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All the essential poetry news from the first month of 2014.
- 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 Guardian, Mail 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 Root, Boston Music Spotlight and Examiner.
- Amiri Baraka, the provocative writer and leader of the 1960s Black Arts movement, died aged 79. Read more at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Guardian.
- Juan Gelman, the renowned Argentinian poet who was a left-wing activist and guerrilla in the 1960s and 1970s, died aged 83. Read more at BBC News, The Guardian and The New York Times.
- 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.
- José Emilio Pacheco, one of Mexico’s foremost poets, died aged 74. Read more at BBC News, The New York Times and News International.
- Sinéad Morrissey won the 2013 TS Eliot Award for her fifth collection, Parallax. Read more at The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph. Watch her read from the collection here:
- Jennifer Maiden won Australia’s Victorian Prize for Literature for her most recent collection, Liquid Nitrogen. Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC and artsHub.
- The Poetry of Sex, ed. Sophie Hannah (not yet rated on GoodReads). Read reviews at The Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Independent.
- The Hotel Oneira by August Kleinzahler (3.8/5 based on 11 ratings at GoodReads). Read reviews at The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and New Statesman.
- Pilgrim’s Flower by Rachael Boast (not yet rated on GoodReads). Read reviews at The Skinny, The Guardian and BookReviewBlogger. Author interviewed at Literature Works.
- Speak, Old Parrot by Dannie Abse (4/5 based on 2 ratings at GoodReads). Read reviews at The Guardian, New Welsh Review and Camden Review.
- Impromptus: Selected Poems and Some Prose by Gottfried Benn (4.4/5 based on 5 ratings at GoodReads). Read reviews at The Arts Fuse and The Guardian.
All ratings are from GoodReads as at 10/02/2014.