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10 Years Ago, Poets Against The War

Ten years ago, as the UK prepared for a potentially illegal war against Iraq, Nthposition, edited by Val Stevenson, and myself, the site's poetry editor, hurriedly compiled a global anti-war anthology that was soon followed by many others.  The anthology, ten years later, has been written about in several academic studies, sometimes vilified, and was even mocked by the comedian S. Fry.  It was also downloaded tens of thousands of times, launched in dozens of cities at once, from Russia to Japan to America to the UK - and was turned into a very rapid book by Salt (when it was featured on CNN).  The Guardian that year selected it as the most popular poetry book of the year, in terms of library loans.  It was called 100 Poets Against The War.  That's what I did, way back then, when younger, with my spare time; it is now available online for sale for one penny.


Tom Phillips said…
I've just reposted my contribution on Facebook and blog. Maybe all of us should do that to mark the anniversary? Tom
P. M. Doolan said…
I'm proud to be an owner of a copy for the past ten years. Well done.
Anonymous said…
The thousands of dead Iraqis would like to thank you for your selfless efforts.
Todd Swift said…
Well, Anonymous, in the history of massacres, those who have borne witness, and protested, are usually more than less appreciated. It is worse to be killed without any protest. I have no shame in publically protesting a wrong. Are you suggesting they would have been better to die in silence from the world community? Or perhaps your silly comment really refers to the inability of poems to stop war. Well, I am hardly to blame for that misfortune. Better to try than not try, I would think, or is all idealistic action inherently not just wrong, but wicked, in your opinion? I continue by the way to be unimpressed with the cowardice of those who snark behind a mask.

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Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

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