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Poetry & Poets in Rags of October 13

Poetry & Poets in Rags of October 13
By rus bowden on 10/13/2009
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Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog:

It is Nobel week. And those literature selectors did the scandal-ridden prize no service by giving Nobel''s money to another European--this after last year''s statement by Horace Engdahl: "There is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can''t get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world . . . not the United States . . . The US is too isolated, too insular. They don''t translate enough and don''t really participate in the big dialogue of literature . . . That ignorance is restraining." Such an admission of gross bias led to him rightfully being out of the picture this year. This year, it was Peter Englund who said, just before the winner was announced, "If you are European (it is) easier to relate to European literature . . . It''s the result of psychological bias that we really try to be aware of. It''s not the result of any program." This was to calm everyone down who was thinking there might be a conspiracy to underhandedly lift money from the Nobel coffers and hand it to underserving Europeans.

It really has to stop. It is completely out of hand. If it is not a conspiracy, then it is a corrupt selection system that is tantamount to stealing Nobel''s money. In divvying up the money, Nobel''s will says, "one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction". The committee is failing at this. And it has been failing at this for a while. In the past few decades, no one who has received the prize, deserved the prize more than Mahmoud Darwish or John Updike, both of whom died this past year without becoming Nobel Laureates.

In Great Regulars, Hillel Italie says in his AP article, "The judges, apparently, could not help themselves." And we headline with a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interview with Herta Mueller, plus a link to the Independent''s coverage, in which we read Fiona Sampson''s take on Mueller.

But Mueller is not the only 2009 Nobelist in the poetry news. Barack Obama received the peace prize. And Radio Free Asia carried a story that tells how he would not meet with the Dalai Lama for a second time. Obama refused him while on the campaign trail last year as well. In Great Regulars, Jay Parini looks at Obama as Nobel Peace Laureate.

Among the many Great Regulars articles, E. Ethelbert Miller writes on How To Meet a Black Leader--just one of the other thought-provoking pieces that we have links to. We''ve got the city known as the home of the pantun, plus Don Paterson with his third Forward Prize. We''ve got Seamus Heaney, Sherman Alexie, Dave Brinks, and Rachel Tzvia Back, all in News at Eleven, and all to make you consider and reconsider.

Thanks for surfing through.


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© By rus bowden On 10/13/2009 8:35:09 PM
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