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All the essential poetry news from the month of December.

News

Yahya Hassan, the Danish rap poet, was charged with racism over poems fiercely criticising the actions of fellow Muslims in Denmark. Hassan has also faced 27 death threats and was recently assaulted. Read more at The Copenhagen PostThe Guardian and The Jewish Press.

Yahya Hassan [Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Radikale Venstre]

Yahya Hassan Performing
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Radikale Venstre]

Poet and sports writer Musa Okwonga produced a tribute to football to celebrate 150 years of the FA. He was joined by Steven Gerrard, Arsène Wenger, Theo Walcott and a number of celebrity guests. Read more and watch the video at The Football AssociationWho Ate All the Pies and The Guardian.

Members of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s family contested toxicology reports that appeared to conclusively prove that he died of natural causes rather than being assassinated. Read more at The GuardianRAPSI and The Houston Chronicle.

Deaths

Ahmed Fouad Negm, Egypt’s ‘poet of the people’ who used colloquial Egyptian Arabic to write patriotic and revolutionary poetry and supported the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak, died aged 84. Read more at The TelegraphEuronews and Ahram Online.

Ahmed Fouad Negm [Source: Wikimedia Commons © Michael Nabil]

Ahmed Fouad Negm
[Source: Wikimedia Commons © Michael Nabil]

Daniel Weissbort, the translator and poet who founded Modern Poetry in Translation and brought the work of eastern European poets to the West, died aged 78. Read more at The GuardianModern Poetry in Translation and Anvil Press Poetry.

Awards

Douglas Dunn won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2013 in recognition of his lifetime contribution to literature. Read more at BBC NewsHerald Scotland and Write Out Loud. Listen to Dunn reading some of his poems at The Poetry Archive.

Book Releases

Six Bad Poets by Christopher Reid (4/5 based on 2 ratings at GoodReads). Reviewed at The Spectator and The Guardian. Author interviewed at The Telegraph.

Correspondances: A Poem and Portraits by Anne Michaels and Bernice Eisenstein (4.4/5 based on 8 ratings at GoodReads). Reviewed at The GuardianNational Post and The Boston Globe.

(all ratings are from GoodReads as at 31/12/13).