Ezra Pound/Queen Honours Poets/Prison Poetry – poetry News Roundup June 11th

We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with a look at a new book into the life of Ezra Pound, we take a look at the poets mentioned on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and finally we look at the poet writing poetry from prison.

New Book Takes a Different Look at Ezra Pound

Daniel Swift, a British scholar and an enthusiast of the poet Ezra Pound, has recently released a new book “The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound,” which he has written from the point of view of the visitors and doctors that the poet received during his time at St. Elizabeth Hospital near Washington D.C. Pound spend over a decade in the hospital, 1945 –  1958, when he was held on an insanity plea, which he took as a plea instead of facing the death penalty for treason.

Pound, who was once the assistant to William Butler Yeats, was a pro-fascist, an anti-Semite and it is argued one of the most important literary figures of the 20thcentury.

Whilst Pound was at the hospital he made the acquaintance of fellow poets Robert Lowell and John Berryman. The book touches on the interactions between the poets and also looks at the diagnosis that Pound was given – there is much discussion over whether the diagnosis was accurate or whether the doctors were protecting Pound for the death penalty by “misdiagnosing” him.

The book takes a very new and fascinating look at the poet which is sure to make interesting reading.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List

On Saturday the British Royal Family gathered for Trooping the Colour, an official celebration of The Queens birthday.

Saturday also saw the publication of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for this year which saw 1,057 people receiving an award. Of these honours 71% were given to everyday community heroes. Poetry was represented on the list a total of three times.

The poet Kate Clanchy received an MBE for her services to Literature, as did Louise Wallwein, a poet, playwright and spoken word performer for her services to music. The author, playwright and poet Nora Vagi Brash, OBE, received a CMG – companion of the Order of t Michael and St George – for her services to the community in Papua New Guinea through the active promotion of local heritage and culture.

A Poem from Prison

Galal El-Behairy, an Egyptian poet, is currently being detained at the Tora Prison in Egypt. He is awaiting a verdict in a court held by the military into charges of
charges which carry a total sentence of around 5 years. These charges are being brought in relation to his most recent poetry book
The verdict is expected on 27thJune.

From his cell, Galal has shared a poem titled
which talks about life in the prison and the conditions he is living in.

Galal is also facing a civil court case for some of his poetry which has been used by an Egyptian musician who is also under arrest.

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