Heaney Lecture/Poet Removed from Mural/Chinese Poetry Flashmobs – Poetry News Roundup September 30th

We begin the week with a look at the inaugural Seamus Heaney lecture which will be taking place on 17th October. We also have an article about the muralist who has been asked to remove a poet from his latest piece of work, and finally the Chinese poetry flash mobs.

Seamus Heaney Lecture to Take Place at University of Liverpool

The Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool will play host to the annual lecture for the late poet Seamus Heaney, who was a Nobel Laureate born in Northern Ireland.

Adrian Dunbar, a Fermanagh-born actor will recite three poems by Heaney and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Richardson, will deliver the inaugural lecture. Richardson worked with Heaney whilst both of them worked at Harvard, it was during this period that Heaney was also the Oxford Professor of Poetry.

The event which will take place on 17th October will be attended by the late poet’s wife and his two sons who are very proud that the university has decided to honour their father in this way. This year would have been his 80th birthday which makes the decision all the more poignant.

Born in Northern Ireland, Heaney lived in Dublin for a number of years. He passed away in 2013. He wrote more than 20 books of poetry, criticisms and translations and is considered by many to be one of the most significant poets of the 20th century.

In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Poet Censored in California Beach Mural

The organisers of the Hermosa Beach Mural Project in California have requested that Timothy Smith, a muralist, remove an image of Allen Ginsberg from a new mural that he has created. Ginsberg is widely considered to be one of the most iconic and influential American poets.

The mural includes a number of writers of note, singers and other artists who were instrumental in bringing the counterculture movement to the area. Miles Davies and Linda Ronstadt were amongst the other familiar faces on the mural.

Unfortunately, that organisers of the mural have received a number of complaints from local residents regarding Ginsberg’s inclusion in the mural due to his public support of NAMBLA.

Whilst many of those individuals who bought the counterculture movement to the area were involved in human rights issues and promoted free speech – especially around the subject of gay rights Ginsberg’s connection to NAMBLA is considered by some to be a step too far.

Organisers are being urged to reconsider their requests because to remove Ginsberg would go against the forces of censorship that Ginsberg fought so hard against during his lifetime.

Chinese Poetry Flash Mobs

The scenic water forest of the eastern China Jiangsu Province will play host to a flash mob of poetry during the holiday of the weeklong National Day which will commence on 1st October.

Performances will feature poems that were written by both contemporary and ancient Chinese poets including Xu Zhimo, Li Qingzhao and Lin Huiyin.

Whilst Chinese poetry has been increasing in popularity over the last couple of years the aim of the flash mobs is to bring poetry back to nature and promote Chinese culture.

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