation of the 2010 Wilfred Owen Poetry Award to Professor John Stallworthy.  Click here for details of the presentation.

Tags: AGM, Poetry Award, Birdsong | Category: General

Harold Pinter's Wilfred Owen Award acquired by the British Library

Posted: 21/10/2010 20:52 | News Home

 

The medals, plaques, medallions and original artwork won by Pinter - who died in 2008, aged 78 - "include the 2004 Wilfred Owen Prize, awarded after he wrote controversial poems opposing war in Iraq".

More on the BBC website (20 October 2010).

Click here for more about the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award.


 

Tags: Poetry Award | Category: General

Wilfred Owen Green - photos and film

Posted: 16/10/2010 12:48 | News Home

The ceremony to name the new town green in Oswestry "Wilfred Owen Green" took place on Saturday October 9th.

Peter Owen, the nephew of Wilfred Owen and President of the Wilfred Owen Association, read two of Wilfred's poems and released a white dove as a symbol of peace.

Click here for photographs.  These photographs were kindly supplied by June McCarthy from Oswestry.

A short film of Peter Owen releasing the dove, taken by
The Best Of Oswestry, is available on YouTube.

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

Ceremony for naming of Oswestry town green after Wilfred Owen

Posted: 08/10/2010 09:10 | News Home

The sounding of the Last Post and a release of doves of peace will be part of a poignant ceremony to mark the official naming of Oswestry’s town green as The Wilfred Owen Green.

The ceremony takes place on Saturday 9 October - all welcome.

More on the Shropshire Star website (7 October 2010).

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

The power of war poetry, from the Western Front to Helmand province

Posted: 05/10/2010 12:48 | News Home

Article about war poetry, which appeared in the Independent on Sunday on October 3rd 2010.

Independent on Sunday website, 3 October 2010

Tags: Poetry, Afghanistan | Category: General

Dulce et Decorum Est is a favourite with David Cameron.

Posted: 29/09/2010 20:49 | News Home

Asked by the Radio Times about his favourite poem ahead of National Poetry Day next month, Cameron said: ‘I still remember the first time I read Owen’s poems and the incredible power and anger about the First World War.

‘For me, they were literally an eye-opener and I still find them moving when I read them again today.’

Read more on the Daily Mail website (28/9/10) and on the Shropshire Star website (28/9/10) 

Tags: David Cameron | Category: General

Oswestry town green named after war poet Wilfred Owen

Posted: 21/09/2010 13:42 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Green has wildflower meadows, natural play and play equipment and a labyrinth.  There are plans in the pipeline to start organising events in the park, including poetry readings.

Further details on the Shropshire Star website (20 September 2010).

More information about the Wilfred Owen Green is on the Shropshire Council website.

The official naming ceremony will be held on October 9th at 1pm.

 

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

Call for Oswestry monument to poet Wilfred Owen

Posted: 21/09/2010 13:36 | News Home

A monument to Wilfred Owen could be created in Oswestry after residents called for the town’s heritage to be celebrated.  Council officials are calling on the public to send in letters of suggestions for what kind of memorial could be created and where they think it should be.

More information on the Shropshire Star website (18 September 2010).

See also: Letter: A better way to honour Wilfred Owen’s generation?

 

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

Poems and messages from injured WW1 soldiers emerge after 92 years

Posted: 06/09/2010 12:36 | News Home

"The unknown nurse kept the book on her uniform while she worked in auxiliary hospitals in England throughout the conflict.

As she built up a bed-side relationship with the soldiers she treated, the unnamed nurse asked them to write their thoughts down in the little book."

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website (6 September 2010)

 

Tags: Poetry | Category: General

Edward Thomas: Words Into Wood

Posted: 25/08/2010 18:47 | News Home

The Edward Thomas Fellowship has published a fine-art limited-edition book featuring eighteen poems by Edward Thomas, illustrated by specially commissioned wood engravings by contemporary artists. This project follows on from the popular series of notecards produced by the Fellowship.

Photographs and further details are on the Edward Thomas Fellowship website.

Alternatively, click here for more information and an order form.

Tags: Edward Thomas | Category: General

Officials back renaming Oswestry green after Wilfred Owen

Posted: 21/08/2010 15:54 | News Home

Shropshire officials have given their backing to officially change the name of Oswestry’s five-acre site off Gobowen Road to Wilfred Owen Town Green.

