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The Poetry Police Come to Dennis Swift in His Home

By Harriet Staff

Check out this story, from Huffington Post, which begins:

Two police officers showed up at the door of Atherton, England, resident Dennis Swift last week with for curious reasons. One of them asked Swift if he wrote poems, and when Swift affirmed that he did, reportedly threatened, ‘Well don’t go writing any more.” Yes, America, England takes its literature very, very seriously.

Well, not really. The police visited Swift, it turns out, because he’d gotten in hot water with his favorite football team, the Bolton Wanderers. Swift had grown angry when the team refused to sell his poetry collection, Football Rhymes of Passion, in their official store (despite alleged promises to the contrary). Words were exchanged — some of them in verse–and in the process, Swift upset team management enough for them to call the cops.

The football club claims their complaint to police resulted solely from an online outburst by Swift targeting the sales executive who refused to sell his book, stating, “We have a zero tolerance policy to employees facing foul and abusive language.”

But Swift wonders, quite reasonably, why he was singled out on a forum brimming over with foul and abusive language against Bolton’s employees (the Wanderers were recently relegated from the Premier League for their terrible performance). He insists, instead, that Bolton management was upset about a series of poems critical of the team that he’d published online.

Full post here.

Posted in Poetry News on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by Harriet Staff.