Today, we take a look at the poetry book causing controversy in an American school, an exhibition blending poetry and art and the 2020 Elgin Awards.
Parents Sue School Over Poetry Book in the Curriculum
Parents of pupils attending the North Carolina Lake Norman Charter School are suing the school board over the inclusion of an award-winning poetry book in the teaching curriculum. The book, which is on the reading list for the
ninth grade is, they say,
The book at the centre of the row is Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X, and tackles the topic of an Afro-Latina woman using poetry to explore who she really is, despite the expectations placed on her by a religious upbringing, society and her parents.
The book has won a number of awards including a Michael L Printz award and he Pura Belpre Award.
Parts of the book touch on the young woman’s Catholic faith and the pressures that she feels under to conform.
Parents are arguing that the book endorses “anti-Christian” themes and infringes on the freedom of religion rights. They have been offered an alternative reading option for their child by the school so that they can complete the appropriate ninth-grade reading. However, they are not happy that the book is still available to those pupils who might wish to read it.
The school are sticking by their decision to keep the book on the curriculum, with an alternative, for those pupils who should wish to read it. The parents are now preparing to take the matter to court.
Exhibition Blends Poetry and Art
Deepa Gopal, a Dubai-based visual art blogger, is curating a global virtual exhibition that combines visual arts and poetry.
Ignite – From Withing The Confines takes the work of eight poets and eight visual artists from all over the world and combines the two together, each artist using the poetry as inspiration to create a piece of artwork.
Work on the project began in September, and a total of 40 poems have now been matched to artwork, all of which will go on display from 4th November to 12th November.
The poets and artists are from various regions in India, as well as the US, UK. Canada, Beiruit and Dubai. The idea for the exhibition was created out of the boredom that came with the lockdown for the pandemic and the artist’s feelings of restriction and isolation.
2020 Elgin Awards
3rd November marked International Speculative Poetry Day, a day created by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) so that they could bring recognition to this perhaps niche genre of poetry to the world. This year, the award for Best Full-Length Poetry Collection found itself in an unusual position and instead of selecting three winning entries awarded four top prizes as the judges were unable to narrow it down. They believe that the genre is gaining popularity ad attention in the world of literature.
The winning collections looked at computers and artificial intelligence, Vampires, ominous encounters, and the periodic table.