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We’re at the halfway point of 2013. Here’s your regular poetry news round up. My pleasure.
A Poem for Madiba
As South Africans come to term with Nelson Mandela‘s recent deterioration in health, a Pretoria priest, Father Victor Phalana, has put his love and sense of loss for Mandela into a poem.
Mandela has been in the Mediclinic Heart Hospital for four weeks now and remains in a “critical but stable” condition. Here is an extract from Father Victor’s poem, which you can also read in full here:
“We are busy with your last paragraph and your last chapter
We have started to mourn and grieve as you melt away
We are anxious and worried; we are paying our respects,
We say Goodbye.”
Poets ARE Fighters
A Israeli soldier was banned from reading his poetry out on the radio because officers said it would “ruin the image of the combat soldier.” Cue much media outrage.
An Unfortunate Poem…
Vladimir Putin appointed a new Economy Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev – who it was recently revealed wrote a poem two years ago urging Russians to leave the country and seek freedom. The poems begins: “Get out, my son, get out of here.”
Natasha still going strong
The US poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey, has been reappointed for a second one-year term. According to mail.com, in her second term she will collaborate with PBS senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown and the NewsHour series of reports about poetry and society from around the country.A Trip to Canada
The 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize in Canada was won by David McFadden and Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan. However, before the ceremony, Zaqtan had initially been the subject of refusal for a visa when Canadian authorities said the reason for his visit was “unconvincing.”
This unleashed a social media storm, with the likes of the novelist Margaret Atwood weighing in with their support. Happily, within 72 hours the visa was granted.
Here are a couple of highlights from the poetry books published during June.
- Poetry and Privacy by John Redmond, a study of the treatment of public and private spheres in contemporary poetry. The Guardian says there is “a cut and thrust to Redmond’s work” and that it is a “fine book.”
- Glass Wings by Fleur Adcock. Booksellers NZ assesses this collection as “a mixed bag,” whereas Beattie’s Book Blog thinks Adcock “has a stunning ear, pulling off rhyme- and rhythm-schemes which appear, deceptively so, easy.”