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Poets and Politics

It is an interesting truth, rarely commented on, that poets are allowed to have any political leanings they wish, so long as they are left-leaning.  Witness the reaction to my concern, expressed briefly enough, that the election of Hollande would a) galvanise the extreme right in France, and b) unsettle the European markets: both mainstream views that have been reiterated in The Economist, the FT and on the BBC this last week.  Indeed, opposition to a 75% tax rate for millionaires is enough to brand one, in the new lynch mob of Facebook, as an Il Duce-loving Pound figure.

Frankly this is absurd.  Any reader of Eyewear over the years will know that my views skew to the centre-left.  I did not vote for Boris Johnson, for instance.  Nor do I support the darker anti-immigrant statements of Sarkozy (even his own party did not), which reminded me at times of David Blunkett.  Indeed, I have been an outspoken critic of a French ban on the veil.  Sadly, it seems that only being anti-banking, and anti-austerity measures is "politically correct" among many poets.

However, concern for the house of cards that is the Eurozone means I do not want to see Greece default, the Euro collapse, and agreement between Germany and France break down - which would lead to more extremist options prevailing, as has happened today in Greece; as I predicted yesterday.  As for punitive tax regimes about 60%, they are symbolically effective but make little money, and simply send the message that France is not open for business - hardly a wise move in a recession.

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Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!