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This item is taken from PN Review 247, Volume 45 Number 5, May - June 2019.

News & Notes
Poetry trafficking in Colombia · A poet in Usaquén, to the north of Bogotá, was arrested on 10 March for selling poems in the street during an artisanal festival. The martyr to verse is Jesús Espicasa. He had set up a stall where, on an old manual typewriter, he was composing poems in return for a donation. Espicasa was declared to have ‘invaded public space’ and asked to move on. He refused, the police were called, and the poet was carted off and fined the equivalent to $260 dollars, the largest fine allowable under the police code. That’s a lot for poetry. Asked what his crime was, the police spokesman replied, ‘trafficker in poems’. The police offered no samples of the offending produce.

A Continent of Poetry · Brunel University’s seventh annual International African Poetry Award, worth £3,000, announced its shortlist at the end of March. African poets from around the world who have yet to publish a full collection are eligible. Each poet submits ten poems to a panel of judges, this year including three poets – Matthew Shenoda (Egypt), Leila Chatti (Tunisia) and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers (South Africa). More than a thousand entires were reduced to ten finalists, the winner to be announced on 30 May:

Afua Ansong (Ghana)          Mary-Alice Daniel (Nigeria)
Inua Ellams (Nigeria)           K. Eltinae (Nubian Sudan)
Omotara James (Nigeria)     Nadra Mabrouk (Egypt)
Selina Nwulu (Nigeria)          Emmanuel Oppong (Ghana)
Jamila Osman (Somalia)      Sherry Shenoda (Egypt)

Previous winners include Warsan Shire (Somalia), Romeo Oriogun (Nigeria) and ...

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