Friday, 16 April 2010

Those who travel free on buses

Eleanor Ross Taylor has won a big US poetry award. To say I knew nothing of her work before is also to acknowledge one of the more benign aspects of the prizes game – that it can bring the work of relatively unknown writers to new readers. The reporting, of course, focuses less on Ross Taylor’s work than on her age: ‘little-known 90-year-old’. Gosh, shock-horror, old people can write. As if we’d forgotten that there are other qualities and virtues than those monopolised by the young, and among them if not exactly wisdom then at least the kind of perspective that only experience can bring. The average age of the four writers published by CBe in 2010 is eighty-something.

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