Zhou Xiaotian [Photo/ifeng.com]
China's prestigious Lu Xun Literature Prize has come under fire after its most recent award winner for poetry was denounced as a "shame on poetry."
Zhou Xiaotian, a poet and professor of the literature and journalism college of Sichuan University, won the prize on Monday for his poem collection "Jiang Jin Cha" or invitation to tea.
Not long after the announcement, Zhou's verses were posted online by Internet users with the charge of being "nothing more than doggerels unworthy of the prize."
Many have criticized the winner for the colloquial style of his poems based on the late singer-actor Leslie Cheung from Hong Kong and another on Nobel prize winner in physics Yang Zhenning.
"The 28-year-old wife and the 82-year-old husband, one for talent and the other for lust," according to a line of his poem on the physist's high-profile marriage at the age of 82 in 2004.
"I've never heard of this poet, but I'm suspicious of the quality of his works submitted to the committee after reading those provided by online users," said Fang Fang, a writer based in Wuhan, Hubei Province.
"Are those judges really adept? Did they make judgement on the work's quality or on the candidates' connections?" Fang added, casting doubt upon the professional ethics of the judging panel.