Virtual Chinese Poetry Exhibition/Kannada Poet Passes Away/Cohen’s Favourite Author – Poetry News Roundup May 4th

We begin our week with a look at the Virtual Chinese poetry exhibition from Angel Island, the death of an influential Kannada poet, and some of Leonard Cohen’s favourite authors.

Chinese Poetry From Historic Angel Island goes Virtual

Located in San Fransisco, the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation has opened its first virtual gallery. The opening which took place on Friday last week has been put together to celebrate the Chinese poetry that was carved into the detention barrack walls by the immigrants that were housed there.

“Voices of Resilience” looks at just 22 of the 200 Chinese poems that were discovered on the walls in 1970. In addition to the 22 poems from the facility, there are also some poems that have been submitted online by members of the public, a further 33 in total.

The exhibition has been put together by the Operations Manager and the Executive Director of the foundation.

In a statement that they released to mark the unveiling of the online exhibition they said that at a time when anti-Asian assaults and harassment were on the increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic they felt that it was important to remind people of the stories behind the detentions of immigrants at Angel Island and make sure that the past was not forgotten.

In 1997 the facility was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark following the re-discovery of the poetry.

The exhibition will be available to view online until 30th June.

KS Nissar Ahmed Dies Aged 84

The renowned poet from Kannada,  KS Nissar Ahmed passed away over the weekend at the age of 84. It had been reported in recent days that he had been admitted to hospital with an unknown illness but he passed away at his home in Bengaluru.

For his significant contributions to Kannada literature the poet was presented with the 2008 Padma Shri Award. He was also named a winner of both the Rajyotsav Award and the Sahitya Academy Award in 2007.

He wrote several famous poems including one on the occasion of the death of Sir CV Raman. He was also a songwriter and responsible for several popular songs., his poetry was amongst the first to be set to music and released on audio cassette.

He was born on the outskirts of Bengaluru in Devanahalli and was one of the first poets to pen Kannada poetry about Bengaluru.

Favourite Books of Leonard Cohen

As isolation continues and people search for more books to read, a list of the favourite books of the late poet Leonard Cohen, a man who often recoiled into isolation, may provide some helpful suggestions.

Cohen always wanted to be a writer. He was very well-read, and listed amongst his favourites James Joyce, W.B Yeats, Hermann Hesse, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Federico Garcia Lorca. His reading material included novels, both modern and classic as well as poetry and even essays.

Such was his love of a good book that shortly before his death at the age of 82, he discussed books at great length during an interview.



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