Mira Priz/Rao To Be Published/Taiwan Poets’ Exhibition – Poetry News Roundup October 13th

Today”s poetry news roundup looks at the winner of the Mira prize, the first work by Varavara Rao to be published in English and the exhibition dedicated to two late Taiwan poets.

2020 Mira Prize Winner

The poet Barbara Korun has been named as the 2020 winner of the Mira Prize. The prize has been awarded by the women’s section of the Slovenian PEN and is given for an outstanding female poet or author who has been instrumental in shedding light on the works of not only Slovenian women but also women writers on a national scale. The winner should also have been involved in promoting feminist readings.

Born in 1963, Korun is a Slovene poet who was born in Ljubljana. She is considered to be one of the leading figures of her generation of Slovenian women poets. She is a radical and her poetry has been translated into English and published in both Ireland and the USA.

Works by Varavara Rao to be Published

The revolutionary activist poet Varavara Rao is to have a collection of poetry published early next year. The announcement was made by Penguin Random House at the end of last week. The collection which gives a glimpse into the poet’s political beliefs will be translated into English and published under the “Vintage imprint” by Penguin.

Rao is currently in prison suspected of being involved in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist case but it is reported that prior to his arrest he had selected two-thirds of the poems himself for the book. The co-editor of the book, who is also the poet’s nephew, has said that for his uncles this is a long-cherished dream to be able to make his work accessible to English readers.

Rao, who is 79, has written 13 poetry collections and 16 prose books in Telugu. Penguin has also published a collection of his letters from prison under the title “Captive Imagination”.

This latest book is to be a commemoration of the poet’s passion and talent for poetry and is being touted as an “authentic, representative collection”. This will be the first time that some of the poems in the collection will ever have been translated into English.

The poet has been in prison since the end of 2018. He has most recently been in the news when his family were concerned about his health and it was discovered on transfer to a local hospital that he had contracted Covid-19 during his time in prison. He was treated for the virus and then returned to the prison to await trial.

Work of 2 Late Taiwan Poets to be Highlighted in Exhibition

An exhibition that will run until the end of October will be showcasing the manuscripts of the late Taiwan poets Lo Fu and Yang Mu.

The event has been co-organised by the Taiwan Cultural Centre, which is based in Tokyo and Eslite Spectrum, and the manuscripts that are on displace are reprints of the originals together with old editions of the poet’s books. The exhibition will take place at the TCCT until the end of October and then move to ESN.

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