It is hoped the Green will become a venue for events marking the outbreak of World War One which has its centenary in 2014.

Read more on the Shropshire Star website (19 August 2010)

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

Wilfred's Mild raises £460 for Dunsden church

Posted: 17/08/2010 13:37 | News Home

Chris Hearn, co-owner of The Loddon Brewery, has presented a cheque for £460 to All Saints Church in Dunsden. The Money was raised through sales of their Monthly special for May, Wilfred’s Mild, named after Wilfred Owen.

Wilfred worked as Lay Assistant to the vicar of All Saints Church (found in the field behind the brewery) from 1911-1913, shortly before he went to war. His parents Susan and Tom, and his sister Mary, are buried in the church yard.

Read more on the Society of Independent Brewers website and, if you are a WOA member, in the latest issue of our Journal.

Tags: Wilfred's Mild, Lodden Brewery, Dunsden | Category: General

Listen to music from Bullets & Daffodils.

Posted: 04/08/2010 13:56 | News Home

Songwriter and musician Dean Johnson is currently working on a stageshow called Bullets & Daffodils, which is based on the life and work of Wilfred Owen, and he has uploaded some music onto his website.

As well as original songs, many of Owen's most famous poems have been set to music by Dean. 

There will be a premiere of the songs in Owen's birthplace of Oswestry, Shropshire, on 12 August 2010.  Dean will perform the musical’s score solo and narrate key events leading up to Wilfred’s tragic death, and some of Oswestry's promising new poets will precede Dean’s performance. Click here for further details.

Dean will also be performing at Birkenhead Library in November.  Details to follow.

Tags: Dean Johnson | Category: General

Could you be related to one of the unknown soldiers recovered from Fromelles?

Posted: 29/07/2010 13:53 | News Home

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has published a list of names who may be among those recovered from the site.

British and Australian families who believe they have connections to, or information on, one of these WW1 soldiers are being encouraged to come forward to assist with the process of identification, which will remain open until 2014.

Further information is on the Commonweath War Graves Commission website.

Click here to read more about the Battle of Fromelles.

Tags: Fromelles | Category: General

Ken Simcox

Posted: 18/07/2010 20:23 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association was saddened to learn of the death of our former Secretary, Ken Simcox.

Philip Guest,  a WOA Vice-President and former Treasurer, paid tribute to Mr Simcox and his contribution to the Association:

"It was a great shock to me to hear of Ken's untimely death-such a charming gentleman and friend. It was only recently that I spoke to him at the telephone. I first met Ken when I was invited to be hon treasurer of the Wilfred Owen Association under the command of Robert Hutchison in respect of the raising of some £30,000 for memorials to our great poet in Shrewsbury and Oswestry. That would be, perhaps, 20 years ago. (At 86 yrs my memory is not so good).

Later, I set up a web site in the name of the Association, the content of which had a military flavour relating to Wilfred's army service-an aspect of research that had not previously been fully examined.  Later, following input from Merryn Williams, I realised the value of her contributions in enhancing the academic side of the web site.  It was then that Ken came to my aid around 1999 and, in the course of almost a decade produced critiques (some 60 or so for me to type!) and thereafter, publish on the Association's web site.  They are still there today, in his name, and are a worthy tribute to a man I consider was always too modest concerning his achievements in his research and writings on the life of Wilfred Owen.

We will all miss him."

Tags: Ken Simcox | Category: General

Join WOA online!

Posted: 10/06/2010 21:19 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association is 21 years old this year.

The generous support of our members allows us to promote and encourage awareness and appreciation of Owen's poetry, and enables us to offer practical support to students of literature and future poets, through links with education, support for literary foundations and information on historical and literary background material.  

Thanks to our members the Association has established permanent public memorials to Owen in Shrewsbury and Oswestry, and organised or promoted numerous readings, talks, visits, conferences, exhibitions and performances.

Please help us to continue this work by joining us today.  Subscription fees start at just £8.  All members receive copies of our Journal, published twice a year. 

 

Category: General

Loddon Brewery launch "Wilfred's Mild"

Posted: 11/05/2010 10:03 | News Home

Loddon Brewery, based in Dunsden Green, has launched a "Wilfred's Mild" to celebrate the life and work of Wilfred Owen, who worked as a lay assistant at All Saints Church, behind the brewery.

