A collection of topics: The Olentangy Review, Goodreads Choice 2016 Award, and Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize
“Flight Arrival” in Olentangy Review
I’m thrilled that my poem “Flight Arrival” is included in the Winter 2016 issue of Olentangy Review. The other poems included are great, so there’s lots of interesting work to read in this issue. I especially like Roy Bentley’s “Before During or After Factory Work.”
Doug Buchanan’s dragon image, on the cover, is perfect. It’s bright and fierce, just what any New Year needs. (Plus, I was born in a Dragon year.)
Olentangy Review’s virtual reading room is filled with audio files of poets reading their own work, organized by issue of the online magazine. There aren’t any audio files up for the Winter 2016 issue yet, but you can have a listen to poems from prior issues. I sent the editors my audio file, so keep an eye out for it to turn up there.
Who won the Goodreads Choice 2016 award in Poetry?
How did your favorite fare in the Goodreads Choice 2016 Awards? In the poetry category, my favorite came in dead last, and my second choice took third place. The winner was Amanda Lovelace’s The Princess Saves Herself in this One, with 22,560 votes, more than twice that of the next nearest book.
What makes this book such a strong favorite? I’ve just finished reading the book, and I may come back with a more detailed answer to that in the future. However, a few observations stand out:
- The poems are accessible–both vocabulary and metaphor. Not simplistic, but certainly not obscure or difficult.
- The book has a strong narrative through-line, despite the fact that the poems themselves are basically all relatively short lyrics.
- The book lives up to the promise of the title. The questions which propel the reader from poem to poem, are: from what, and how, is she going to save herself?
Obviously a widely admired book, and one worth taking a look at, if you haven’t already.
2016 Nobel Prize In Literature–The Award Speech
Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature and much has been said about this choice, both pro and con, including on this blog.
Dylan himself has been largely silent. He did not attend the award ceremony on December 10, but sent a speech that very neatly threaded its way through the controversy over the award. His words were respectful and grateful while yet putting the prize in context and acknowledging the unusual choice of a body of songs for a literature award. You can read the entire speech on the Nobel site.
The gist of the speech is that, in the pursuit of art, Dylan isn’t thinking about awards and classifications because he is thinking about making art. Sure, he compares himself to Shakespeare–but in terms of work ethic, not artistic merit. He concludes:
Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, “Are my songs literature?”
So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.
The Swedish Academy and Copyright
If you go to the Nobel site at some time in the future, I suspect you might not find Dylan’s speech. Apparently, the Swedish Academy believes that news has a shelf life and the web is not forever. They note on their post that they want me to post a copyright notice here, because I used a quote from the speech. This makes me think they plan to pull it off the site. So read the whole thing soon.
Or, just search the web. Because electrons really are forever. I bet whatever search engine is most popular five years from now won’t have any trouble finding Dylan’s speech.
One would have thought that the author held the copyright to his speech. Unless he signed it away upon accepting the award?
I would also have thought that commenting on a public figure, such as Bob Dylan, would be considered fair use. Therefore fair game in editorials without getting explicit permission from the Academy after December 24, 2016.
I maintain that I, or anyone, could fairly quote from the speech, whenever I like. However, it is probably not worth taking the Academy on over this. Discretion, valor, etc.
Here’s the copyright notice:
©The Nobel Foundation 2016.
General permission is granted for immediate publication in editorial contexts, in print or online, in any language within two weeks of December 10, 2016. Thereafter, any publication requires the consent of the Nobel Foundation. On all publications in full or in major parts the above copyright notice must be applied.
Bottom line, the Swedish Academy continues to mystify.
And Bob Dylan shows himself to be a class act.
Happy New Year, all!