Banjo’s Bash/Ko Un – Poetry News Roundup February 20th

In today’s poetry news round-up we bring you the 5th Annual Banjos Bash Poetry Festival in honour of Banjo Patterson and we also take a look at the poet Ko Un in the wake of the allegations of sexual harassment that suggest he is the unnamed poet in the poetry of Choi Young Mi.

Banjo Bash Poetry Festival

This weekend saw around 250 people flocking to Yeoval in New South Wales, for the 5th annual Banjo Patterson Australian Poetry Festivals “Banjo Bash”, a festival that celebrates the life of Banjo Patterson the famous Australian bush poet who is perhaps best as the man who wrote Waltzing Matilda.

The festival which will be running from 16th to 25th February this year attracted people not just the local area but from all over the state, with organisers estimating that over 50% of the attendees were visitors to the area.

The festival kicked off with a concert in the evening and this was followed the next morning with poets from all over Australia taking part in a breakfast poetry recital. The festival itself will take place in both Yeoval, where the poet lived until he was around the age of 7 and nearby Orange where he was born.

Over the course of the festival there will be poetry workshops, nature trails, art exhibitions and many more activities many of which will be free to the attending public.

Poet at Centre of Allegations to Leave City

Although he has not been named as the poet described in a poem by Choi Young Mi, the poet who is believed to be at the centre of the sexual harassment allegations Ko Un has announced that he will be leaving the city where he currently lives.

Since Choi Young Mi’s allegations there have been complaints about the fact that the city of Suwon uses public funds to support Ko Un.

Poet Ko Un is set to flee from Suwon amidst allegations of sexual harassment that are currently surrounding him as well as some complaints about the Suwon’s using public funds to help him. The poet had been residing for 5 years leading up to now in Gyeonggi Province, following a move made by the city to increase their development in to a homaities friendly city , as part of this they arranged a house for him.

The poet has stated that his move is so that he will not burden Suwon any longer. Whilst the allegations hanging over the poet may have prompted this decision, the public protests against the city supporting him in this manner have been going on since last May. Local residents claimed it was not fair for Suwon to support Ko Unt whilst the area, which is designated an area of environmental protection has been struggling financially.

Not only was the poet being housed for free, but the city also remodelled the house for him and paid for the ongoing maintenance.

Ko Un has been tipped as a possible recipient of the Literature Nobel Prize several times in the past.

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