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All the essential poetry news from the first month of 2014.

News

  • A Russian poetry lover stabbed a champion of prose to death in drunken row over the merits of the two literary forms. Read more at BBC News, The Guardian and Global Post.
  • A video of Liu Xia, the wife of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, reading two self-written poems while under house arrest, was posted online. Read more at The HK Standard, The Guardian and News 24. Here is the video:

  • The mayor of Minneapolis RT Ryback suffered a heart attack and posted a short poem about it on Twitter, which read: “My cardiac surprise/ Gave me quite a start/ But it proves this politician/ Has a great big heart.” Read more at TwinCities.
  • A University of Oxford papyrologist said that a poem found on ancient papyrus is indubitably the work of the sixth-century Greek poet Sappho. Read more at The GuardianMail Online and Live Science. Read a translation of the poem at The Guardian.
  • Apple released a iPad Air commercial that features quotes from Walt Whitman’s ‘Oh Me! Oh Life!’ Read more at Yahoo! Tech, New Republic and PC Mag. Here is the ad:

  • It was announced that a forthcoming book will reveal a year-long love affair between Dylan Thomas and the American journalist Pearl Kazin. Read more at Wales Online, Express and Mail Online.
  • An image of the Welsh poet RS Thomas appeared on packs of Tyrrell’s Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper crisps as pack of a promotion they were running which featured the tagline “Win a fleeting look of contempt… or £25,000.” Read more at The Telegraph, Cambrian News and Bakery and Snacks.
  • Jazz musician Herbie Hancock was appointed the Harvard University 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry. He will deliver six lectures on a variety of topics. Read more at The RootBoston Music Spotlight and Examiner.

Deaths

  • Namdeo Dhasal, noted Marathi poet and one of the founders of the radical organisation The Dalit Panthers, died aged 64. Read more at The Hindu, DNA India and Pune Mirror.

Awards

Book Releases

All ratings are from GoodReads as at 10/02/2014.