Poetry ignored by award shortlist

The shortlist for the John Llewellyn Rhys prize - which celebrates the best work of literature from a UK or Commonwealth writer aged 35 or under - has fiction battling it out with non-fiction, but has somehow sadly ignored poetry and drama.

From The Guardian:

In recent years poets have made the shortlist, collecting a cheque for £500 in the process, only to fall at the final stage. The editor of Poetry Review, Fiona Sampson, was dismayed to discover that in a catch-up year, covering the "best literature" of the past two years, there was no space for a poet.

"It says something about the way that poetry today isn't marginalised by poets but by other literary protagonists," she said. She lamented the Anglo-Saxon tendency to think that only narrative prose can deal with the "real stuff of life", suggesting that the "current shift away from even literary fiction to memoir reflects a profound unwillingness to engage with language".

"It's a bitter irony that awards have been subsumed into the battle for sales," she continued. "Literary prizes are one of the few things that might offset publishers' whims and the logic of the bottom line."

More here.

No comments: