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Monaco, the poetry-free principality

By Harriet Staff

Do you remember earlier this year when Monaco was scrambling to find a local poet to represent the principality at the 2012 Olympic Poetry Parnassus? Well, we regret to report that Monaco has yet to uncover a single poet among is 35,986 citizens. How could this be?, you ask. Simon Armitage has an explanation. From BBC News:

In April, a public call went out for poets from 23 “missing” countries.

But despite a year of searching and consultation the organisers did not come across one nomination, idea or name for a living poet from Monaco within the deadline.

“I’m tempted to assume everybody’s just driving around in Lamborghinis,” joked Armitage.

“It’s not through a lack of effort on our part. We could not have been more open in our invitation.”

All joking aside, Armitage might not be that far off the mark. Consider these factoids from that wellspring of knowledge, Wikipedia:

Monaco boasts the world’s highest GDP nominal per capita at $172,676 and GDP PPP per capita at $186,175. Monaco also has the world’s highest life expectancy at almost 90 years, and the lowest unemployment rate at 0%, with over 48,000 workers who commute from France and Italy each day. For the third year in a row, Monaco in 2011 had the world’s most expensive real estate market, at $56,300 per square metre. According to the CIA World Factbook, Monaco has the world’s lowest poverty rate, and the highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world.

Anyone wanna start a rent-a-poet program?

Posted in Poetry News on Friday, June 22nd, 2012 by Harriet Staff.