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This item is taken from PN Review 217, Volume 40 Number 5, May - June 2014.

News & Notes
The South African writer breyten breytenbach is bringing poets from all over the world to the second Spier Poetry Festival (spierpoetryfestival.co.za) at Spier near Stellenbosch on 9 and 10 May. Breytenbach is the ‘curator’ of the festival and he has invited poets from Morocco, Chad and China. Homero Aridjis, the poet, novelist and environmental activist, will attend from Mexico. Duo Duo is coming from China, and the Russian American Ilya Kaminsky is also invited. South African participants include Ingrid de Kok, Henning Pieterse and Mxolisi Nyezwa. The ‘dancing in other words’ Spier Poetry Festival is a collaboration between Spier and the Pirogue Collective (of which Breytenbach is a founding member). Breytenbach himself is an eloquent poet, human rights activist, novelist and visual artist. See PN Review 189.


The Max Jacob Poetry Prize has been awarded to the Moroccan poet mohamed bennis for his collection Lieu païen, translated into French by Bernard Noël. The award ceremony inaugurated a programme of events to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the death of the French poet, novelist, and painter.


The New Yorker carried a vivid report by Sally McGrane of the abuse of one of Ukraine’s best-known poets and ‘counterculture writers’, serhiy zhadan. He was beaten up by pro-Russian demonstrators in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, and images of his damaged face immediately circulated on the internet. ‘As the attackers were hitting him, the writer said, they told him to kneel and kiss ...


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