Bangalore-born Vijay Seshadri, who moved to America at the age of five in 1959, has won the 2014 Pulitzer prize for poetry for his collection of poems 3 Sections (Graywolf Press), which was described by the jury as "a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless."
Seshadri has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been awarded the Paris Review's Bernard F. Conners Long Poem Prize and the MacDowell Colony's Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement.
He holds an A.B. degree from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. He currently teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.
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With French Minister of Culture and Communication, Aurélie Filippetti. Photo courtesy: French Ministry of Culture
American musician Bob Dylan was awarded France's highest cultural award, the legion d'honneur or the "Legion of Honour" in a brief ceremony in the French ministry of Culture on November 13, 2013, which he had asked to be kept secret, with no media or cameras allowed.
The private ceremony was therefore confined only to 30 or so guests, 20 of whom were apparently Dylan fans chosen at random.
His proposed investiture had been attacked by General Jean-Louis Georgelin, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion, who said Dylan was “unworthy” because of his anti-war songs and smoking cannabis.
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Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop, by Reginald Bakeley, has been named as the winner of Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. The book, was published by Conari Press, with a foreword by its US editor Clint Marsh.
"On behalf of Reginald Bakeley and Conari Press, I am honoured to accept this award. The Diagram Prize celebrates the playfulness that is at the heart of much of the world's best book publishing. Thank you to everyone who voted and allowed Goblinproofing to join the distinguished list of Diagram winners. Reginald and I take this as a clear sign that people have had enough of goblins in their chicken coops. Our campaign against the fairy kingdom continues," Marsh said.
Although the winner receives no prize attention, the nominator of the title, Deep Books' marketing manager Alan Ritchie, will receive a bottle of wine.
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"because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality"
So said the Swedish Academy's press-release, announcing Tomas Tranströmer as this year's recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, who, as the Telegraph's Ten things you never knew about the poet you never knew, informs us, besides his successful career as a respected psychologist,
is also known as a skilled literary translator, entomologist, and classical pianist. He hasn't let his paralysis stop him either. He continues to perform one handed piano recitals throughout Europe. Impressive stuff.
Not being familiar with his poetry at all, a simple search led me to to the twitter stream of Teju Cole, the author of Open City. There couldn't possibly be a better introduction:
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Sue Fondrie, who describes herself as "a full-time teacher of teachers and part-time awful prose writer" was declared the winner of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
Sue Fondrie is an associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh who, in the words of the Contest results, "works groan-inducing wordplay into her teaching and administrative duties whenever possible. Out of school, she introduces two members of the next generation to the mysteries of Star Trek, Star Wars, and--of course--the art of the bad pun."
Prof. Fondrie becomes the 29th grand prize winner of the contest that began at San Jose State University in 1982. Since 1983 the BLFC has continued to draw acclaim and opprobrium.
The contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels takes its name from the Victorian novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who began his Paul Clifford with “It was a dark and stormy night.”
At 26 words, Prof. Fondrie’s submission is the shortest grand prize winner in Contest history, proving that bad writing need not be prolix, or even very wordy:
Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
In keeping with the gravitas, high seriousness, and general bignitude of the contest, she will receive . . . a pittance.
The Runner-Up was Rodney Reed from Ooltewah, TN:
As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this . . . and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words.
The prize is judged by categories, from "general" to detective, western, science fiction, romance, and so on. This year's winner for Purple Prose was Mike Pedersen from North Berwick, ME:
As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.
The runner up in the Purple Prose category was Jack Barry from Shelby, NC:
The Los Angeles morning was heavy with smog, the word being a portmanteau of smoke and fog, though in LA the pollutants are typically vehicular emissions as opposed to actual smoke and fog, unlike 19th-century London where the smoke from countless small coal fires often combined with fog off the Thames to produce true smog, though back then they were not clever enough to call it that.
The Winner in Historical Fiction was John Doble of New York City:
Napoleon’s ship tossed and turned as the emperor, listening while his generals squabbled as they always did, splashed the tepid waters in his bathtub.
And the Runner-Up in the same category was Andrea Rossi fromWilmington, NC
The executioner sneered as the young queen ascended the stairs to the guillotine; in the old days, he thought, at least there was some buildup, a little time on the rack or some disemboweling, but nowadays everyone wants instant gratification.
For the full list of winners in different categories and even the dishonourable mentions, check out the Award Page
The rules to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are childishly simple: Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish. (One fellow once submitted over 3,000 entries.)
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Read more about them here