Poetry Society Director Steps Down/Illustrated War Poem/Possible Remains of Poet Found – Poetry News Roundup November 8th

In today’s poetry news roundup we bring you articles about the executive director of the Poetry Society of America,  the WWI poem to be illustrated for the first time and the possible finding of the missing remains of a Soviet poet.

Poetry Society of America Executive Director to Step Down

Alice Quinn has been the executive director of the Poetry Society of America since 2001. It has been announced that she will be standing down from the position in June 2019.

Since it was founded in 1910, the society has supported a huge number of poets through prestigious programs and prizes. Quinn has ben responsible for the creation of two awards – the Four Quartets Prize, which is awarded for a unified sequence of poems and is funded by the T.S. Eliot Foundation, and the Anna Rabinowitz Prize.

WWI Poem to be Illustrated for the First Time

Published in 1920, the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, which was written by Wilfred Owen in 1917 and describes the horror that the soldiers faced during the war and offers a detailed account of the effect of a mustard gas attack, is to be illustrated for the first time.

The poem is to be re-released in a book to coincide with the centenary of Owens Death and Armistice Day – Owen was killed just 7 days before 11th November 1918. The images that will appear beside the poem are the work of illustrator Martin Impey.

Impey has previously been involved in illustrating books for children about the war.

Remains of Soviet Poet May Have Been Found

In 1938, the Azerbaijani poet Mikhayil Mushfig was executed at the age of 29. The exact details of both his death and the location of his body have always been a mystery, but now an Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch claims to have located them.

This possible discovery has started something of an uproar between the oligarch, the government and a journalist in the region. The president, Ilham Aliyev, has been forced to step in and oversee an investigation.

It is claimed that the remains had been found during an amateur archaeological dig that the oligarch, Frakhad Akhmedov, had been carrying out. He had been looking for the remains of his own father who was executed in 1970. At the time, his father was the head of Soviet Azerbaijan and there was a crackdown on corruption.  Akhmedov has stated that he has also found a number of other remains believed to be other senior Azerbaijani officials. Amongst these remains he believes he has found bones belonging to Mushfig.
he has stated. It is not certain how he believes they are the poets remains and he has not offered any evidence to prove his theory.

There have been a number of back and forth conversations and accusations between the oligarch and a local newspaper regarding the identification of the remains. It has now been suggested that the remains should be made available to professional investigators in order to identify them once and for all.

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