Walt Whitman/Protest Poet/Poetry Removal from Curriculum – Poetry News Roundup March 20th

In today’s poetry roundup we bring you Slovak musicians putting the poetry of Walt Whitman to music, a poet who has been fined for a protest during an election and finally a poet who has demanded his poetry be removed from the curriculum.

When Music and Poetry Meet

A Slovak musical project has chosen to combine the works of the American poet Walt Whitman with Jazz music to create a rather special musical score. Titled simply “Walt Whitman’s Poetry Turns into Music” the collaboration has taken 18 months to complete.

The resulting musical score has been recorded by the Slovak musicians I together with the US bassist Stanley Banks, and several other US musicians. The recording which is a fusion of a number of musical styles; blues, jazz, soul, folk and experimental music will be accompanied by the words of Whitman, sung in Slovak. It is hoped that this will prove popular to both music lovers and poetry lovers alike.

There will also be a tour which will take place in two phases, in March and October; both of these phases will take place in New York. The ultimate goal of the concerts, in addition to promoting the album, is to introduce US audience to Slovak music.

Court Fines Poet

A court in the Tatarstan region in Kazan Russia has fined a poet for the crime of tearing up a ballot paper during the presidential election on March 18th this year.  Lilia Gazizova, was issued with a fine of 2000 rubles (around $35) by the Vakhitov district court.

The poet was accused of tearing up a ballot paper in public, before setting off the fire alarm inside the polling station, actions which led to a temporary disruption to the voting process. Gazizova, who pleaded not guilty, was in the public eye last year when she wrote a number of poems that condemned the authorities in Russia when they made moves to abolish the mandatory teaching of the Tartar language in schools throughout the region.

Malayalam Poet Demands Withdrawal of His Work from Textbooks

In what might be considered a rather unusual move Balachandran Chullikkad, an eminent Malayalam poet as demanded that the Kerala’s department of education  remove all of his poems from school textbooks.

The poet says that he no longer wants his poetry to be taught in colleges or schools and that he wants it to be removed from the curriculum immediately. His protest is about the state of the education system in the region and his reason for the request
The poet is well known for his works which represent what was the turbulent youth in the state during the 1980’s. His poems have had a significant influence on a generation and have helped to change the way of thinking for many young people in the region

He is also well known for being a poet who is not afraid to take a stand for those things he believes in and has over the years turned down many awards.

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