The brewery is generously donating 10 pence from every pint of Wilfred's Mild sold to All Saints Church to help with essential maintenance works.

 

Tags: Dunsden | Category: General

Silent tribute to fallen Anzacs inspired by Wilfred Owen

Posted: 25/04/2010 20:15 | News Home

Artist Craig Barrett’s Everyman installation, a response to the war poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, hangs in the Hall of Columns at the Shrine of Remembrance.

More information in the Stonnington Leader, 24 April 2010

Tags: Australia | Category: General

Bullets and Daffodils

Posted: 14/04/2010 21:25 | News Home

The Wirral Globe has reported that musician Dean Johnson is currently working on a musical play about Wilfred Owen. 

There is more information on Dean's website

 

I contacted Dean and he has kindly supplied the following synopsis:

Bullets and Daffodils is a musical play in two acts based on the life of Wilfred Owen.  The first act deals with his life before the war, the second of his life in the war including his death. It explores the relationship with his mother through his letters, poetry  and his life's events. Dialogue is interspersed with songs written and performed by Dean Johnson.


Wilfred tries to convey home to his mother through his letters and through his poetry his feelings on life and the horrors of war at the same time going through the agony of his inner torments.  We explore what he wrote and what we presume he actually meant.

We hope to explore the experience of a mothers feelings and loss through warfare and hopefully bring home a relevant details that all can be related to and still exist today.

We hope the play will appeal to a wide audience and have educational value.

The play has two characters Wilfred and Susan, and a singer, the set is a Victorian parlour/sitting room filled with plants and relevant props that are used throughout the play.

It is Armistice Day 1918, church bells are ringing.

Wilfred appears on stage simultaneously commenting throughout the play but unseen to Susan.  He is in uniform.

The play ends with a knock at the door.

Tags: Dean Johnson | Category: General

Wilfred Owen Association offers sponsorship to poetry student

Posted: 08/04/2010 21:31 | News Home

 

Tŷ Newydd is the National Writers' Centre for Wales and since 1990 has attracted writers from all over the world, both as tutors and course participants.

The Centre offers courses for poets, novelists, script and screenwriters, playwrights, and many other genres.

The Wilfred Owen Association is offering one bursary of up to £480 to cover the cost of a poetry course at Tŷ Newydd.  The bursary is offered on a competitive basis.  Exact details, together with an application form, will be available shortly.  Watch this space!

 

 

Tags: Poetry | Category: General

Wilfred Owen manuscripts on display at Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire

Posted: 08/04/2010 15:22 | News Home

Owen manuscripts are amongst the items on display in an exhibition at Renishaw Hall. The exhibition is open from Thursdays to Sundays, and on bank holidays, from 10.30am to 4pm until September 26.

Renishaw Hall has been the home of the Sitwell family for over 400 years.

The Star, 7 April 2010

Tags: Exhibitions | Category: General

New Oswestry memorial to Owen

Posted: 31/03/2010 10:08 | News Home

A living memorial to Wilfred Owen in his home town of Oswestry should be ready by May.

Owen was born in a house called Plas Wilmot, just outside the Shropshire town, in March 1893.

Border Counties Advertiser, 30 March 2010

Tags: Oswestry | Category: General

"Verse that will make you feel better"

Posted: 31/03/2010 10:07 | News Home

Wilfred Owen Poetry Award recipient Dr Dannie Abse will judge a new medical poetry contest.  The winning entry will receive £15,000.

"The winners of the Hippocrates Prize will be announced at a symposium on Poetry and Medicine on 10 April, at the University of Warwick, which is supporting the prize jointly with the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine".

Independent, p17, 24 March 2010

Tags: Poetry, Dannie Abse | Category: General

New plaque tribute to war poet Owen

Posted: 22/03/2010 20:10 | News Home

Members of the Wilfred Owen Association came from around the country to see the plaque, which has replaced a much smaller one, unveiled at 69 Monkmoor Road, Shrewsbury, where Wilfred lived with his parents.

Read more on the Shropshire Star website.

 

Tags: Blue Plaque, Monkmoor Road | Category: General

Plaque to be placed on poet's home

Posted: 05/03/2010 19:18 | News Home

The plaque will be uncovered by Peter Owen on 20th March at 2pm.  All welcome.  Further details on the Shropshire Star website.

