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US books world rocked by racism rows

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Questions over the response of the Poetry Foundation and the National Book Critics Circle to BLM protests have sparked a wave of resignations

The US literary establishment is in turmoil after a wave of resignations from the Poetry Foundation and the National Book Critics Circle over their responses to Black Lives Matter protests.

The Poetry Foundation, established in 2003 after a multimillion dollar donation from the philanthropist Ruth Lilly, had been harshly criticised in a letter from almost 2,000 people, including the award-winning poet Ocean Vuong and many other writers, over its brief response to BLM on 3 June. The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine “stand in solidarity with the black community, and denounce injustice and systemic racism”, said the statement, and “as an organisation we recognise that there is much work to be done”.

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