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Daniel Day-Lewis to be President of The Poetry Archive
The only actor ever to win three Best Actor Oscars, including the Oscar for his performance as another President, Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis succeeds the Archive’s first President, the poet Seamus Heaney, who died in August 2013.
A registered charity, the Poetry Archive is a free website containing a growing collection of recordings of English-language poets reading their work. Andrew Motion, Co-Founder/Director of the Archive, said “Seamus was a great inspiration to the Archive and we’ve always known that no other poet could fill his shoes as our President. So we’ve been looking for someone who’s hugely distinguished in a different artistic field but who also has serious connections to poetry. Daniel is the perfect choice for us and we’re thrilled that he has generously agreed to support the Archive.”
Daniel Day-Lewis’s father, C. Day Lewis, was U.K. Poet Laureate from 1968 until his death in 1972. In 2012, Daniel and his sister Tamasin donated papers from their father’s archive to Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. The Poetry Archive website includes a recording C. Day Lewis made for the BBC.
Daniel Day-Lewis said “I so admire what you’re doing with the Poetry Archive and I’m very happy that you’ve invited me to be involved with it.”
Co-founded by Andrew Motion, during his time as U.K. Poet Laureate, and the recording producer Richard Carrington, the Poetry Archive was launched in 2005. It has become the primary online hub for recorded poetry, attracting over 250,000 visitors a month. Enjoyed by poetry fans of all ages, the Archive is especially widely used by teachers and students.
Free of charge to all visitors, the Archive’s website at www.poetryarchive.org presents extracts from recordings by more than 350 poets from around the world. The site also includes new recordings by today’s poets of the work of great poets from the distant past. Thousands more recorded poems are available for download from the Archive’s download store, which opened in the summer of 2014.
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Notes for editors
Sir Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation. He has received a record three Academy Awards for Best Actor, as well four BAFTA awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globes, all also for Best Actor. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Bristol, University College Dublin and the Juilliard School in New York, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was knighted for his services to drama in 2014.
Sir Andrew Motion, one of the Poetry Archive’s founders, was UK Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009. He was knighted for his services to literature in 2009.
The Poetry Archive is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity (no. 1093858). One of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations, it is also supported by individual donations and gifts from charitable trusts and foundations. Full details of benefactors can be found here http://www.poetryarchive.org/
The Archive aims to bring the widest possible audience to the fullest possible range of English-language poetry being published around the world, and to complement that poetry with educational material of value both to the specialist and to the general reader.
The Archive adds new audio recordings regularly as funds permit.
Poets are chosen for inclusion by a panel under the Chairmanship of Andrew Motion. The selection process is guided by advice from a large number of writers and critics, many of whom have specialist knowledge of particular regions or styles, and the panel's choices are determined by several factors: by the wish to demonstrate the variety of poetry being published, by the wish to make a selection which demonstrates the excellence of every kind of that variety, and by the availability of the necessary funding.
The Archive also runs Poetry By Heart, the annual poetry recitation competition for secondary-school students in England. The competition is substantially funded by the U.K. Department for Education.