Information about this event is also on our website.


 

 

 

Tags: Blue Plaque | Category: General

War Requiem in Moscow - a review

Posted: 16/02/2010 09:27 | News Home

Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” was performed on the opening night of Novaya Opera’s annual “Epiphany Week”, held in Moscow.  Writing in the Moscow Times, Raymond Stults called this performance the best of the festival:

"The very best of what I heard at the festival came on its opening night, with a superbly played and sung performance of Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” under the baton of British guest conductor Jan Latham-Koenig. A moving expression of the composer’s anti-war sentiments, the “War Requiem” combines the words of the Latin Mass for the Dead and poems by the great British poet of World War I, Wilfred Owen, and calls for enormous musical forces: a full-sized and a chamber orchestra, an adult mixed chorus and a boys’ choir and three vocal soloists".

The “War Requiem” is due to be repeated at Novaya Opera on May 9. 

Read the review on the Moscow Times website

 

Tags: War Requiem | Category: General

Project to commemorate war poet Owen

Posted: 12/02/2010 22:17 | News Home

A report on plans for the Forester's House, where Owen wrote his last letter.

Shropshire Star

Further information about this project is on the Association Wilfred Owen France website.

 

 

Tags: Ors, Forester's House | Category: General

Celebrating Oswestry's literary legends

Posted: 02/02/2010 09:29 | News Home

Read more about the first Oswestry Literary Festival, to be staged over Owen's birthday, in the Shropshire Star.

Category: General

Wilfred Owen museum promoted at "The France Show 2010"

Posted: 17/12/2009 21:13 | News Home

The Association Wilfred Owen France will be promoting The Forester's House, a museum dedicated to Wilfred Owen, at The France Show 2010, which will be held at Earls Court, London. The Association and others will be holding a press conference to discuss the museum, sceduled to open in 2011, at 3.30pm on 8th January (stand L53).

Download a press release from here.

We have received the following information from Benoit Misson, President of The Association Wilfred Owen France:

"We may count on the presence of the 'Tourism Authority of the Cambrésis' for a 'France Show 2010' meeting to be held in London. A communication about the future of the Forester's House (where Wilfred Owen wrote his last letter) will take place on January 8 - 15:30. Mr Renaud TARDY (Vice
President of the Conseil Général du Nord), several members of the Association and Simon Patterson, the artist, will be present".

The France Show website is www.thefranceshow.com

WOA members are urged to attend to show their support!

The Association Wilfred Owen France website is www.wilfredowen.fr

Category: General

New Dulce Et Decorum Est EP!

Posted: 16/12/2009 21:54 | News Home

US band Picture Atlantic have released an EP called "Dulce Et Decorum Est".  They talk about the influence of Owen's famous poem on the Indie Rock Reviews website.

Category: General

Video about the 2009 homage to Wilfred Owen in Ors

Posted: 03/12/2009 13:33 | News Home

A short film about the recent commemorations in Ors, France, marking the 91st anniversary of Owen's death, has been uploaded to "AOL video".  Click on this link:
http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/91me-anniversaire-de-la-mort-de-wilfred-owen/1100304653

For more information about this annual event see www.wilfredowen.fr

Tags: Ors | Category: General

Passing of a Generation

Posted: 12/11/2009 12:23 | News Home

Peter Owen, Wilfred Owen's nephew, his wife Elizabeth and several members of the Wilfred Owen Association were present at the "Passing of a Generation" service held at Westminster Abbey yesterday (November 11th).

This special Remembrance Service honoured all those who fought in the First World War and was prompted by the death in July of the last Tommy, Harry Patch.  Further details are on the Independent website.

Category: General

Armistice Day: The Great War and the words we mustn't forget

Posted: 11/11/2009 10:30 | News Home

In an editorial in the Independent, Robert Fisk considers if, as English evolves in the digital age, the powerful words of the Great War writers and poets will "soon stop making sense"?
Independent, 11 November 2009

Tags: Poetry | Category: General

Siegfried Sassoon WWI archive launched online for Armistice Day

Posted: 11/11/2009 10:29 | News Home

Oxford University is marking this year’s Armistice Day by launching the first online collection of the manuscripts of Siegfried Sassoon, focusing on his war poetry.
Culture24, 4 November 2009

Tags: Poetry, Sassoon | Category: General

Commemorations in Ors, November 4 2009

Posted: 10/11/2009 14:02 | News Home

Read about this year's homage to Wilfred in La Voix du Nord (8 November 2009)

Plans to turn the Maison Forestière into a museum to Wilfred Owen were also discussed in La Voix du Nord last week (2 November 2009).

