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Prize-nominated poet's debut cancelled as plagiarism accusations build

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Several authors have accused Ailey O’Toole of using their poems to write her own, including the Pushcart-nominated Gun Metal

A prize-nominated poet’s debut collection has been cancelled and her work removed from online publications after multiple writers accused her of plagiarising their work.

On Saturday, Ailey O’Toole, an American poet who was nominated for a Pushcart prize for the poem Gun Metal, was publicly accused by Rachel McKibbens of taking lines from her poem, three strikes, and using them in Gun Metal. McKibbens’ poem, which draws on her childhood trauma, reads: “Hell-spangled girl / spitting teeth into the sink, / I’d trace the broken / landscape of my body / & find God / within myself.” O’Toole’s Gun Metal reads: “Ramshackle / girl spitting teeth / in the sink. I trace the / foreign topography of / my body, find God / in my skin.”

Related: 'Plagiarists never do it once': meet the sleuth tracking down the poetry cheats

We are still processing the recent events but please know we have taken all necessary steps to rectify the recent disturbing developments. Please know we do NOT accept or tolerate plagiarism. We are hurt, we feel the pain & anger of those who have had work stolen.

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