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 or contact the Wilfred Owen Association France (


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

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