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PN Review 276
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This item is taken from PN Review 27, Volume 9 Number 1, September - October 1982.

News & Notes
SECKER AND WARBURG POETS are celebrating their tenth anniversary. The first four titles in their list were published in April 1972 under the advisory editorship of Anthony Thwaite. The series includes more than sixty titles by thirty-seven poets. One of the most interesting of the books so far published was in the first batch-James Fenton's first collection. Another notable-though hardly adequately noted-debut was that of Daniel Huws. Other important titles have included Octavio Paz's anthology of Mexican poetry, the collected poems of Andrew Young and Kenneth Allott, translations of Miroslav Holub; the work of Wole Soyinka, and a wide range of first collections and books by established poets. The list is eclectic within a clearly identifiable range, and a particularly important development at a time when poetry publishing cannot, among more than a handful of houses, be described as booming. Given the demise over the last decade of some older lists and the failure of some new lists among the larger publishing houses, Secker and Warburg's achievement is a notable one and worthy of celebration. Ten years is a long time in poetry publishing these days.

The death of MARYA ZATURENSKA, the Ukrainian-born American lyric poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for her work in 1938, has been announced, She was 80 years of age. Miss Zaturenska was the wife of Horace Gregory. Her last collection of poems appeared in 1974.

In Islamabad, the renowned Urdu-language poet JOSH MALIHABADI died at the age of 84.

Among the fourteen new members of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters is numbered the Lithuanian-born Polish poet CZESLAW MILOSZ, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.

The Neustadt Prize, sponsored by the Oklahoma-based quarterly of international literature, World Literature Today, has been awarded to OCTAVIO PAZ. Previous recipients have included Milosz (1978), Elizabeth Bishop (1976), Francis Ponge (1974), and Ungaretti (1970).

In 1981 the crop of French literary prizes generated the usual excitement (and the usual boost to sales), despite the furore caused by recent accusations of bribery and illegitimate pressure on the judges by the 'Gang of Three' (the publishers Gallimard, Grasset and Le Seuil), conduct exposed in Les Intellocrates, a book which is the subject of Stephen Romer's 'Letter from Paris' in this issue. The Prix Goncourt-winning title sold 150,000 copies in the two weeks after the prize was announced.

The Goncourt is by statute intended to be awarded to a young, or at any rate a new, writer. The judges strayed a bit far from the mark this year, and Lucien Bodard, the 67-year-old journalist known for his swashbuckling reportages for France-Soir and a best-selling novelist since 1973 was 'recognised'. The runner-up was Michel del Castillo's La Nuit du décret, which went on to win the Prix Renaudot. But del Castillo too is a well-established figure.

The Prix Baudelaire for a book originally published in English went to Hor-tense Chabrier and Georges Belmont for their translation of Anthony Burgess's The Earthly Powers. Burgess had been expected to win the Medicis Etranger, but that prize was taken by the Israeli author David Shahar.

One thing is clear from these and the other major prizes: the 'Gang of Three' remained pre-eminent in the prize stakes, with Grasset carrying off two, Gallimard another two and its subsidiary one, and Le Seuil one. (Vivienne Menkes)

JAMES FENTON received one of this year's Southern Arts Literature Prizes for his long poem A German Requiem published by Salamander Press, who are issuing his collected poems later this year. The forthcoming volume is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

LEE TAE-BOK, a 32 year old South Korean, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for publishing banned books. The prosecution earlier asked for the death penalty. The books in question were largely by Marxist writers, among them Christopher Hill, Herbert Marcuse and G. D. H. Cole. He is reported to have stated in court that he had been forced to sign a false confession. His friends and relatives allege that he was tortured. His co-defendants received sentences ranging from one to ten years.
(Index LHT 13)

POETRY DURHAM, a magazine devoted entirely to the publication of new poetry, welcomes contributions for its first issue, to appear shortly. It is edited by Michael O'Neill and Gareth Reeves from the Department of English, University of Durham, Elvet Riverside, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3JT. The editors request that a stamped, self-addressed envelope be sent with any submissions.

The CUMBERLAND POETRY REVIEW is a twice-yearly publication devoted to poetry and criticism and 'designed to present poets of diverse origins to a widespread audience'. 'Manuscripts will be selected for publication on the basis of the writer's perspicuous and compelling means of expression. We believe that our obligation as editors is to support the poet in his effort to keep up the language.' The editors add: 'We accept special responsibility for reminding American readers of poetry that not all excellent poems in English at the present time are being written by U.S. citizens.' Submissions and subscriptions ($18 a year for overseas subscribers) to the Cumberland Poetry Review, P. O. Box 120128, Acklen Station, Nashville, Tenn. 37212, USA.

In 'News & Notes' (PNR 25) we reported that Amir Gilboa's work was not published in Britain. The Menard Press writes to remind us that it is: they published his Selected Poems, available at £3.30.

The Modern Language Association is publishing the 1980-81 MLA DIRECTORY OF PERIODICALS, containing all available information on 3,024 journals and series currently indexed in its companion volume, the International Bibliography. The volume is likely to prove of interest not only to librarians, scholars, editors and other specialists but to writers and readers at large, giving as it does not only names and addresses but details of editorial and thematic scope and policies. The new edition of the Directory is available from Customer Services, MLA, 62 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011.

A special issue of the Hong Kong magazine Poetry, entitled MODERN POETRY: EAST AND WEST, has just been published. The texts by non-Chinese writers are printed with facing translations and photographs, and what the issue lacks in elegance and quality of production it makes up for in comprehensiveness and in the tact of actual selection. Among the British poets represented are Abse, Gascoyne, Sisson, Scannell, Hamburger, Heath-Stubbs, Tomlinson, R. S. Thomas and a dozen more. Ashbery, Merwin, Bly and-mysteriously naturalized-Middleton appear among the Americans. Montale is the solitary Italian. France has five voices, including Soupaultand Michaux. Germany has five including Enzensberger. China speaks with fifteen voices. In all, thirty-four contemporary literatures are represented. The impression is, indeed, of a Tower of Babel, the common element being the brevity so comprehensive a selection imposes on even the most garrulous poets. The book can be obtained from Poetry, P.O. Box 34993, King's Road Post Office, North Point, Hong Kong.

Writers and other Polish intellectuals were in the vanguard of efforts to relax censorship and improve civil rights before the imposition of martial law. Now Index issues a briefing paper (GT 13) with details of the plight of the more active of these figures. Many of the internees are writers, but it has not been easy to find out who has been rounded up or where they are being detained. Index has confirmed reports of the detention of fifty-seven writers as at 1 February. They include ten members of the Polish PEN, whose offices were sealed by security men shortly after the declaration of martial law. On 25 February about a hundred British writers went to the Polish Embassy in London to express their concern.

After seeing the editorial in PNR 26, a reader raised a fascinating question which we are unable to answer: when a book declares in its prelims that it is illegal, among other things, to store any of the text 'in a retrieval system' without permission in writing from the copyright holder, does this mean that memorizing poetry without special dispensation is now a punishable crime?

This item is taken from PN Review 27, Volume 9 Number 1, September - October 1982.

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