Today in our poetry news round-up we look at the poet”s tomb that has been unearthed in Greece and the names that may be in contention for this years Nobel prize for literature.
Memorial Tomb Unearthed in Southern Mesin
The ancient city of SoLi Pompeipolis in the Mezitli district of the Southern Mersin province is currently in the midst of an ongoing excavation project. The work has recently unearthed the outline of a memorial tomb dedicated to Aratus the famous Greek astronomer.
The excavations are being supervised by the head of the Dokuz Eylul University’s department of museology. The land was purchased from the Mezitli municipality, before being given to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. The outlines of the tomb have been uncovered gradually over time.
The excavations started in July of this year and have been ongoing for the last 75 days. The memorial tomb is indicated by the two rows made up of hexagonal structures and arches that have already been found, and it would appear that the site has a circular plot with a large, solid monumental structure that the excavation team feel is worthy of the astronomer, who was also a poet.
The tomb is considered to be a find of great touristic and archaeological importance. This is the first tomb of its kind to be unearthed in the ancient city. It includes all the more familiar structures that the team had expected to find, but the tomb is something a little different.
Aratus was famous during the Hellenistic and Roman periods and his work is still read about to this day. There is a crater on the moon that was named after him by NASA. The leader of the excavation team is hoping that the tomb of Aratus may be considered for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
Nobel Prize for Literature 2020
Following the postponement of the prize in 2018 and the controversial decision to award the Nobel Prize for literature to Peter Handke last year, there have been a number of suggestions that this year’s winner will be a safe choice.
Possible choices that are being mentioned are the writer Jamaica Kincaid and Anne Carson, the Canadian poet. Other possibles include the novelist Maryse Conde and Margaret Attwood, the poet and author.
The prize has been surrounded by scandal since 2017 when the husband of one of the academy members was accused and then convicted of rape. The choice of the Austrian author, Peter Handke, who has been very vocal over the years in denying that Serb atrocities took place during the war in the former Yugoslavia, angered many and led to many people refusing to attend the award ceremony.
Critics believe that in order not to draw further controversy to the prize this year”s winner will be a “safe choice”. The top names being mentioned are all female, not Europeans and are not in any way vocal about their political or ideological feelings – in other words, the exact opposite of Handke.
The prize is awarded to
as set out by Alfred Nobel in his will. To date, there have been 116 laureates only 15 of them have been women