Dahl’s Work Amendments/Heaney Exhibition/Poet’s Barracks Conversion – Poetry News Roundup February 22nd

Today in our poetry news round-up, we look at the censorship of Roald Dahl, a new exhibition for Seamus Heaney and the Army Barracks with links to a poet that are set to become a housing estate.

Changes Announced to Works by Roald Dahl

The author and poet Roald Dahl is well-loved by children all over the world for his works which include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Matilda. However, an announcement that has been made by his publishers and the Dahl estate has caused fierce debate amongst other writers and public figures.

The announcement stated that some of the writer’s works would be updated to make them more suitable for the modern audience. The changes include changing the description of Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to replace the word ‘fat’ with ‘enormous’ and removing words like ‘crazy’ and ‘mad’ in reverence to an increased understanding about mental health.

The Prime Minister himself has weighed in on the issue, and his spokesman said


Sir Salmon Rushdie and Philip Pullman have both labelled the move ridiculous and said that if the words used are so offensive, rather than rewrite them, the books should simply be allowed to “fade away”.

Penguin has, however, defended the decision stating that it is not unusual when an older book comes up for a reprint to review the language that is used in it, in much the same way as they might update the artwork on the cover.

Dahl died in 1990, and whilst his books are still particularly popular, many of the antisemitic comments that he made during his lifetime resulted in him being considered rather problematic. His family issued an apology in 2020 for any hurt that the comments he made may have caused.

Seamus Heaney Exhibition to be Showcased

Working in partnership with Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the Magherafelt Library will be hosting an exhibition that will showcase archived materials linked to the poet that have been collected over a period of four decades.

Titled “Nostalgia in the Afternoon”, the exhibition will be open from 1st March to 21st March and will include a collection of magazines that feature contributions made by the poet over the years.

The exhibition will close with a talk about the poet, which will rather fittingly fall on National Poetry Day.

Army Barracks With Link to Poet to be Converted to Housing Estate

The army barracks in Ripon, which has been a military base for over a century, may soon be converted into 1,300 homes.

The plan has been under development for the last couple of years, and talks between the Ministry of Defence and Homes England have now progressed. The scheme will not just include new homes. There are also plans for a care home, shops and a new primary school as well.

The barracks were built for troops during World War I when they were used as a convalescent camp. Wilfred Owen, the wartime poet spent time in the camp and even wrote some of his poetry here. All the buildings, including those of historic significance, are planned for demolition as part of the scheme.


  • Ok Waleed

    How do I get a article on me ?

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