Hi all, my apologies for going MIA. As some of you may know, I’m now in China, where access to wordpress can often be a challenge, so I won’t be posting as often as I’d like to. This post takes us back to the beautiful Trois-Rivières for the Poetry Festival I attended in October.
Already on Day 1, I produced new material to share – a poem in Portuguese I wrote during a workshop in the afternoon, based on an enigmatic painting by the artist Pascal Lareau.
Also on Saturday, I joined a panel of international poets, chaired by Gaston Bellemare, organizer of the Festival. At the session, each poet presented about the state of poetry in our respective countries – Chile (Sergio Badilla), Croatia (Nikola Petkovic), France (Gérard Cartier), Israel (Marlena Braester), Morocco (Mohamed Ahmed Bennis), Portugal (Luis Filipe Sarmento), Ukraine (Dmytro Tchystiak). I decided to focus on poetry dissemination and some of the creative ideas going around in Brazil to ensure that this often-neglected form of art reaches as wide an audience as possible. I mentioned Poeme-se and their T-shirts that display selected poems; an initiative to publish poems in outdoor media in various neighborhoods in towns in Santa Catarina; the large poetry posters in the Pátio Batel Shopping Mall in Curitiba; the “Oficina de Poesia”, a poetry workshop which takes places weekly in the Parana State Library; and SOBRAMES, an association of physicians that are also writers, and which holds regular conferences around the country.
In the evening, I recited two of my poems, in the original – “Monólogo da Verdade”, in Portuguese, and ‘Terror’, in English – as well as their French translations (see below), alongside colleagues from Haiti (Bathélemy Bolivar), Argentina (Claudia Schvartz) and Israel (Marlena Braester).