The Association Wilfred Owen France has launched a new website - see www.wilfredowen.fr

Tags: Ors | Category: General

Sassoon fund gains £550,000 boost

Posted: 04/11/2009 19:32 | News Home

A campaign to save Siegfried Sassoon's papers for the nation has been bolstered by a grant of £550,000 from The National Heritage Memorial Fund.  Further details are on the BBC website.

The grant will leave the fund with £110,000 still to raise.  For further details about the appeal, and to make a donation, please click here.

 

Tags: Sassoon | Category: General

Virtual trenches immerse students in First World War poetry

Posted: 03/11/2009 15:50 | News Home

This project, which is funded by JISC, has arranged a range of digitised archival materials like poetry manuscripts, letters and diaries from the major poets of the First World War, including Wilfred Owen, along with contextual primary source materials. These materials have been supplemented with new interpretative content and a spectrum of interactive tools and tutorials, streaming video and audio effects (JISC News, 2 November 2009).

Further details, and a link into Second Life, are on the JISC website.

Tags: JISC, Poetry | Category: General

Wilfred Owen Association AGM and presentation

Posted: 27/10/2009 20:08 | News Home

The 2009 AGM will be held at Neal's Yard Meeting Rooms, 14 Neal's Yard, London on Saturday November 21st at 2pm. All members are very welcome.

The AGM will be folllowed by the presentation of The Wilfred Owen Poetry Award.  The Wilfred Owen Association presents a biennial Poetry Award to honour a poet for a sustained body of work that includes memorable war poems.

The recipient of the 2009 Award is Dr Dannie Abse, for his sixty-year-long body of work.

The presentation will take place at 3pm. Dr Abse will be interviewed by Dr Merryn Williams.

Entrance (on the door) is £5 for WOA members and £6 for non-members. Refreshments will be available. Please let the Secretary, Mrs Vanessa Davis, know if you will be coming, to help with the catering arrangements:  vcedavis@hotmail.com or write to her at 29 Arthur Road, London SW19 7DN.

This event will be followed by supper at La Piazzetta, 13 Neal's Yard.  If you would like to join us, please email Vanessa Davis at vcedavis@hotmail.com before November 8th.

Tags: AGM, Poetry Award | Category: General

Wilfred Owen voted one of the nation's favourite poets.

Posted: 08/10/2009 14:09 | News Home

Wilfred Owen came fourth in a recent online poll to find the nation's favourite poet. The results of the vote were announced today - October 8th - to mark National Poetry Day. Further details are on the BBC website.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Owen led for several months!

Category: General

Rosenberg self portrait

Posted: 06/10/2009 13:53 | News Home

Ben Uri has announce the acquisition of "Self-portrait in
steel helmet" by Isaac Rosenberg c.1916 purchased with the assistance of grants from The Art Fund, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the generosity of many private supporters.

Jonathan Horwich, Chairman of the Museum's Acquisitions Committee said:

"This is a hugely important acquisition of national significance for BenUri.  Rosenberg was a distinguished poet and artist whose life was cruelly cut short dying in the trenches in Arras, France, serving King and country
in 1918. His work is rare and this remarkable example executed on a brown paper bag whilst in the trenches has been the centrepiece of each of the four major retrospectives of his work. It featured most recently on the front cover of Ben Uri's "Whitechapel at War, Isaac Rosenberg and his
Circle" exhibition catalogue. This exceptional work is of significant art-historical as well as biographical importance and fills a long standing gap in our preeminent collection of this milieu."

Category: General

Dannie Abse recipient of 2009 Wilfred Owen Poetry Award

Posted: 22/09/2009 12:53 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association presents a biennial Poetry Award to honour a poet for a sustained body of work that includes memorable war poems.

The recipient of the 2009 Award is Dr Dannie Abse, for his sixty-year-long body of work. 

The presentation will take place at Neal's Yard Meeting Rooms, 14 Neal's Yard, London on Saturday November 21st at 3pm. Dr Abse will be interviewed by Dr Merryn Williams.

