It was a big surprise to hear that Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. But it won’t surprise anybody who has attended a “Mumbles” concert to hear that he hasn’t thanked the Swedish Academy or even returned their calls. He treats his audiences with equal disdain. Maybe that’s why many critics rushed to condemn the award. But as rude and inscrutable as he can be, writes A.M. Juster, Dylan deserves the Prize because most of his lyrics make far more sense than most contemporary poetry, and provide enduring insights on matters of liberty, morality and faith.
Christian Bök is a University of Calgary poet, professor and amateur genetic engineer. He is trying to create an indestructible organism that can generate poetry through its genetic code that will be read eons from now by whatever sentient species succeeds humans. A.M. Juster, also a poet with a background in biotechnology, writes that Bök’s work is not only literary avant gardism at its worst, but could be a menace to public safety.