Thursday, March 1, 2012

Poetry as Insurgent Art

Follows an extract from a message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO: On this World Poetry Day 2010, let us recall that poetry is a universal country in which peoples may meet through words of all colors, rhythms and musicality. Words that, regardless of the language from which they blossomed, reach out far for a light that captures the very essence of the human being, the dignity of each person. UNESCO, committed to its mandate to fully promote the democratic principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect perceives poetry as a vital resource.
Yes poetry is alive and kicking but nit really thanks to Unesco, but thanks to the pets writing, reading, performing, small publisher spreading the words of poets, the translators who build bridges, further understanding. That is why from one day we organize a poetry festival starting March 17 in salon 12b with Job Degenaar and his book ICH BIN * I AM. Assisting poets will also have time to read and share their work. The activity o the actual poetry day is still being organized. Then the second event is on March 23 three poets, diverse in their way of writing will present each a book in Gallery The Black Panter in Antwerp: Annie Reniers with a trilingual book (Dutch, German and English): Letters of Light. Her reading is followed by Roger Nupie with  the also trilingual book. The last pet is Annmarie Sauer with a bi-lingual book Traces/Sporen. March 29 in the literary cafĂ© den Hopsack in Antwerp it will be the Bart Stouten party with the trilingual book Open Heart. All books produced by poet Fred Schywek. April is poetry month in USA, so while being there we'll have a Desert Poetry Night with guest from San Francisco. We do all this to give a voice to more poets, to let people hear diverse forms of writing. Yet also because the Unesco system is rather cumbersome to work with as independent artists and to claim poetry as an insurgent art:

Poetry as Insurgent Art  Lawrence Ferlinghetti
I am signaling you through the flames.
The North Pole is not where it used to be.
Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.
Civilization self-destructs.
Nemesis is knocking at the door.
What are poets for, in such an age?
What is the use of poetry?
The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.
If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.
You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words....

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