Doolin Poetry Prize/Nasimi Piece Found/Armenian Poet’s House Demolished – Poetry News Roundup February 28th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the winner of the Doolin Poetry Prize. We also have an article about a piece of previously unknown work by the poet Nasimi which has just been found and the former home of an Armenian poet that has been demolished.

Doolin Poetry Prize Winner

A poem by Matt Hohner has been chosen as the winner of the Doolin Poetry Prize by fellow poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin. The poem talks about the Tree of Life synagogue massacre and is filled with imagery of masculine vulnerability.

Titled “Big Boys Don’t Cry” the poem was inspired by the massacre that took place at the synagogue on 27th October 2018.

A native of Baltimore, Matt Hohner, studied at the Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He has won a number of poetry awards during his career including taking both first and third prizes in the Maryland Writers Association Poetry Prize and being a finalist in the Moth International Poetry Prize. He has been published in a number of magazines, and in autumn last year he published his first book. 

Unknown Work by Nasimi Discovered

A previously unknown work by the Azerbaijani poet Imadaddin Nasimi has recently been discovered in Turkey. The discovery of the handwritten and previously unknown divan was made in the National Library of Ankara.

The work is 134 pages in length and has been written in a number of different genres. It also contains a note that it was transferred as a waqf – a charitable donation that is made under Islamic law. The manuscript indicates that the poet was respected by representatives from the Bektashi order.

Nasimi was an eminent figure during his lifetime and a great Azerbaijani poet. He was also the founder of a school of philosophical poetry written in the Azerbaijani language. He created his poetry in Persian, Arabic and also his native tongue.

It is believed that Nasimi wrote around 300 poems including quatrains, lyrics and ghazals. His inspiration was the political, social and cultural development of the near and middle east countries and in particular his homeland.

His most important work is considered to be his Turkic Divan which contains between 250 – 300 ghazals and over 150 rubais.

Last year saw the first Nasimi Festival of Poetry, Arts and Spirituality take place in Azerbaijan. The event was a result of a collaboration between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan. This year, 2019, has been declared as the Year of Nasimi by the Azerbaijani President. It is the 650th anniversary of the birth of the poet.

Armenian Poets House Demolished

The former home of the great Armenian poet Yegishe Charents, which has long been a historic draw in the city of Kars, Turkey, has been demolished. The house is a popular destination for Armenian poets who want to pay tribute to the poet.

Charents, who was born in 1897 in Kars, and his family were involved in the rug business and originally came from Maku, the Armenian community in the Persian part of Armenia.

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