Norman Nicholson/Nebraska Book Award and Dareen Tatour – Poetry News Roundup October 27th

Our final news round-up of the week offers up stories about Norman Nicholson the Millom poet, The Nebraska Book Award for Poetry 2017 and the news that Dareen Tatour, the Arab-IsraeLi Poet may hear next week if she will be sent to prison for an incident that happened in 2015.

Norman Nicholson – Millom’s Most Famous Son

When people thinks of poets and the Lake District it is William Wordsworth who first springs to mind, however Cumbria has produced a number of outstanding poets over the years.

In Millom, a local group are currently fighting to restore the home of one such poet; Norman Nicholson OBE. Nicholson was one of the first member of the Cumbrian Literary Group which has recently been forced to close. In its place, the Norman Nicholson Society has been formed and it is their determination that not only should the poets home be restored but that the poets work is promoted, not just in the local area but globally.

Nicholson who was born in 1914 wrote poetry that was noted for its local concerns, his use of straightforward language and its elements of common speech. He wrote several collections of poetry, one of which was published by T.S. Eliot whilst he was at Faber and Faber, and was still writing up to his death in 1987. In 1977, he won the Queen’ s award for poetry.

Nebraska Book Award for Poetry 2017

On Saturday 21st October, “Homing: The Collected Poem of Don Welch (1975-2015)” was chosen as the winner of this year’s Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. The award which is sponsored by Nebraska Centre for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission was set up to recognise and honour those books that were written or published by Nebraskans or were about Nebraska.

Welch died in 2016 at the age of 84 and the book is the brainchild of some of his former students. The 300 pages contain just a sample of Welch’s work from the 26 books he published during his lifetime.

Dareen Tatour – will she face jail?

It is expected that Arab-Israeli poet Dareen Tatour who has been under house arrest for the last two years after she put a poem on YouTube in 2015 will finally hear on Monday if she will receive a jail term for the charges of
that have been levelled against her.

The usual sentence for cases similar to this is around nine months but she could be facing a maximum term of five years. It is claimed that by reading the poem she was issuing an incitement to violence but the poet says that her poem has been misunderstood

The key issue with the poem seems to be the use of the word “Martyr” according to an expert in translation at her trial “‘Martyr’ to an Israeli means a terrorist. To a Palestinian it means victim – any Palestinian killed in the conflict with Israel, as a bystander or assailant.

Here we reproduce a part of the poem that has caused its author so much trouble:

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