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WILMOT, NH (CAP) - Incoming U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall was beaten senseless yesterday in front of his New Hampshire home in what was believed to be the latest salvo in a bloody poet turf war.
Authorities say Hall, known among his fellow poets as Biggee Hallz, may have been targeted by other poets jealous of his recent notoriety. They point to a recent altercation between Hall and New York poet John ("J-Berry") Ashbery over which was the better work, Ashbery's "Vermont Notebook" or Hall's "A Roof of Tiger Lilies."
That clash sent one of Ashbery's bodyguards to the hospital with a seven-inch gash to his thigh, believed to have been inflicted with a delightful antique brass letter opener (circa 1844).
Hall is expected to survive the beating, which experts say may add to his street cred after he recovers. Minnesota poet Robert ("Lil Bling") Bly's popularity skyrocketed after an incident in 1992, when Adrienne ("A-Beyotch") Rich, author of "The Diamond Cutters And Other Poems," shot him in the neck with a dart from a Namibian blowgun outside a coffeehouse at the Nebraska Summer Writer's Conference.
Hall is known for courting controversy with poems like "Affirmation" (2004), which read, in part:
The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
So you pop a cap in her ass with your fo-fo.
"Whether they're artists or not, the violence is unacceptable," said Sheriff Artie Muntz of the Wilmot, N.H. Police Department. "You can imagine how bad it might get if anyone had ever heard of these people."