Poetry Foundation Resignations/Urdu Poet Passes Away/Meric Anniversary – Poetry News Roundup June 15th

We begin another week here on with a look at the key resignations in the Poetry Foundation. We also have an article about the death of an Urdu poet and the death anniversary of a Turkish poet.

Poetry Foundation Officials Resign

Two of the top officials from the Poetry Foundation, one of the leading poetry organisations in the US have resigned over responses to protests against racism and police violence.

The announcement was made last Wednesday by the Poetry Foundation who confirmed that both their president and board chairman had resigned. There are currently no plans for any replacements, and they did not go into any details about the events that had led to the resignations.

It is known however that the previous weekend over 1000 supporters of the foundation and poets had issued an open letter in which they demanded that both men leave their positions. They suggested that they should be replaced with more appropriate candidates; people who had a commitment when it came to helping to create a world that was more positive for immigrants, dibbled people, trans and queer people and people of colour. They said in the letter that they would make no further contributions to the Poetry magazine produced by the foundation until they had made progress in this area.

The magazine was first published in 1912 and as instrumental in publishing work by poets such as William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot and many other leading poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. The foundation of the same name was created in 2003 when a donation of $100 million was made to the magazine by the heir to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune. The annual budget for the magazine is around $1 million.

Poet Passes Away Shortly After Recovery From Covid-19

Pandit Anand Mohan Zutshi “Gulzar” Dehlavi the famous Urdu poet has passed away at the age of 94.

The poet had a positive test for coronavirus on 1st June. However, despite his age, he recovered quickly and was released from the hospital with an all-clear just a week later. He died at his home on Friday evening. The cause of death was age-related ailments. It is believed that he had a heart attack.

Born in 1926 in Old Delhi, he was a freedom fighter and an Inquilabi poet. His death is being seen as the end of an era for Urdu poetry and a great loss, not just for the city of Delhi, but Urdu in general.

Turkey Marks Poets Death Anniversary

On Saturday, Turkey marked the 33rd anniversary of the death of Huseyin Cemil Meric the writer, thinker and poet who was born in Reyhanli in 1916.

A student of French, Arabic and the Quran, Meric holds a special place in the literature of Turkey.

He completed his education in Istanbul where he learned about Divan literature. It was during his time here that he also became acquainted with Nazim Hikmet.

Meric’s first work was a translation of Girl with Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac. He worked as a teacher around this time but also penned many of his own works.

In 1954 his eyesight declined, and he had surgery to correct the issue. This failed, leaving him blind. However, he continued to work right up to his death in 1987.

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