Sunday, November 29, 2015

De Groene Waterman

Dear Friends,
today is the day that Sven Peeters interviews me in "The green Waterman", the nicest bookshop of Antwerp. He will ask questions about my translation of Sherman Alexie's works from his four first books of poetry. Up to now the book has been well received and people who have seen it like it. So After the interview I will tell you how it went. We will start at 4 o'clock.

Po√ęzie = Woede x Verbeelding
Sherman Alexie

 Now I am off to the preparation of the interview... More tonight!

Sven is a great interviewer and he was truly well prepared. He asked  questions  about the terminology like what is the correct term for 'Indian'? Is an Indian Nation always called a reservation?
Of course it was the poetry who won the people over. Several people bought the book and I  was practicing finding the right words for each inscription for the enthusiastic buyers. I think the bookshop also was happy. A friend 'Kris' came in late, the train had two long stops on the way to Antwerp. The terror threat not quite over, we are at level three in Brussels now. In Antwerp, nothing bad is happening. In order to make more publicity for the book Kris will approach "The Limmerick" in Ghent and then he will be the interviewer. I am a neophyte at this, so I am learning as I go.

In the discussion after the reading some commented that his poetry is very different, sometimes close to prose. So I decided to read them the following poem:

Een Onvolledige Lijst Mensen waarvan ik Wens dat ze Indiaan Waren

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Muhammad Ali
Susan B. Anthony
Jimmy Carter
Patsy Cline
D.B. Cooper
Robert DeNiro
Emily Dickinson
Isadora Duncan
Amelia Earhart
Diane Fossey
Jesus Christ
Robert Johnson
Helen Keller
Billie Jean King
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John Lennon
Maria Magdalena
Pablo Neruda
Flannery O’Connor
Rosa Parks
Wilma Rudolph
William Shakespeare
Bruce Springsteen
Meryl Streep
John Steinbeck
Harriet Tubman
Walt Whitman

And it worked. People were moved by the names, they understood that in the work of a great poet everything can be poetry.

I thank Sherman Alexie for his work, Robert Hershon his publisher for making this publication possible and Leo Peeraer the publisher of poetry in Flanders with the best series of translations.

Sven contacted a friend in the States and was told Sherman Alexie is really big in the States. I hope he will be as well know in Belgium and Holland now.

In gratitude to all,


No comments:

Post a Comment