MINNEAPOLIS - On Thursday, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and from the moment it happened the controversy began as it was the first time this one went to a full-time music man.
We wanted to hear what a local songwriter and published poet thought of the nod.
“To be honest it did shake me a little bit in that I do think there are sometimes distinct skill sets that work on the stage and that work on the page, but I think song lyrics that can absolutely be lit,“ Dessa said on the matter from New York City.
Our girl is all about the wider range Nobel allowed for with granting this title to Dylan.
“They are not calling it a novel they are saying there is literary merit there and I think that makes a lot of sense,” Dessa said.
But with this decision came controversy.
All day long twitter lit up, with roughly half of those weighting in saying the Dylan choice was brilliant and a few others saying it was BS.
Salman Rushdie, Lin Manuel Miranda, Dessa are all on board Mr. Tambourine Man's train.
Others were sympathetic to this sentiment from the New York Times editorial writer Anna North who argued giving this to a musician takes away the very real gift it can be to literature.
"As reading declines around the world, literary prizes are more important than ever. A big prize means a jump in sales and readership even for a well-known writer,” North wrote in today’s New York Times.
But let's get back to Dessa. After all she is a published writer and musician.
“Working in rap music primarily and R&B instead of in folk tradition initially I embrace that idea the stuff I do is poetry, I like lit, I want to be a writer, that's the word in want on my business card.”
The two are not, in her art, mutually exclusive.
And perhaps maybe they are no longer in the eyes of the 18 member Nobel committee because maybe the times are a changin’.
“I don't think it's a onetime only thing, this is my skepticism, part of me thinks like every institution it might be the can the Nobel community wants to relate to a new generation of culture makers,” Dessa said.
Well if that's the case, Bob was a trailblazer, once, again.