Entrance (on the door) is £5 for WOA members and £6 for non-members. Refreshments will be available. Please let the Secretary, Mrs Vanessa Davis, know if you will be coming, to help with the catering arrangements:  vcedavis@hotmail.com or write to her at 29 Arthur Road, London SW19 7DN.

The presentation follows the Wilfred Owen Association AGM at 2pm, which is open to members only.

Tags: Dannie Abse, Poetry Award, Poetry | Category: General

Full length review of Songs of War now available

Posted: 17/09/2009 16:36 | News Home

The latest issue of our journal carried an edited version of Velma Guyer’s  review of the Songs of War Concert, which was held at St. James’s Church Piccadilly in April this year.  A full length copy of Velma’s review is now available to download.

 

The WOA would like to thank Velma Guyer for allowing us to publish this.

Category: General

Is Wilfred Owen the nation's favourite poet?

Posted: 19/08/2009 19:56 | News Home

The BBC poetry site is running an online poll to find Britain's favourite poet.

Voters can choose from a shortlist of 30 poets, selected by a panel of judges. Wilfred Owen is amongst those shortlisted.

The poll closes on September 1st and the winner will be announced on October 8th, National Poetry Day.

Tags: Poetry | Category: General

Siegfried Sassoon CD and booklet

Posted: 12/08/2009 18:39 | News Home

Available from Mr and Mrs Dennis Silk:  A CD of Siegfried Sassoon reading 15 of his own poems (£10) and a small booklet containing Dennis Silk's 1998 talk at the Imperial War Museum: Siegfried Sassoon and The Great War: The Making of a War Poet (£5).  Postage and packing £1.50.

Mr and Mrs Silk give all proceeds to a local charity, "Hop, Skip and Jump". The charity supplies respite care for children with special needs and care and support for their families.

The CD and booklet are available from:  Mr and Mrs Dennis Silk, Sturts Barn, Huntham Lane, Stoke St Gregory, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6EG.

Please make cheques payable to:  Dennis Silk

For further information about Siegfried Sassoon, and Cambridge University's appeal to raise money to buy his archive, visit the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship's website.

Tags: Sassoon | Category: General

"The Real War Poets"

Posted: 10/08/2009 12:38 | News Home

Erica Wagner, writing in The Times last Saturday (8 August 2009), introduces an alternative selection of war poetry written by poets “whose experience of conflict is direct, intimate, everyday; who were born in conflict zones, who live and work there; the poets in Afghanistan, Gaza, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka.”

Click here to read the poems on the Times website

Tags: War, Poetry | Category: General

The funeral of Harry Patch

Posted: 06/08/2009 13:29 | News Home

The funeral of WW1 veteran Harry Patch took place at Wells Cathedral today (6 August 2009). 

Thousands of people lined the streets of Wells, Somerset, to watch the funeral procession.

Mr Patch's coffin was flanked by six private soldiers of the Rifles Regiment, the successor to Mr Patch's Regiment, the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Two soldiers from the armies of Belgium, France and Germany also acted as pall bearers.

Watch video footage on the BBC website and on the Daily Telegraph website

Tags: Harry Patch | Category: General

“The Last Post”

Posted: 31/07/2009 10:33 | News Home

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem to mark the passing of the last WW1 veterans.  “The Last Post” uses "Dulce et Decorum Est" as a starting-point.  You can listen online on the BBC Radio 4 website, or read the poem, and a review, on the Times website.

The National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, has also written a poem called The Plumber.  You can listen to this, or read it, on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Tags: Poetry | Category: General

Tribute to Henry Allingham

Posted: 30/07/2009 21:18 | News Home

Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the funeral of World War I veteran Henry Allingham, which took place in Brighton today (30 July 2009). One of his grandsons, David Gray, paid a moving tribute to his grandfather at the service.

Footage of the funeral is on the BBC website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8175751.stm and you can listen to David Gray's tribute at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8176549.stm

 

 

Category: General

"Exit wounds"

Posted: 29/07/2009 20:21 | News Home

"With the conflict in Afghanistan escalating and the Iraq inquiry pending, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy commissions war poetry for today".

