Trillium Book Award/Myanmar Poet’s Body Returned/Italian Parks For Greek Poets – Poetry News Roundup May 12th

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the finalists for the Trillium Book Award, the Myanmar poet who has died in custody and the Italian parks renamed for Greek poets.

Trillium Book Award Finalists Named

Souvankham Thammavongsa, a previous winner of the Scotiabank Gillier Prize has been named as one of the Ontario writers who has made the finalists list for this year’s Trillium Book Awards.

Based in Toronto, Thammavongsa won a Trillium award in 2013 for one of her earlier works of poetry. This time around she is under consideration for her debut collection of short stories which is titled “How to Pronounce Knife”.

The other finalists in the novel category include the current poet laureate for Toronto, A F Moritz with “As Far As You Know”.

The prize has also published its shortlist for the poetry section, and this includes entries from Canisia Lubrin for her book “The Dyzgraphxst” which recently won the Griffin Poetry Prize and Irfan Ali with “Accretion”.

Due to the pandemic the winners this year will be announced during a virtual ceremony. This will take place on 15th June.

The Trillium Book Award recognises excellence in literature across all genres and the prize is $20,000 with the publishers of the winning books also receiving $2,500 to help them promote the books.

The Trillium Book Award was established in 1987 and previous winners include Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro and Thomas King.

Myanmar Poets Body Returned

The body of Khet Thi, a poet in Myanmar has been returned to his family following his death in custody at the weekend. He is the third poet, at least to have died during the protests against the military coup which took place in February.

His family have said, however, that his body which was due to be buried by the interrogation centre had been returned without many of its internal organs, although they did not say how they knew this.

Both the poet and his family have been taken on Saturday for interrogation, however only his wife was released. The family were summoned to the hospital and went believing that he had been injured only to discover that he had died. It was being suggested that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Khet Thi was just 45. One of the other poets who has recently died as a result of the protests was K Za Win who was 39. He was shot dead.

Italian Parks Renamed for Greek Poets

The Italian city of Bologna has honoured the Greek poets George Seferis and Dionysios Solomos by naming two of their parks after them.

The Greek Secretary-General of the Hellenes Abroad society attended a special ceremony for the renaming of the parks.

The naming of the parks was part of the cultural interaction that has been longstanding between Greece and Italy, which has seen them exchanging authentic experiences and cultural goods.

Dionysios Solomos is the Greek national poet. He penned the national anthem of Greece and also made some significant contributions to the preservation of some of the countries early poetic traditions, all of which highlighted his place in modern literature.

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