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This item is taken from PN Review 50, Volume 12 Number 6, July - August 1986.

News & Notes
We note with great regret the death on 4 March of ELIZABETH SMART, the novelist and poet. A tribute to her and to her work by Alison Rimmer will appear in a forth-coming issue of PN Review

One of the leading Ukrainian poets of his generation, VASYLSTUS, died in a prison camp in September 1985 (Index, 2/86). He was 47 years old and five years into his second sentence of fifteen years. He was a leading representative of the 'sixtiers', a group of intellectuals who catalysed a revival of Ukrainian cultural and civic life. He was one of many imprisoned for 'anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda'. In Stus' own view, his crime was 'humanism' and 'filial love' for his country.

The Czech poet JAROSLAV SEIFERT, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984, died in Prague in January at the age of 84. There has been a tendency to under-rate his poetry and to present him (rather grudgingly) as a figure more emblematic than excellent, a man of integrity and courage who managed to survive and grow in a difficult environment, but something less than a great poet. It should be possible, with the forthcoming publication of large selections of his poems and prose, to test this judgement which, even on basis of the existing translations, seems ungenerous and unjust.

SID CHAPLIN, the North Country short-story writer and novelist, died on 11 January at the age of 69. He will be best-remembered for The Day of the Sardine, his 1961 novel, and for his stories, some of which have been adapted for radio and television. 'His work has all the warmth of a fire glowing in a mine-cottage hearth,' one of his early critics wrote.

SAMUEL BECKETT is 80 on 13 April. PNR 51 will include an essay by John Pilling on his work. John Calder Ltd have issued three paperback books to mark the occasion: Collected Shorter Prose 1945-1980, Collected Poems 1930-1978 and Disjecta, a collection of 'critical writings and miscellanea'.

Next year Berliners will celebrate the 750th anniversary of the founding of their city; it also happens to be the centenary year of JULES LAFORGUE (d. 1887) who spent his most productive years there. Laforgue's Berlin lies mainly in the Eastern Sector, the more interesting historically of the two parts, and at this moment the Unter den Linden is getting quite a face-lift. The poet's old home in the Palace of the Princesses had already been refurbished rather well, and now it is the turn of the adjoining Opera House to be closed for renovation. None of this is in honour of Laforgue - just a happy coincidence.

The American-born feminist writer and critic MARGARET RANDALL faces probable deportation from the United States under the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act. Her causes have included support for Cuba, North Vietnam and Nicaragua. The authorities find her associations and her written work suspect. The McCarran-Walter Act has been used to exclude Marquez, Fuentes, Angel Rama and others from the United States. (Index NC 22)

The third anniversary of Strathclyde Region's assault on the Garden Temple, LITTLE SPARTA, was on 15 March 1983.

'After three years, the stolen artworks have not been returned. no appeal (as laid down by Parliament) has been granted, the Scottish Arts Council has refused to implement its legal Charter by advising the Region on the nature of the Garden Temple, and the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Arts Minister have declined to intervene to uphold the law.'

(Committee of Public Safety, Little Sparta, Dunsyre, Lanark, Scotland, 1986)

A monthly magazine, MILLE FEUILLES, will begin publication this year. Devoted to the arts in Europe, it will circulate in France and French-speaking countries. Its comprehensive view of 'culture' includes everything from rock to 'the high arts'. (S.P. éditions, 'Le Chastelet', 77350 Boissettes, France)

ROBERT PENN WARREN has been named the first Poet Laureate of the United States, a post he will occupy for one year.

MAX FRISCH, the Swiss novelist and dramatist, has been awarded the 1986 Neustadt Prize, often seen as the hors d'oeuvre to the Nobel Prize.

The British Comparative Literature Association has announced the winners of the important BCLA TRANSLATION PRIZE. The first prize went to James Greene for his versions of Pessoa, and the second prize to Martin Turner and Abbas Faiz for their versions of Sohrab Sepehri's 'The Sound of Water's Footsteps'. Other commended entrants included Ian Fairley for his versions of two stories by Geneviève Serreau, Paula Hostrup-Jessen for poems by Sven Holm and extracts from Dorrit Willumsen's novel Marie, Susan Leubuscher Koelb for her translations of Hans Heinz Ewers, E. H. Sheppard for his version of Valéry's 'Le Cimetière Marin' and Anthony Vivis for Franz Xaver Kroetz's New Horizons.

The BCLA is continuing with the prize in 1986/7. The deadline for submissions is 1 October. Details from Theo Hermans, Department of Dutch, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT.

The LONDON BOOK FAIR celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year (2-4 April, Barbican Exhibition Halls, London) and is larger and more international than ever.

Paris Leary writes with the sad news that OTHER POETRY, the magazine he edited jointly with Anne Stevenson, Michael Farley, Evangeline Paterson and Mahendra Solanki, has had to fold. Poems can no longer be considered for publication.

The first issue of THE IRISH REVIEW, which begins as a twice-yearly journal but aims to become quarterly, will appear this autunn. The editors are Edna Longley, Kevin Barry, Tom Dunne and Richard Kearney. Essentially a review journal of books by Irish writers and books about Ireland, it aims to be discriminating and comprehensive. It is the successor to Richard Kearney's magazine Crane Bag. It will lay more stress than its predecessor on creative work. Further details from Cork University Press, University College, Cork.

This item is taken from PN Review 50, Volume 12 Number 6, July - August 1986.

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