ARS POETICA, le festival international de poésie de BRATISLAVA
Volume 11 Number 6 November-December 2015
The global online magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment
In this issue:
Contributions to this issue come from England, South Africa, New Mexico, California, New York, Argentina, France, Germany and elsewhere. It’s amazing to us that material keeps coming our way that allows us to share the perspectives of writers, photographers, travelers, musicians, and others from around the world. Have a story to tell? Get in touch, we’d be glad to hear from you. And, if something moves you to comment, there’s a box on every page that lets you “say your piece.”
Another way to let your voice be heard: Vote
It’s really easy. You walk to the polling station nearest where you live, present your voter registration card, complete your paper or electronic ballot, cast your votes and VOILA! It’s done.
Unless, of course, you live where voting against a particular candidate can get you thrown in jail, beat up, killed, your family killed, your land taken, your life ruined. Or, deported.
In the U.S., it’s a secret ballot. Or supposed to be. Voters, like good poker players, don’t say who they vote for. Nobody’s business but your own. Kind of like going to Confession — between you and your priest. Or God.
If you missed it this year, don’t worry… If we’re lucky, there’ll be more.
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SANDY: Chronicles of a Superstorm
« This distinctive visual-literary coalescing of art and poetry by two 21st Century creatives sensitively and perceptively recalls the overwhelming catastrophe known as “Superstorm Sandy” that hit New Jersey and New York on October 29-30, 2012… »
Dr. Jose Rodeiro, Ph.D., Art Professor New Jersey City University
Available now at Independent Booksellers including:
The Dolphin Bookshop, Port Washington, NY;
RiverRead Books, Binghamton, NY;
Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Brooklyn, NY.
Also available on Amazon.
Poetry by Michael Foldes, images by Christie Devereaux.
Signed copies available directly from the author/artist.
Struga Poetry Evenings 2014
A River flowing with voices for 53 years.
Some things at Struga Poetry Evenings remain unseen, silently providing the lift to the world’s oldest poetry festival of great renown. The names of poets and poetry resound for seven days from bridges, ravines and monasteries while people like scriptwriter Kristina Todoroska Peterska may be unknown. Yet it is words from her, quietly drafted in the back corridors of the festival that work as yeast shaping Struga’s reputation. At the glittering opening of the festival her words were no less than poetry rendered eloquently by the vibrant Master of Ceremonies Arna Shijak. To both these women, SPE must be obligated:
An everyday transient passing, repetitive movement of several seconds, automobiles, people, horns, noises. A quick glance at the running water and a soundless sigh from the green bliss within the eyes. Eventually, a quick exchange of new telephone numbers and for the god knows what time the same old “let us grab a cup of coffee some time” and similar lies. The life of this bridge would seem like a prosaically pointless ritual to some. But the poet conforms to different laws. Inside the frames of those laws, the memoirs of this bridge would be an exquisitely spiritual reading where by passing from one side to the other, one semantically shifts to a more imaginative dimension, where left and right are utterly relativized when compared to all the possible sides. In that reading material, built by poetic parameters and the dusty smell of the asphalt, one will read a cry, a shriek, an emotion, pain, exuberance, emotion, cure…a memory of a verse well remembered, or several of them; anecdotes of the poet who gave his life for freedom; truths in which one author through metamorphosis become a quill and a breath of air; biographical pieces, fresh memories of 5000 speakers of human history, 5000 poetic magnitudes, who, united on this stage, have been coming for more than half a century to tell and retell the world through poetry; united to remind us that life exists even among the struggle to survive, between the yearning to but the nationally renowned festival remains unchanged in its mission for the global solidarity of poetry.
Around fifty poets from around the world gathered to share words and be heard on a world platform. The prestigious winner of the 2014 ‘Golden Wreath’ was the South Korean poet Ko Un, the ‘Bridges of Struga’ was awarded to Harry Man, UK and the ‘Miladinov Brothers prize’ to Vera Cejkoska for ‘My Vedas.’ SPE is specially known for ‘Bridges’ the closing event held on the bridge across the Drim river.
Whether it was the reading at Kalishta monastery or the honoring of Ko Un in the Cathedral Church of St. Sophia, Ohrid, there was always a resonance of Macedonian history, spirituality and culture in the air. The icons, Byzantine frescoes, the burnished blue of the Lake Ohrid and the surging Drim and its springs were constant backdrops. Each time I stood on the site of a church, I was aware of the repeating pattern of a church built on a mosque built on a church or vice versa; two world religions always juxtaposed, overlaid and meshed—a significant reality of European history.
Three reading sites stood out in my mind through the weeklong festival—the monastery of St. Naum, the church of Matka or ‘mother’s womb,’ and the park of poetry in Struga. The ride in the open deck of the ferry across Lake Ohrid on the way to St. Naum was a journey in sublime blue. The blue searing the horizon and the chiaroscuro of the water ripples was a reminder of the contours of the poet’s heart. The legend of St. Naum, one of Macedonia’s most revered saints avers that you can still hear his heartbeat at his tomb. When I bent down to place my ear on the tomb as millions had done before me, I could feel in this ritual a connection to a deeper sacred self. The holiness in that site was palpable.
