Today’s poetry news round-up takes a look at the Nasimi Festival, the Emily Dickinson Lecture and the 400-year-old-tree that is in danger of collapsing.
2019 Nasimi Festival
The Nasimi Festival of Poetry, Arts and Spirituality, a four-day long cultural extravaganza, is being set up in Azerbaijan. The festival is being planned to celebrate the birthday of Imadaddin Nasimi, the Azerbaijani poet who is considered by many to have been a national treasure.
First held in 2018, the festival is now in its second year and will take place from September 29th until 1st October. There will be a wide variety of poets, artists, musicians and researchers attending from countries all over the world including; Georgia, France, China, UK, Turkey and Israel.
The festival, which is entitled “Beyond The Limited Self” has been put together by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, in collaboration with a number of local cultural establishments. There are over 20 events scheduled to take place in a number of cities across the country. The main events, however, will be held in Baku, the capital city.
Nasimi was born Ali ibn Seyid Muhammad in 1369. However, he is much more commonly known by his pen name. He wrote in Arabic, Persian and Azerbaijani. Much of his inspiration was taken from Hurufism, the Sufi Islamic tradition.
At the time the poet’s ideology was considered blasphemous by Muslim theologians. He was isolated by the religious groups and in 1417 he was executed in Aleppo. His death was ordered by Amir Timur the Turkic Warlord who founded the Timurid Empire. The 600th anniversary of Nasimi’s death was commemorated by UNESCO in 2017 at their Paris headquarters.
Several of the events that are scheduled to take place will be hosted in Shamakhi – the city of Nasimi’s birth.
2019 has been declared by Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan as “Nasimi Year”. He is hoping that it will raise awareness about the role that the poet played in the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan.
Emily Dickinson Lecture
Winner of a “Genius Grant” MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, Terrance Hayes will be taking part in this year’s Emily Dickinson Lecture. The lecture will take place on the campus of Penn State University.
Hayes has written six collections of award-winning poetry; he is also a professor at New York University where he teaches English. He has won a number of awards for his poetry and been nominated for a number of other top prizes.
The Emily Dickinson Lectureship in American Poetry, which is an annual event, is sponsored by Barbara and George Kelly of the Penn State Alumni, with additional sponsorship provided by the Department of English at the University.
Legendary Tree with Links to Poet May Need to be Felled
A tree in Yorkshire that has survived both the Blitz and the English Civil War is in danger of collapsing after it has become split in half by the elements.
It is believed that Andrew Marvell, the metaphysical poet and MP, regularly played in the tree as a child. His father was Master of the local Charterhouse in whose grounds the tree stands.
Experts have been called in to examine the tree and determine its state.