Poet Turns Down MBE/Brasil Honours International Poet – Poetry News Roundup November 27th

Today in our poetry news round-up, we take a look at the poet who has turned down an MBE. We also look at the first international writer to be honoured by a literary festival in Brasil.

George The Poet Turned Down MBE

The spoken word artist George the Poet has stated during a recent podcast that he turned down an MBE.

The award-winning podcaster was discussing the legacy of colonisation during the final episode of his most recent podcast series. He stated that the reason for his decision was the “pure evil” that he felt stemmed from the British Empire. He also made reference to the trauma that was inflicted on many of the children of African countries as a result of colonialism.

An MBE recipient becomes a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

The nomination to receive an MBE was made by one of his friends who had asked him if he would accept if he was offered one. His answer to the friend was yes. However, when he was formally offered the honour, the idea made him feel very uncomfortable.

He further went on to explain that whilst he sees himself as a friend of Great Britain the history of colonial trauma weighed heavy on him and prevented him from eventually accepting the honour. He was truly honoured by the gesture; however, the wording of the award is what made him turn it down.

George the Poet, whose real name is George Mpanga, is of Ugandan heritage but was born in London.

In May of this year was named as the winner of five British Podcast Awards for his first podcast series “Have You Heard George’s Podcast?”. These awards included podcast of the year. This led to the right to his second series quickly being taken up by the BBC.

First Foreigner to be Honoured by FLIP Named

The American poet Elizabeth Bishop has been named as the poet who will be celebrated during the 18th annual FLIP festival. The Paraty International Literary Festival will take place next year from 29th July to 2nd August.

Born in 1911, Bishop spent 20 years living in Rio de Janeiro, the capital city of Brazil, a country she declared to be the most beautiful city in the world and the most beautiful location in the world for a city to be situated. From her apartment, she could see the stunning natural landscape of the local area and also the Leme Sea.

Bishop, who died nearly 40 years ago, lived in Brazil from 1951 to 1971 before returning o America.

She was considered one of America’s top contemporary poets, and she will now be honoured as the first international poet to be celebrated in this way by the event.

Although Bishop was a dedicated poet who spent most of her life recording her feelings and visions of the things around her in poetry form, she was also a perfectionist and very critical of her own work. Only 100 or so of her poems were ever published because of this.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.