I went to the 10th anniversary of lyrikline, an on line repository of poetry from 50 countries. Had the pleasure of hearing a speech from the President of Germany. More interesting was a speech and poetry by Lebogang Mashile from South Africa who talked about how poetry for black South Africans was an accessible living form- oral history and family poems are part of their culture which was devalued by the coloniser (I’m paraphrasing). She said its the voice of black women, and her stories and privilege is to be on TV or on radio so people can hear her words. It was truly inspiring. I also got to hear Aki Takase play who is a brilliant Japanese improviser and prepared piano player who is 60 and has the vigour and energy of someone much much younger.
In other networking news- myself, Archana Prassad, and Lady Gaby will be trialling a three way poetry reading in Australia, Berlin and India on December 6 (unfortunately midnight Australian time). Archana is the co-ordinator of Jaaga an artist collective gallery space in India which has its own portable building. I will be visiting Archana and Jaaga on my way to Dublin next year for my next residency in June 2010.
I did a reading at Wunderbar- Lady Gaby’s studio space which went down well. A good warmup for my Literaturwerkstatt reading on November 4 in Berlin.