International Airport Renamed/Sandburg Home Opening/No Burns’ Supper This Year – Poetry News Roundup November 26th

We begin the week with a look at the outrage caused by the plans to rename the international airport in Chile. We also have an article about the Sandburg home which will be open for Christmas this year and the decision by the Glasgow council to not hold a Burns supper this year.

Outrage Over Plans to Rename Chilean Airport After Neruda

We recently reported on the Chilean government’s plans to rename their international airport after Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Laureate. These plans have met with some considerable hostility both in Chile and all over the world.

Human rights activists have been arguing that this honour is wholly inappropriate for a man who admitted to raping a maid. Neruda’s memoirs, which were published over 40 years ago, have long been in the public eye, but it is only now with the rise of the #MeToo movement and the fact that Chileans have begun to question rape culture that the incident in question has become an uncomfortable blot in Neruda’s copybook.

The incident in question in which Neruda describes his rape of a maid when he occupied a diplomatic post in Ceylon in 1929. When talking about the event that occurred the poet finished by writing “She was right to despise me.”

Chileans are proud of Neruda and what he has men to their country over the years, but there seems to be little clear reasoning as to why a name change is being sought for the airport, and especially a name that the people are now currently beginning to demystify.

The decision regarding the name change for the airport has passed its first hurdle in the government and will now be discussed before the chamber of deputies where is will go under a final vote.

Sandburg Home Open for Christmas

The home of Carl Sandburg, the late Pulitzer prize-winning author and poet, which is located in Flat Rock N.C, is to be open to the public for the Christmas period.

This is the first time in the last four years that the home has been furnished.

The home will be open until 6th December – the late poet’s birthdate and also the date that his family made a tradition of taking down the Christmas decorations. Visitors will be able to take a tour of the house until that date and see the holiday decorations.

Glasgow’s Annual Burns Supper Cancelled

A decision made by the Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, has garnered outrage amongst councillors in Glasgow. It has been decided that for the first time in over two decades, the event which celebrates the poet Robert Burns will not be officially marked and instead will be held on a biannual basis.

This will be the first time in over two decades that there has not been an annual Burns supper. The event has over the years supported many very worthy causes and in 2016 raised over £1 million for charity.

The council are insisting that the event has not been cancelled, simply that a decision has been made to change its frequency. They state that their reason for making the decision is purely down to interest and that over recent years there has been a dwindling turnout.

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