Since its formation in 1989, the Wilfred Owen Association has organised, or helped to organise, readings, talks, visits, performances, exhibitions and conferences about Owen, war poetry and the First World War. Some recent events are described below.
Sir Andrew Motion presented with 2014 Wilfred Owen Poetry Award
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 2014.
Sir Andrew Motion and Peter Owen (copyright Sam Gray)
War Poetry conference at Wadham College, Oxford
The English Association’s major contribution to the events marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War was an international conference at Wadham College, Oxford on 5th-7th September 2014. Dr Jane Potter, Meg Crane and Sam Gray from the WOA gave papers.
The WOA stall at the Wadham WW1 poetry conference (copyright Sam Gray)
Wadham College, Oxford (copyright Sam Gray)
Wilfred Owen International Poetry Award prize-giving
To mark the Centenary of the outbreak of WW1, The Wilfred Owen Association launched an International Poetry Competition in commemoration of Wilfred Owen. The prize-giving took place during the Winchester Poetry Festival in September 2014.
Alan Franks, the winner, receiving his prize from Michael Longley
(copyright Sam Gray)
Joint third prize was awarded to Pat Winslow (copyright Sam Gray)
The audience at the prize-giving (copyright Sam Gray)
The cloister at Winchester College (copyright Sam Gray)
The Wilfred Owen Green naming ceremony
The ceremony to name the new town green in Oswestry "Wilfred Owen Green" took place on Saturday October 9th 2010. It was organised by Shropshire Council.
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. Oswestry's Town Mayor, Councillor Mrs Elaine Channon, was in attendance.
These photographs were kindly supplied by June McCarthy from Oswestry.
Peter Owen releases a dove of peace
Songs of War
In April 2009 The Wilfred Owen Association, in collaboration with several other war poet societies, including The War Poets Association and Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship (SSF), organised a concert of songs set to poems written by First World War Poets. The concert took place at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London and included several first time performances. Further details are on the SSF website.
A review has been posted on the Great War Fiction blog.
The latest issue of our journal carries an edited version of Velma Guyer’s review of the Songs of War Concert. 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.
90 Years On
In November 2008 the Wilfred Owen Association commemorated the 90th anniversary of Wilfred Owen's death and the signing of the 1918 Armistice with a series of events in and around Shrewsbury. Highlights included the following:
An exhibition celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A Literary Friendship
A talk about the friendship of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, who met at Craiglockhart Military Hospital in 1917.
Journalist Kate Adie and Historian Richard Holmes discussed how to write about war in the 21st Century.
A Guided Walk on Haughmond Hill, Shropshire
Owen and his family used to walk on the hill.
Wilfred Owen’s Afterlife
A talk by Professor Stallworthy, Wilfred Owen’s biographer, editor and Literary Trustee.
• An illustrated talk by Julie Summers, author of Remembered, the book published to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
• A talk by Martin Brown, professional archaeologist and founder member of No Man’s Land: The European Group for Great War Archaeology.
• A talk by Gary Mead on his biography of Douglas Haig
• A talk by Ted Maidment on the songs and music of the First World War
Concert: Music For Remembrance
The Abbey Church, Shrewsbury
The Lark Ascending and Morning Heroes, written by Sir Arthur Bliss.
Remembrance Sunday Service
The Abbey Church, Shrewsbury
Poppy laying and readings at Symmetry, the memorial to Wilfred Owen in the grounds of Shrewsbury Abbey.
Tolling the Bell
An anthology of poetry and prose, drawn from Ancient Greece to the present time, compiled and read by Andrew Bannerman.