Articles on Poetry

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Claudia Rankine, winner of the Forward Prize. Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

The white privilege of British poetry is getting worse

Claudia Rankine, winner of the Forward Prize, has provoked discussions about poetry and race in the US. Why are these conversations not happening in the UK?
Fury Road revisits the originality of Australian New Wave film-making by representing absurd, new and null cultural signs. @Warner Bros

Stanza and deliver – the filmic poetry of Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road has generated heated coverage since its release last month. But focussing on the film's terse script may be missing the point: it should be read as a poem, and a provocative one at that.
Former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine (1928-2015) was down to earth and humble. But he spared no rage towards those he deemed selfish and narcissistic. Brooklyn Book Festival/Flickr

Remembering former poet laureate Philip Levine

Kate Daniels, the director of Vanderbilt's creative writing program, recalls the life and work of her mentor, a man " creating gritty and empathetic portraits of American blue collar workers."
Mandarin icing next year? tycobass

How to make Robert Burns as big as Shakespeare in China

As long as the history of English literature is taught in universities, the charm of the immortal poem “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns will endure in China. I first came across the poem by the national…
Bush balladeers celebrate the district, its identities and their adventures. Oceana/Flickr

Australian bush ballads keep galloping on

When Brian the farmer finished his poem the crowd went wild. Small wonder he earned the People’s Choice Award on the night. We were at a so-called poetry “slam” at a country hall in a place so tiny it…
Ahmed Negm, the Egyptian poet of protest. STR/EPA

How Wordsworth informed the poetry of the Arab Spring

The excitement that accompanied the beginning of the Arab Spring has now largely died down, as a timeworn truth reiterates itself: when an oppressive power is toppled, a similar or worse one will often…
Australia hasn’t had a poet laureate for 200 years. We need one. shutterstock

Why Australia needs a Poet Laureate

Oxford-educated and the possessor of considerable charm, Michael Massey Robinson was also a cad and a bounder. Convicted of extortion in London in 1798, he was transported to New South Wales where he worked…
Socrates: not going gently.

Why I teach poetry and opera to medical students

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. I usually begin my end of life ethics lecture with one of Dylan Thomas’ best-loved…

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