Nasimi Exhibition/Protests for Sach Prize/ Poet Turns 101 – Poetry News Roundup September 25th

Today in our poetry news round-up, we have articles about the Nasimi Exhibition in a carpet museum, the authors protesting the decisions made on the Nelly Sachs Prize and the poet who turned 101.

Nasimi Exhibition at Carpet Museum

The second Nasimi Festival of Poetry will be taking place on 28th September. As part of the event he Azerbaijan Carpet Museum will also be hosting the final exhibition of a contest on carpet design.

The exhibition has been planned as a showcase of carpets that have been woven inspired by the three-best works. The Carpet design competition was announced following the order was made by Ilham Aliyev, the President to hold the 650th-anniversary celebrations for the poet. Last year, it was also announced that 2019 would be the Year of Nasimi in honour of Imadaddin Nasimi, the Azerbaijani poet.

The poetry festival will begin on 28th October and end on 1st October. As part of the festival, there will be around 30 events taking place in the cities of Shamakhi and Baku.

The aim of the festival is to promote and study the work of the great poet. It is also to celebrate the 650th anniversary of Nasimi.

During his lifetime, Nasimi wrote around 300 poems, these included qasidas (lyrics), ghazals, and rubais (quatrains) Containing 250-300 ghazals and over 150 rubais Nasimi’s “Turkic Divan” is considered to be the most important piece of work that he produced.

Authors Protest Awards Decision

In an interesting turn of events, we bring you further news regarding the Nelly Sachs Prize and the judge’s decision last week to withdraw the award from Kamila Shamsie. The Pakistani-British author supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement which works against Israel – a fact they were unaware of before they made their decision.

The London Review of Books has published an open letter which has been supported by a number of authors who state that the prize committee has decided to punish Shamsie for her “human rights advocacy”. Those writers who have added their names to the letter, and there are around 250 in total, include Michael Ondaatje, the Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, Noam Chomsky, J.M. Coetzee and Ben Okri.

Ondaatje is a former winner of the award.

Shamsie, who it was originally reported had told the judges to withdraw the award from her because of the situation, has now been quoted as saying: It is a matter of great sadness that the jury are bowing to public pressure to withdraw an award from someone who is strong in their expression of freedom of conscience.

Shamsie won last years Women’s Prize for fiction with a book that was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2017.

101st Birthday for Rastrakavi Ghimire

The poet Rastrakavi Madhav Prasad Ghimire celebrated his 101st birthday yesterday.

The poet, who was born in 1918 in Pustaun Bahundanda, holds the title of “Poet to the Nation” (Rastrakavi) for the contributions that he has made to the literature of Nepal. He also holds the position of Honorary Brigadier General in the Nepalese Army.

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