Guardian, 25 July 2009

Tags: Afghanistan, Poetry | Category: General

Jill Balcon 1925 - 2009

Posted: 23/07/2009 15:33 | News Home

The Wilfred Owen Association was saddened to learn of the death of Jill Balcon at the age of 84.

Ms Balcon, who was married to the poet C Day-Lewis, was a Vice-President of the Association and read Wilfred's poetry at the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate him at All Saints Church in Dunsden.

Her obituary was published in the Guardian on July 20th and in the Daily Telegraph on the 21st.  The WOA will be publishing an obituary in its forthcoming Journal.

Tags: Balcon | Category: General

A Festschrift for Michael Longley, 'the Ireland Professor of Poetry'

Posted: 14/07/2009 09:28 | News Home

Enitharmon Press has published a Festschrift celebrating the 70th birthday of Michael Longley, former winner of the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award.

Michael Longley has been acknowledged as one of our most important living poets: Seamus Heaney has described him as "a keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders" and John Burnside as "one of the finest lyric poets of our century".

To learn more about Michael Longley, and this special publication, please click here.

 

Category: General

Plans for a sculpture inspired by the work of Wilfred Owen

Posted: 03/07/2009 12:50 | News Home

Edinburgh Evening News has reported that a £20,000 fundraising drive is to be launched to place a sculpture in the heart of Craiglockhart.

The design, by Polwarth-based sculptor Lara Greene, is inspired by the work of Wilfred Owen, who was treated for shell shock at Craiglockhart War Hospital in 1917.
Scotsman.com, 2 July 2009

Category: General

Sassoon campaign launched by University Library

Posted: 03/07/2009 12:47 | News Home

A fund raising campaign to acquire the archive of Siegfried Sassoon's personal papers has been launched by Cambridge University at Sotheby’s.
University of Cambridge, 26 June 2009

Further details are on the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship’s website.

If you would like to make a donation please download this form.  A gift aid form is also available.

Tags: Sassoon | Category: General

Owen discussed on the Guardian's "Books Blog"

Posted: 11/06/2009 09:39 | News Home

"The Parable of the Old Man and the Young" is the Guardian's "Poem of the Week". 

Carol Rumens looks at "Wilfred Owen's retelling of the Abraham myth, and how it chimes with Barack Obama's speech in Cairo".

Join the debate on the Guardian's blog

Tags: Poetry | Category: General

Launch of the new Wilfred Owen Association website

Posted: 01/06/2009 13:02 | News Home

Welcome to the Wilfred Owen Association's website!

How can you get to know a poet who was killed in the First World War? Owen's work was virtually unknown at the time of his death, at the age of only 25, yet for many people today his poems are the voice of the conflict. This website enables you to explore life, family, war experience and writing of Wilfred Owen, now perhaps the best-known of the poets of 1914-1918.

Here you will find a full range of material - the poet's life and work, and the settings which helped to shape his writing. If you want biographical detail, the range of his literary influences and friendships or practical information on visiting sites associated with Owen, you will find it here.

From News to Bibliography, via Chronology, Memorials and a Virtual Tour of important sites, the essential people, settings and events of his short life appear together with a selection of poems and comment.

The website reflects many years of reading and study which have been used for personal reading and presentations for education and the media. This is essential material for better knowledge of the writer and his poetry, for information and for visits.

Helen McPhail, Vice-President and former Chair of the Wilfred Owen Association

 

Tags: website | Category: General

BBC plans to send poet to Afghanistan battlefields

Posted: 27/05/2009 13:35 | News Home

Observer, 24 May 2009

"Honouring the works of Owen and Sassoon, the BBC will send Simon Armitage... to Helmand province to capture the lives of British troops in conflict".

The makers of the one-hour documentary, Behind the Lines, plan to film Armitage’s response to frontline operations.

 

Tags: Afghanistan, Poetry | Category: General

WWI soldiers buried in unmarked graves could be identified

Posted: 12/03/2009 21:36 | News Home

The Telegraph, 13 March 2009

A vast archive containing information about the death, burial or capture of more than 20 million soldiers who fought in the First World War has been discovered by historian Peter Barton in the basement of the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva. The information has the potential to pinpoint the final resting places of those listed as missing in action, which could mean headstones currently marking the grave of an unknown soldier finally bearing a name. The Red Cross is to spend more than £2 million digitising the records in time for the centenary of the outbreak of war in 2014.

Category: General