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Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This item is taken from PN Review 140, Volume 27 Number 6, July - August 2001.

News & Notes
R.K. NARAYAN has died in India at the age of 94. His 34 novels and many hundreds of short stories were dominated by the events and characters of the small town of Malgudi, an imaginary location in South India created to explore his fascination with the values and history of the village tradition. One of the first Indians writing in English to achieve international acclaim, treatment of the British impact on India was given only obliquely in his work. Described by Graham Greene as 'closer to Chekhov than to any English writer', Narayan also published a memoir and countless essays. Born Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanaswami in Madras on 10 October 1906, he adopted the name Narayan, it is said, at the insistence of Greene and his English publisher, Hamish Hamilton. A Tamil Brahmin, his rich cultural and educational background led him first to teaching and then full-time writing. This move away from the orthodox path of those around him was echoed by his decision to refuse an arranged marriage and choose his own wife. The marriage lasted five years until his wife's death from typhoid fever in 1939. Narayan never remarried and elected to bring up his daughter by himself. Published around the world and in many languages, he continued to write and campaign on political issues into old age, enacting his belief in the unchanging nature of personality and character, a belief that fuelled his fascination with the search for true identity.

The winners of the first Griffin Poetry Prizes were announced at a ceremony in Toronto on 7 June. The Canadian Prize goes to Anne Carson for Men in the Off Hours and the International Prize to Paul Celan's Glottal Stop: 101 Poems translated by Heather McHugh and Nikolai Popov. Each prize is worth $40,000. The International Prize will be split between the translators and Celan's estate. The judges were Carolyn Forché, Dennis Lee (Toronto's poet laureate) and Paul Muldoon.

Amazon.com broadcast the winners of the 2001 Pulitzer Prizes at the end of April. The Poetry Prize went to Stephen Dunn for his collection Different Hours: Poems. It is his eleventh collection. The Fiction Prize was awarded to Michael Chabon for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. In the same bulletin, it was announced that Philip Roth's The Human Stain had been honoured with the 2001 PEN/ Faulkener Award, the largest annual juried prize for fiction in the United States.

VIKTOR KRIVULIN, poet and political activist, died in St Petersburg on 17 March aged 56. A central presence in the underground culture of Leningrad/St Petersburg from the late 1960s until its end in the late 1980s, he organised seminars, published, wrote and stood at the heart of samizdat production. Though his movement was impaired as a result of childhood illness, he was fearless in the face of both Communist repression and the extremism of nascent Nationalism. A defender of the individual conscience, his work has appeared only a few times in English translation. More poems will be published in a forthcoming Anvil anthology (Ten Russian Poets, ed. Richard McKane, August 2001, £12.95).

After a period of five years at the helm, JYRKI KIISKINEN is ending his day-to-day involvement with Books from Finland magazine. The new editor-in-chief will be the journalist and novelist Kristina Carlson. This year's Olvi Literature Prize (Finland) has been awarded to the poet Juha Siro for a collection entitled Musta runokirja ('The Black Book of Poems') and the Swedish Literature Society in Finland has awarded the Karl Emil Tollander Prize for lifetime achievement to the art historian and writer Erik Kruskopf. Kruskopf has written extensively on design and has completed several major biographies of Swedish artists and writers, including Tove Jansson.

Prizes to the tune of £75,000 have been announced by the Society of Authors. Ian Duhig, Paul Durcan, Kathleen Jamie and Grace Nichols have received Cholmondeley Awards in recognition of outstanding bodies of work. Each award is worth £2,000. Six young poets are recipients of Gregory Awards, worth between £3,000-£5,000. They are Leontia Flynn, Thomas Warner, Patrick Mackie, Tishani Doshi, Kathryn Gray and Sally Read. The Somerset Maugham Awards for 2001 have been awarded to Edward Platt for Leadville (Picador) and Ben Rice for Pobby and Dingan (Cape)

The poet DOROTHY NIMMO died on 24 May, writes Peter Sansom. One of Britain's best and best loved writers, she was also one of the least well-known. Frederic Raphael noted in PN Review that her work 'contrives to be both intensely personal and self-effacing: it is both provincial and universal '. Nimmo came to writing relatively late, but soon found a growing readership for her well-crafted, straight-talking, insightful and often tender poems. Her long sequence on the seventeenth century 'Quaker Jesus', James Naylor, was acclaimed by those who saw a copy in its short print run. When in 1998 she published The Children's Game, Peter Porter remarked that 'with this numinous collection Nimmo has come into her own.' That she had now found her own unique and immediately recognisable voice was amply demonstrated by the New and Selected Poems published last year. This book shows how accomplished the earlier work (from Giant Steps and Arc) really is though it is also clear that she was only beginning to near the height of her powers. Dorothy Nimmo made a difference to everyone she met; her poems may still do so.

IAN DUHIG has won the National Poetry Competition 2000 for 'The Lammas Hireling'. Thirteen years after his first win, Duhig was awarded the prize again by the panel of Lavinia Greenlaw, Ian McMillan, Don Paterson and Chair Germaine Greer. He is the first person to win the competition outright twice. Second prize went to Candy Neubert for 'Chamber' and third prize to Alex Barr for 'Land Adjoining'.

A series of events to celebrate 'the first millennium of the Kingdom of Hungary' is taking place at the Barbican and other venues around London thanks to a partnership between the Hungarian Cultural Centre, the Barbican, London International Festival of Theatre and Border Crossings. The English-language premier of The Chair Lift by the award-winning poet, playwright and novelist, Victor Határ, is happening on 1 July at the Hampstead Theatre. George Szirtes is the translator and the director is Tim Carroll. Details from www.hungary.org.uk

Professor JOÑO CAMILO DOS SANTOS has been appointed Cultural Attaché to the Portuguese Embassy in the UK. The author of eight volumes of poetry, a volume of short plays, a novel and two collections of literary criticism, Professor dos Santos was educated in Portugal and has taught at the Universities of Oslo, Rennes, Aix-en- Provence and Grenoble. Between 1989 and his arrival in London he was the Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Literature at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Callum Macdonald Memorial Awards were held on 4 May, hosted by the National Library of Scotland. The award in recognition of publishing skill and effort in Scotland to a pamphlet of poetry from 6 to 30 pages with a print run of no more than 300 copies was made to J.B. Pick (the biographer of Neil Gunn). The runner up was Sarah Martin, an M.Phil student at the University of Stirling who published the poetry of a fellow postgraduate student, Kirsten Kearney. 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.

Poetry Ireland in association with SeaCat have recently announced details of Ireland's National Poetry Competition. The first prize is IR£5,000 and this year's judges are Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Eavan Boland and Michael Longley. Further information from Poetry Ireland, Bermingham Tower, Upper Yard, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, or visit www.irishpoetry2001.com or www. seacat.co.uk.

The deadline for the Eleventh Annual Tabla Poetry Competition is 31 July 2001. The first prize is £1,000 and the judge this year is George Szirtes. Details from Tabla, Department of English, University of Bristol, 35 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB, or visit www.bristol.ac.uk/tabla.

Poetry Review follows up its 'Seven Years On' issue on the NewGen poets with, well, another issue on the same theme.

The Associazione Culturale Flainao of the Italian city of Pescara has awarded Charles Tomlinson their Premio Internazionale for 2001.


News & Notes compiled by CHRIS GRIBBLE.

This item is taken from PN Review 140, Volume 27 Number 6, July - August 2001.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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