Monday, 2 September 2013

Today's Poet: Delmira Agustini from Uruguay

Delmira Agustini - 1886 - 1914.   Although Delmira died in July 1914, I feel her story is so very sad and her poetry so beautiful, that she deserves to be included in this project.

Uruguy remained neutral for most of the First World War, but broke off diplomatic relations with Germany in 1917.

I am at present working on my revised List of Female Poets of the First World War and hope to bring it to you very soon.

I the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who has been in touch with messages of support and to suggest poets.   Your help is greatly appreciated.

The exhibition at The Ace Centre in Nelson, Lancashire will have to be taken down on 4th September. However, the next exhibition is planned for 1st October - 11th November 2013 at Fleetwood Library,  North Albert Street, Fleetwood, Lancashire FY7 6AJ.   I am busy working on panels for this exhibition which will be different to the others as there is not a great deal of space at Fleetwood Library.

The Exhibition at the Wilfred Owen Story at 34 Argyle Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 6AE is on for the remainder of 2013 - Tuesdays - Fridays, 11 am - 2 pm.  Entry Free.

Fleetwood is a very interesting town because of its connections with WW1 poet Wilfred Owen.   Wilfred was posted to Fleetwood around 5th November 1916 in command of a battalion and brigade firing party.   The HQ of the Gunnery School was in the North Euston Hotel which was taken over by the Ministry of Defence for the duration of the War.

Wilfred had lodgings at no 111 Bold Street, just around the corner from the North Euston Hotel - there is a blue plaque on the wall of the house.

The Gunnery School was on Fleetwood Golf Links and there are still visible signs of where it was situated.  The Golf Club have also produced an excellent booklet on the subject.

While he was based in Fleetwood, according to correspondence with his Mother, Susan Owen, Wilfred travelled to Blackpool to purchase a Trench Coat.   We discovered a Gentlemen's Outfitters which had premises during WW1 in the Winter Gardens building, opposite St. John's church.   Both the Winter Gardens and Blackpool Tower organised events for the troops, many of whom were in this area for training purposes.   Blackpool had a system of trenches in Watson Road Park.   These were open to the general public in order to raise money for wounded soldiers and manned by soldiers from the Military Hospital in Squires Gate, South Shore, Blackpool.

By 8th December 1916, Wilfred Owen was posted back to the HQ of the 5th Manchester Regiment, which, at that time, was in Southport, Lancashire.   At Christmas he had Embarcation Leave and by 29th December 1916 Wilfred was on his way to Etaples in France.

For those of you wondering why Wilfred Owen is on a weblog dedicated to Female Poets of the First World War - it is because Dean Johnson, the Merseyside singer/songwriter who runs The Wilfred Owen Story Museum in Birkenhead is, as Wilfred Owen was before him, a former pupil of the Birkenhead Institute.  We met Dean at a performance of his rock musical "Bullets and Daffodils" which was held last March at The North Euston Hotel.   Dean asked us to produce an exhibition of female poets for the Wilfred Owen Story Museum.   And I am happy to say the project has grown from there so a big thank you to Dean for suggesting this.

For more information about The Wilfred Owen Story and "Bullets and Daffodils", please see www.wilfredownstory.com

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