Jill Bialosky Update/Syrian Poet’s close call/Nigerian Prize for Literature – Poetry News Roundup October 13th

In our final news round-up of the week, we bring you an update on the story of Jill Bialosky, the poet accused of plagiarism, a Syrian Poet who was a close contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the winner of the Nigerian Prize for Literature.

Writers Offer Support to Jill Bialosky

We recently brought you the story of Jill Bialosky, the poet at the centre of another plagiarism accusation over passages of her book

The claims that Bialosky had plagiarised many passages from sources such as Wikipedia to write biographical details about numerous poets, including Robert Lewis Stevenson and Emily Dickinson was made by a fellow poet, William Logan. This week in a surprise turn of events more than 70 authors have come out in defence of Bialosky saying that her

The list includes Jennifer Egan and Louise Glück, both Pulitzer Prize winners.

The 72 authors, who are friends of literature and fellow writers wrote to the New York Times with their concerns over the story that had been published in the paper, claiming that they had given a very big platform to a minor offence which could potential tarnish Bialosky’s reputation.

The letter was penned by two writers who had been edited by Bialosky; David Baker and Kimiko Hahn. Many of the other signatories on the list have also been edited by Bialosky; Claire Messud, Robert Pinsky and Roxanne Robinson, however Egan and Glück are not.

The letter also states that the information Bialosky is accused of having copied

“refer to a handful of commonly known biographical facts gleaned from outside sources”.

The Syrian Serial Nobel Prize Nominee

Just a few days ago the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature was announced, and once again Ali Ahmad Said Esber, who is also known by his pen name of Adonis or Adunis, narrowly missed winning. Since 2005 Adonis has been amongst the favourites to win the prize, and in 2016 he was expected to win.

He is very philosophical about his placing as a favourite who has not won saying simply that

Adonis has recently found a new platform for his poetry which has become increasingly popular in China where a number of his works which have been translated into Chinese have been very well received. Earlier this week he was announced as the first Golden Magnolia Award of the Shanghai International Poetry Festival.

The judges felt that his influence on Arabic poetry could well be equal to the influence that Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot had on English-Language poetry.

2017 Nigerian Prize for Literature

Nigerian poet Ikeogu Oke has been named as the $100,000 winner of the 2017 Nigeria Prize for Literature. The 184 entries for the competition were whittled down to a final shortlist of just 3 from which Oke’s collection of poetry emerged as the winner after lengthy judging.

The collection titled “The Heresiad” was described by the judges as a selection of poetry which revealed a deliberate manipulation of both language and philosophy. The style of Oke’s poetry reminded them of the great writers from the Homeric and Hellenistic periods.



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