Today in our round up of poetry news, we look at The Waste Land app, and an exhibition of rare books including several poetry books never seen before in public.
The Waste Land App for iPhone Launched by Faber
To celebrate the centenary of The Waste Land poem by T S Eliot, Faber are launching their award winning app of the same name on iPhone. The app was released 10 years ago for the iPad when it was the winner of a prize at FutureBook. This year marks 100 years since the poem was written and
The app has a number of features that can help the reader to engage with the poem. These include interactive notes and readings by Eliot that are synchronised to the text. There are also readings by Viggo Mortensen, Ted Hughes and others.
There are also 35 videos by experts offering different perspectives on the poem. These include the likes of Jeanette Winterson and Seamus Heaney. There are reproductions of the original manuscript that offer an insight into how the poem was created through the handwritten editorial notes that were made by Eliot’s mentor Ezra Pound, a fellow poet.
Faber are hoping that this update to the app will allow even more people to explore the poetry and they are pleased to be bringing Eliot well and truly into the digital age.
State Library of Victoria Puts on Exhibition of Rare Books
The State Library of Victoria owns a book that is so rare that its estimated value is more than the price of a house. The book is Ulysses by James Joyce, a book that was in fact banned for several years as some of the content of the book was considered to be “obscene.”
The copy of Ulysses that is in the library is a first edition, signed and highly sought after copy. It was published in Paris on Dutch handmade paper and is one of just 100 copies that were made.
Dante, the Italian poet will also be showcased in the exhibition, more than 700 years since the release of his The Divine Comedy. The Dante collection at the library includes some rare editions of his most famous work to some art work by Australian artists that were inspired by it. The oldest work by Dante in the collection was published in 1506 in Florence, the poets birthplace.
There is also a 19th century boxed set of novels by Jane Austen, some medieval manuscripts and some works donated by Shaun Tan the Melbourne writer. The donated collection includes many rare books that have never been on exhibition before.