Today in our poetry news roundup, we take a look at the unknown poems discovered in an archive, the poetry book marking history for the Malaysian Tamils and the winner of the 2018 CBC poetry prize.
Unknown Poems by Belarusian Poet Discovered
A team of researchers from Russia and Belarus have discovered what is believed to be previously unseen poems by Maxim Bogdanovich, a Belarusian poet.
The poems were uncovered when on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Russian writer Maxim Gorky, the standing Committee of the Union decided to initiate a thorough study of their archives in the search for further information about the writer. It is here that they came across a notebook filled with poems by Bogdanovich, an important name in Belarusian literature. This book, researcher claim, is referred to in Gorky’s correspondence.
The Deputy Director of the Institute of World Literature at the Russian Academy of Sciences stated that nobody had hidden the notebook, it had simply been placed in the wrong folder.
The collection of poetry dates from around 1913 – 1914, when the young poet was living in Yaroslavl. One of the poems, which was written in Russian, has not been seen before. It is believed to be a translation of a poem that would have originally been written in Belarusian.
Bogdanovich is a classic name in Belarusian literature. He was not only a poet, but also a novelist and a translator translating works by Alexander Pushkin, Paul Verlaine, and Ovid into Belarusian and the works of fellow Belarusian poets Taras Shevchenko and Janka Kupala into Russian.
Poetry Book Marks History of Malaysian Tamils
The Mafurai Kamaraj University in Tamil Nadu, India, has published a book of poetry titled “Tamizhum Malaysia Tamizharum” (Tamil and Malaysian Tamils).
Over 68 poets from Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and countries as far afield as Australia have contributed to the book, which S.V. Lingam, the Malaysia Tamil Manimandran president, says will mark the history of the Tamils from Malaysia and their use of the mother tongue. The book is the first of its kind to look at the community of the Malaysian Tamils.
CBC Poetry Prize Winner 2018
Vancouver-based poet Natalie Lim is the winner of the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize. Her winning poem was based on the subjects of language, family and the concept of losing a part of oneself and is called Arrhythmia.
Lim is a third-generation Chinese Canadian, who often feels alienated from the part of her identity that is Chinese. Like her parents, she was born and raised in Canada and speaks little Chinese and knows less about the culture. The poem is her way of working through what she feels it is like to lose something of yourself, or to have never known it.
There were over 2500 submissions to the competition all in the English language. The jury chose a longlist of just 31 poems and then from this a winner was found. There is also a prize for a winner in the French language category.
Previous winners of the CBC Literary prize include Frances Itani and Michael Ondaatje.