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This item is taken from PN Review 139, Volume 27 Number 5, May - June 2001.

News & Notes
In 1922 Hugh MacDiarmid stated that 'If there is to be a Scottish literary revival, the first essential is to get rid of our provinciality of outlook and to avail ourselves of the continental experience.' The Scottish Poetry Library has gone a long way in achieving this aim with the announcement of the completion of stage one of its European Poetry Information Centre (EPIC) project. With funding from Ariane, the EU cultural programme, the library has been building a resource exploring the wealth of European poetry. The resource contains work from over thirty European languages in the form of books, tapes, CDs and CD-ROMs. Open to the public through the library, there is also an online facility providing a catalogue of available resources, searchable by country, author and language, as well as sample listings, links, festival details and much more ( Further information from

The respected US poet A.R. AMMONS died on 25 February. Born in 1926, he received a plethora of awards for his work over the years, including two National Book Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bollingen Prize and a Lannan Foundation Award. He began publishing in 1955 with Ommateum and published his last collection in 1997 (Glare). Perhaps his most famous work was Tape for the Turn of the Year written between December 1963 and New Year 1964, published in 1965.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards 2001 have been announced. The Best Fiction Award went to Jim Crace for Being Dead and the Best Poetry Award to Judy Jordan for Carolina Ghost Woods. Cynthia Ozick's Quarrel and Quandary won the award for Best Criticism.

The 2001 David Cohen British Literature Prize has been awarded to DORIS LESSING. Worth £40,000, the prize was awarded by Chris Smith MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport at a ceremony at Coutts Bank in London. £10,000 of the prize, provided by the Arts Council of England, was donated to The Art of Regeneration, a partnership arts and theatre outreach programme led by the National Theatre based in North Lewisham and West Greenwich.

The shortlist for the inaugural Griffin Poetry Prize was announced on 11 April at Montreal's Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival. Four books are shortlisted for the $40,000 International Prize: Yehuda Amichai, Open Closed Open (translated by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld); Paul Celan, Glottal Stop (translated by Nikolai Popov and Heather McHugh); Fanny Howe, Selected Poems; and Les Muray, Learning Human. The shortlist for the $40,000 Canadian Prize comprises: Anne Carson, Men in the Off Hours; Ghandl of the Quayahl Llaanas, Nine Visits to the Mythworld (translated by Robert Bringhurst); and Don McKay, Another Gravity. The awards ceremony will be on 7 June in Toronto.

'A Fine Excess', the Poetry Book Society Tour, will be making its way around the UK from May this year. A combination of classic and contemporary poetry, hosted by Michael Donaghy and Sean O'Brien and featuring guest poets on each date, the tour will take in Southampton, Boston (Lincs), Bath, Alnwick, Liverpool and other venues later in the year. Details from the PBS on 020 8870 8403, email info@poetrybooks. or see the website at www.

An annual award to recognise publishing skill and effort in Scotland has been created in memory of CALLUM MACDONALD MBE, Scottish literary publisher and founder of Macdonald Publishers and Printers. Awarded on 4 May each year, The Callum Macdonald Quaich and a cash prize of £500 will be awarded to a pamphlet of poetry from 6 to 30 pages with a print run of no more than 300 copies. The cash award will be sufficient to enable the publication of another similar sized pamphlet and the award itself aims to recognise, promote and validate this form of poetry publishing. Supported by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust and administered by the National Library of Scotland, the judges in the first year will be Tessa Ransford (Editor, 198898 of Lines Review and Director of the Scottish Poetry Library 1984-99), Magnus Magnusson KBE (writer and broadcaster), Duncan Glen (former Professor of fine art and writer) and Tom Dalgleish (Chairman of the Trustees of Macdonald Printers). The deadline for the 2001 award has passed, but further information can be obtained from The Administrator, The Callum Macdonald Memorial Fund, The National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge Building, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW.

