Liu Xiaobo Bust/Victor Huge Best-seller/Mexican Auction/Play Park Poetry – Poetry News Roundup April 18th

Today’s poetry news brings you articles about the first bust dedicated to the poet Liu Xiaobo, the Victor Hugo novel that has climbed the best seller list, a rare Mexican poetry book at auction and finally the poetry book that will fund a play park.

Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Honoured by Prague

A bust in honour of the late Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate and dissident Liu Xiaobo has been unveiled in Prague. The bust is the work of Marie Sebrova, a Czech sculptress, and is the first such statue to the poet. It will be on display until the 4th June – the date which marks the 30th anniversary of the protests in Tiananmen square in 1989.

The bust is a joint collaboration between Amnesty International, Humanitarian China, Art for Amnesty and Dox. It was unveiled on Monday this week.

Liu passed away in 2917 while serving a prison sentence for his part in the protests, amongst other things.

Liu Xia, the poet’s widow had been expected to be at the opening ceremony but was unable to make it at the last minute.

Photos taken by Liu Xia are also on display in the same room as the bust. They were initially part of an exhibit that went up in 2014 which she was not able to attend as she was on house arrest.

Liu Xia was released in 2018 and travelled to Germany.

Work by Victor Hugo Tops Bestseller List

Following the fire that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday afternoon the Victor Hugo novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” shot to the top of the bestseller list on Amazon.

One particular passage from the book written by the author and poet was widely quoted in the world’s media as all over Paris, and the globe, as people watched the tragic events unfold.


This isn’t the first time that the French have turned to literature in times of trouble. Following the Paris attacks in November 2015, Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast soared.

Rare Book Auction

Earlier this week a rare first edition of an early work written by Sor Juana Ines de la Crux, the Mexican poet went on auction in New York at the Swann Galleries. The book which was written in 1677 had a guide price estimated to be# between $30,000 and $40,000.

It formed part of a mixed rare books auction on a number of different topics that went under the hammer at the Printed and Manuscript Americana auction.

The book sold for $45,000.

Big Names from the World of Poetry Back Memorial Play Park

The poetry-loving grandparents of a three-year-old killed in a car accident asked the literary world for help with the project, and they responded.

The couple are hoping to put together a poetry anthology to help fund the park and its upkeep. They have received submissions for the book from many poets including Roger McGough, Alice Oswald, Carol Ann Duffy and Ian McMillan.

The book which will be launched on 20th April contains 150 poems on the subject of play.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.