A circuitous walk by water, dead ends in an ancient church dedicated to Mary the holy mother in Matca. The pilgrimage is reflective of the birth passage comparable to the Vaishno Devi trek in the North of India. The reading takes place in a gorge in the midst of mountains rising like the serrated wings of a giant bird. Perhaps, the classical Chinese painters felt the awe we felt. One could only offer one’s words there in a spirit of humility.
Sighting the plaques in the poetry park bearing the names of former festival laureates, such as US poets W.S. Merwin and Allen Ginsberg was tingling. They, like Ko Un had broken soil and planted maples now growing strong, spurting leaves. How many metaphors could this park yield!
At the closing event, I could hear the rush of the Drim beneath my feet; poetry in many languages lit up the air like fireflies and faded into the night. If there is a place to realize that poetry is indeed a mission not a mishap it has to be here on the bridge in Struga. The connections of self and larger self must indeed begin to concretize in such a setting. It is on this bridge we feel we belong to our true lineage—a tribe of poets whose hearts beat to the music of the muse.
POET: In February 2012, Usha Akella scripted and produced her first musical, Ek. An English Musical on the life of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba (Sterling Publications, India).
Author of two books of poetry published by small presses in India, she moved to the US from India in 1993. She studied at the Hyderabad Central University, India (M.A. English) and at the University of Baltimore (M.A. Publications Design) where she combined courses in Creative Writing and Graphic Design. Her writing life received a serious boost under the tutelage of UB’s Kendra Kopelke. Her poetry has ranged from feminist to Sufi oriented themes, and is described as compassionate, intense, and moving. Her first book of poems …Kali Dances, So Do I… published by Authors and Writers, India Ltd., was released in 2000 to positive reviews. Kali dances is suggested reading at Smith College, USA. She has given scores of readings at reputed organizations both in the U.S.A and India. She has been invited to many international poetry festivals. Her second book of poetry, A Face that does not bear the footprints of the world was released at the International Rumi Conference, Calicut, India, in March 2008 to much acclaim from scholars and poets. The renowned poet Shiv K. Kumar made an exception to personally release the book at Goethe Zentrum. She sometimes offers a reading of her Sufi oriented poetry with the well-known flautist Steve Gorn (so far at Rothko chapel, Pennsylvania museum of art, Rothko chapel, Omega Institute and Sufi Books, NY). She has been interviewed widely. She edits a yearly section on Diaspora poetry in museindia.com. She served as Editor for Borderlands Literary Review, spring/summer issue 2007 which carried a section on contemporary Macedonian poets. She was dedicated to offering Creative Writing workshops to schools in India- a first in most places during a one-year (07-08) stay in India. Her travel articles appear occasionally in Indian newspapers and inflight magazines. She immensely enjoys interviewing artists and poets for reputed journals and newspapers which she does from time to time. She teaches Creative Writing workshops from her home in Austin, and for local educational institutions. She is on the board for Austin Poetry Society. Her poems have been/will be translated into Macedonian, Malayalam, Spanish, Turkish, and Slovenian. She has been featured in many US based Indian and Indian newspapers/magazines, such as Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, WOW, 040, The Hindu and India Abroad.
POETRY HONORS: Her work is included in the seminal anthology: Harper Collins, India, Anthology of Indian English Poets 2012, and other Indian English anthologies. She was awarded the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize 2011 by the Siir Festival, Turkey. She was the winner of Maryland Poetry Review’s Egan Memorial Contest. She won the informal wine poem award at Struga Poetry Evenings 2006, Macedonia, the first Indian and woman in 45 years to do so. She was a finalist for the 2010 Pablo Neruda Prize. Her poem ‘One hears’ was a pushcart nomination. She received the supporter of the arts award from the town of Greenburgh, NY. She has read twice for the Sahitya Academy (Considered the highest literary organization in India. She featured with four other poets to represent Indian Writing in English at a 2008 Sahitya Academy poetry event.) She was interviewed on “The Front Row” for NPR/ Houston Public Radio in October 2013. Her poems have appeared in the Sahitya Academy’s journal Indian Literature. Publications: Her work has appeared and is upcoming in many US and Indian based journals such as The Bitter Oleander, Drunken Boat, Borderlands, Cumberland Review, The Crab Orchard Review, The Maryland Poetry Review, Pearl, Emily Dickinson Journal, Catamaran, Muse India, Ardent! Di-verse-city, Kavya Bharati etc.