MONICA JONES, the long time companion, fellow cricket enthusiast and final carer of Philip Larkin, died in February. A passionate and skilled teacher of English literature, she was an informed and partisan interlocutor in the debates with Larkin conducted for so many years by letter and then by telephone until she moved into his home in Hull in 1981. Born in 1922, she taught for many years at the University of Leicester, her interests ranged across genre and period in defiance of the creeping demands for specialisation. Larkin dedicated The Less Deceived to her in 1955. She is buried close to him at Cottingham Cemetery.

The Malt Room at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal hosted an evening in tribute of WILLIAM SCAMMELL last month. Scammell died on 28 November last year and his lifelong contribution to poetry and the arts was celebrated by Anne Stevenson, George Szirtes, W.N. Herbert and many others.

Translation Research in Oxford (TRIO) is presenting an interdisciplinary conference on 'the anatomy of laughter and its translation' at St Hugh's College, Oxford, 1316 September 2001. Speakers include Adam Phillips, Ranjit Bolt, Susan Greenfield, Shashi Tharoor, Iain Galbraith and Gérard Toulouse. Further information can be obtained from Elizabeth Mansour on 01865 378 139, or by email from Edith McMorran on

Judged this year by Gwyneth Lewis and Peter Porter, the Housman Society's national poetry competition will be on the theme of 'Highways'. With a first prize of £1,000, each entry costs £3.00 and the closing date is 30 September. Details from/entries to: Kate Shaw, The Competition Secretary, The Housman Society, 78 Kidderminster Road, Bromsgrove, Worcs, B61 7LD.

The Polish Cultural Institute in London is holding a festival in honour of the poet TADEUSZ R ZEWICZ in April and May. Born in 1921, R zewicz fought in the underground Home Army during the Nazi occupation, publishing his first collection of poetry in the aftermath of the war. A literary revolutionary, he was also a dramatist and satirist. His best known play, The Card Index, was filmed by Kieslowski and known as Eastern Europe's Waiting for Godot. A long-awaited sequel to The Card Index, recycling, is published by Arc in May. The festival is part of the Institute's larger event schedule around the country (Edinburgh, London, Oxford, Warwick), and further details can be obtained from the press officer, Katy Hadwick, on 07780 861 487, or from the Institute itself on 020 7636 6032, email, or from the website at
The Academi Cardiff International Poetry Competition 2001 will be judged by Les Murray and Gillian Clarke. With £10,000 in the pot, it is the UK's third largest poetry prize and regularly attracts over 4,000 entries. The closing date for entries is 1 Novemeber 2001. Details available from Margaret Harlin on 029 2047 2266, via the website at or by post with a stamped, addressed envelope to Academi Cardiff International Poetry Competition 2001, PO Box 438, Cardiff, CF10 5YA.

Wading Through Deep Water, an anthology initiated by the poet Val Bowden and edited by Tony Curtis, is published in aid of the Parkinson's Society and will be launched on Saturday 5 May at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay. Contributing poets include Seamus Heaney, Gwyneth Lewis, Gillian Clarke, Robert Minhinnick, Andrew Motion, Paul Muldoon and Les Murray. Many of the poets will be present at the reading and further information on the book and reading is available from The Welsh Academi on 028 2047 2266.

The Welsh critic and poet John Stuart Williams died in Cardiff on 26 January. An anthologist, critic, teacher, editor and poet, Williams made a significant contribution to the emergence of a distinct Welsh literature in English, ensuring it a place in the curriculum at Cardiff College of Education where he taught and became Head of English and Drama until his retirement in 1980.

Poetry Review will dedicate its coming issue to a retrospective of the New Generation Poets seven years after the original promotion made the headlines. Readers are promised two poems apiece from 'leading poets now writing', Don Paterson's diary of the 1994 promotion, an interview with Jo Shapcott and most temptingly of all, 'Peter Porter's quiet gloat on having being triumphantly vindicated by the success of Sean O'Brien and his school'. It is published on 20 April.

News & Notes compiled by CHRIS GRIBBLE.

This item is taken from PN Review 139, Volume 27 Number 5, May - June 2001.

Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to
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