Chile Literature Prize/Chinese Poet’s Exhibition – Poetry News Roundup September 3rd

Today we bring you news articles from Chile and China as we take a look at the winner of a top Chile literature prize and a new exhibition opening in China.

Top Chile Literature Prize Won by Mapuche Poet

Elicura Chihuailaf the Mapuche poet has been awarded the highest literary award in Chile for his role in bringing the oral traditions of the southern indigenous people to a bigger audience. The announcement was made by the culture minister for Chile on Tuesday this week.

Making the announcement, Consuelo Valdes paid tribute to the 68-year-old poet and that capacity that he has to instil the oral tradition of his people through his strong writing that transcends the literature of the Mapuche.

Chihuailaf is currently stranded in Barcelona due to the global travel restrictions that have been imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He is the first Mapuche poet to ever win the award.

Chihuailaf has been nominated for the award on two occasions. He uses his writing to highlight the relationship that the Mapuche people have not only with nature but also in the Chilean society.

The timing of the win is interesting, as militant Mapuches are currently increasing their attacks on agricultural machinery and truck in the south of Chile. There are long-standing disputes over land between the state and the Mapuche particularly in the region of Araucania in the south. This is an area approximately 250 miles to the south of Santiago, the capital.

Chihuailaf is just one of a generation of poets and authors who emerged following the 1973 military takeover by Augusto Pinochet.

His poems are normally written in Mapudungun (the language of the Mapuche) or Spanish however his works have been very widely translated. Chihuailaf is also known for his essays and his work as a translator.

Su Shi Exhibition Opens

The China Palace Museum has opened an exhibition on Su Shi, the 11th-century Chinese cultural icon.

Sometimes referred to as Su Dongpo, Su Shi was a remarkable painter and poet who was also skilled at calligraphy. He was also known for his optimism in the face of the numerous setbacks he suffered to his political career.

The exhibition includes a total of 78 pieces of work. These span the period 960 – 1127, the Northern Song Dynasty to the modern era and include works of calligraphy, paintings, rare texts and epigraphy rubbings. Some of the works are by Su whilst others were completed by his close friends and mentors. A number of the exhibits were created more recently in honour of Su.

The exhibition is called
and can be found in the Hall of Literary Brilliance at the Palace Museum (also known as the Forbidden City). It will be on display until 30th October.

Whilst the museum has increased its cap on visitors in line with current social distancing guidelines, they still require online reservations, temperatures to be taken on entry and face masks to be worn.

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