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A summary of all the key headlines from the world of poetry in March.

News

  • UNESCO’s World Poetry Day was celebrated on 21 March. In the UK, the public were encouraged to record themselves reading their favourite First World War poem in tribute to those who served. Read more at Gov.uk, 1914.org and The UN.
  • A ‘World Poetry Festival’ was held in Delhi from 21-24 March, featuring 50 poets from 21 countries including George Szirtes from the UK. Read more at The Indian Express and George Szirtes Blog.
  • Serhiy Zhadan, Ukraine’s most famous counter-culture poet, was beaten up by pro-Russian activists for being involved in the protests that resulted in the overthrow of President Yanukovich. Read more at The New Yorker and Melville House. Here is a video of Zhadan performing:

  • The North Korean state media released poems in the run-up to elections on 9 March. Titles included ‘The Billows Of Emotion And Happiness,’ ‘We Break Into Cheers From The Bottom Of Our Heart’ and ‘We Go To The Polling Station.’ Read more at BBC News, The Telegraph and The Wire.
  • A prisoner in HMP Parkhurst was forced to hand back a £25 poetry prize for inmates for plagiarising the poet Alison Chisholm. Read more at The Express and The Telegraph.
  • West Virginia officials tried to ban a student from reading ‘Black Diamonds,’ a poem about industrial disasters, at an awards ceremony. They were forced to back down in the face of public outrage. Read more at Raw Story, Crystal Good and The Register-Herald. Here is the student, Grace Pritt, reciting the poem:

  • An archivist at Brentwood School discovered poems in a school cupboard written by Douglas Adams and Griff Rhys Jones when they were teenagers. Read more at The Guardian, Brentwood Gazette and Wales Online.
  • The estate of Ted Hughes withdrew access to his private records from biographer Jonathan Bate after Bate uncovered new material about Hughes’s affairs. Read more at The Guardian and The Daily Mail.

Awards

Book Releases

  • Byssus, the third collection from Shetland-based Jen Hadfield (rated 4.8/5 based on 5 ratings at GoodReads). Read a review at New Statesman.

All ratings are from GoodReads as at 10/04/2014.

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