4.28.2007

I'm expremely annoyed by the

The Bordighera Poetry Prize, Sponsored by The Sonia Raiziss-Giop
Charitable Foundation Offering a $2,000 prize

the text on the site says

The prize, consisting of book publication in bilingual edition by
Bordighera, Inc. -- is dedicated to finding the best manuscripts of
poetry in English by an American poet of Italian descent and surname
or middle maiden surname.

[this means: your regular surname, or maiden surname (moved to the middle name by some in this non-hyphenating society), or -- in a VERY small percentage of cases of mostly younger Americans, where the mother's maiden name is the given middle name, your middle name) must be distinctly, recognizably, perhaps stereotypically Italian] unfortunately, this is, in Russo-speak, YOUR PATRONYM

Now, I'm not eligible in any case. My husband isn't because he's not
a poet, but also because his mother is "the Italian" and so his name is
Burch.

But this prize is then for poets who have Italian paternity -- Italian
mothers don't count? Can this get any more unfair to Italian American
poets?

Can one be vaguely Italian, but in a family which has somehow not assimilated spelling of the patronym? and win over someone who is perhaps MORE Italian, but suffers from a Scotch-Irish father?

The point was raised by the ever-wise Pat Valdata on WOMPO that -- how is this different from a prize for women under 40 who haven't published a book -- while my initial gut was, because this is gender discrimination whereas the Valdata example
is a sort of attempted (misguided? not?) affirmative action.

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