POETRY FESTIVALS: She has been invited to various festivals such as Siirr Festival 2011, Turkey and Selcuk University, Konya; The International Festival Curtea De Arges Poetry Nights, Romania, 2010 (invited/unattended); Granada Poetry Festival, 2010, Nicaragua; Kolkota Book Fair, India, 2010; Ubud Writers Festival, 2009, Bali, Indonesia (invited/unattended); Medellin Poetry Festival, 2009, Colombia; Struga Poetry Evenings, 2006 & 2014, Macedonia; Days of Poetry and Wine, 2007, Medana, Slovenia; Austin International Poetry Festival, 2006; Houston Poetry Festival, 2006; Calicut International Book Fair, 2007,India; Oaxaca Festival of Humanities, 2008, Mexico; Festival de la Palebras, 2008, Mexico City; Artwallah, 2000, LA, USA.
Founder, The Poetry Caravan: Her most significant contribution to the Arts is the Poetry Caravan in the town of Greenburgh, Westchester County, New York launched in October 2003. The Caravan provides free workshops and readings to disadvantaged people in Senior Centers, Women’s shelters, and Healthcare facilities. The NY caravan has offered well over 800 free readings. She presented a panel on the caravan at AWP 2007, Atlanta. The caravan was featured in the New York Times. The Austin chapter of the Poetry Caravan is a young caravan of kids who offered their musical and poetic talents in June 2010 to various organizations.
JOANNA KUROWSKA: POET
Dear Friends and Readers:
The spring is a fact! The weather treats us mild. I hope you have lots of energy for outdoor activities. Metaphorically, “outdoors” is not just the woods or lakeshore but also some much-needed FRESH AIR IN LANGUAGE! If you need a break from forms, commercials and the (typically bad) TV news, come to poetry! It’s a different world, for real!
READ POETRY, LISTEN TO IT, PONDER IT, LIVE IT!
An event to recommend is THE POETRY PENTATHLON: NORTH SHORE EDITION at Highland Park Poetry. Please come and support the contestants, and meet the fellow poetry lovers! The 2014 Pentathlon will take place at Art Center of Highland Park, 1957, Sheridan Road Friday, June 13, 8:00–10:00 PM. (I will be one of the judges).
And a few reminders…
|Inclusions is out, now available both at Cervena Barva Press and Amazon.
If you would like to receive a signed copy, please contact me directly
via e-mail or my website.
|The Wall & Beyond has earned fourteen 5-star only reviews on Amazon
(twelve on Amazon US and two on Amazon UK). The book has been
earning outstanding reviews also in journals, both scholarly and literary;
most recently Debbie Young’s review in Vine Leaves. More reviews are
coming! I’ll keep you posted.
|My In-Print radio interview will be broadcast again this Saturday at
11:00. To listen, go to www.rockfordcollegeradio.com; or listen to the
podcast (available on my website, in the ABOUT section).
|How did I become a poet writing in my second language?
I talk about it in my recent interview at Cervena Barva Press.
For more news, please visit me at my website
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Reviewed by Jason Schulman
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All at: WWW.LOGOSJOURNAL.COM
New release March 7, 2014:
Translated from Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin with Antuza Genescu
Rodica Draghincescu, born in 1962 in Buziaş, a town in the province of Timiş in the west of Romania, and now living in the region of Metz in France, was called by World Literature Today « one of the most spectacular figures in the new Romanian literature of the 1990s. » She has published prize-winning books of original poetry and prose fiction in Romanian and in French (both in France and Canada), as well as translations, interviews, and essays. Her work has also appeared in translation in England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. In 2006 Draghincescu was awarded the « Le Lien » Prize for Poetry in Nancy-Metz, France, and in 2013 the « Virgil » Prize for European poetry in Paris. Since 2007 she has served as Artistic Director of the International Poetry Festival of Metz and consultant for arts education to the institutions of culture of Lorraine, and she is editor-in-chief of the multilingual web-magazine Levure littéraire and on the editorial board of the German review Matrix.
Cover Art: Devis Grebu
About the Translators:
Adam J. Sorkin is a translator of contemporary Romanian literature, whose work has won the Poetry Society (U.K.) Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation for 2005, as well as the Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize and the Ioan Flora Prize for Poetry Translation. In 2011, he published A Path to the Sea by Liliana Ursu, translated with Ursu and Tess Gallagher (Pleasure Boat Studios—Silver Award winner in poetry as a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year), Ioan Flora’s Medea and Her War Machines, translated with Alina Cârâc (University of New Orleans Press—third-round selection for the National Translation Award), Ion Mureşan’s The Book of Winter and Other Poems, translated with Lidia Vianu (University of Plymouth Press), and The Vanishing Point That Whistles: An Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (Talisman House). In 2012, Mouths Dry with Hatred by Dan Sociu, translated with the author (Longleaf Press), and The Flying Head by Ioan Flora, translated with Elena Bortă (Toad Press), both appeared. Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of English at Penn State Brandywine.
Antuza Genescu is a free-lance translator who lives and works in Timişoara in the west of Romania. Her translations of Rodica Draghincescu with Adam J. Sorkin have appeared in literary publications in the United States, the Netherlands, and Slovenia, both in print and on the web.
$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9910091-2-1 | 41 Pages | In Stock