Celebrating Poetry Around the World

“[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”  Adrienne Rich, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics



Apartment repairs, world affairs, and a plethora of other things distracted me from a day (yesterday) that is important to all of us, World Poetry Day . . . but then again for us every day is world poetry day.

“Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

“In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

“A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

“One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

“The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.” UNESCO

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely need to link to the site to view “100 Poets. One Poem – Kommune World Poetry Day Special 2019.”  Really, quite a wonderful video. 


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Creative Activist Ai Weiwei to receive award at Pen America 2018 Litfest Gala

Ai Weiwei (2017) courtesy of Jindřich Nosek (NoJin) under CC BY-SA 4.0 license

“When human beings are scared and feel everything is exposed to the government, we will censor ourselves from free thinking. That’s dangerous for human development.” Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, China)



PEN American announced this weekend that artist Ai Weiwei (Ai Weiwei’s blog,Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009) will receive the Artistic Expression Award at the organization’s 2018 LitFest Gala in Los Angeles. Ai is renowned for making bold aesthetic statements that expose fault lines, unmask hypocrisies, and unleash empathy on a global scale. This honor comes in the wake of the razing of Ai Weiwei’s Beijing studio, including the destruction of several artworks, purportedly to make way for gentrification.

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Ai Weiwei – Forever, 2018, Artz Pedregal, Mexico City courtesy of Keizers under CC BY-SA 4.0

“Ai Weiwei’s inventive, iconic, and utterly original lens on contemporary life both within and outside China have bridged the worlds of art and activism, awakening millions to the plight of refugees, government corruption, and human suffering. His dramatic, insistent, and impossible-to-forget films, artworks, and installations have jolted the art world, inspired millions, and stoked fear in the minds of governments alert to the power of creativity to spark social change,” said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel.

“Ai Weiwei has, for decades, endured the personal price of harassment, intimidation, and constraints on his freedom in his determination to speak out and be a voice for those who cannot. Coming without warning, the demolition of his studio last weekend was a vivid reminder of the arbitrary and unpredictable exercise of power that Ai’s work has consistently exposed and contested. PEN America has been proud to stand with Ai Weiwei in his courageous posture of artistic defiance, and is honored to present him with our Artistic Expression Award this year.”

From architecture to installations, social media to documentaries, Ai Weiwei uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values.

Recent exhibitions include: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors with the Public Art Fund in New York City; Ai Weiwei on Porcelain at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul; Maybe, Maybe Not at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; and Ai Weiwei. Libero at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. In the fall of 2018, Ai Weiwei will open three major exhibitions in Los Angeles.

Ai currently resides and works in Berlin. He is the current Einstein Visiting Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation. Ai’s first feature-length documentary, Human Flow, premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival in competition.

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. 


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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

POETRY BLOCK PARTY: Heads-up Chicago … this sounds like fun …

“Well, write poetry for God’s sake. It’s the only thing that matters.” e.e. commings



This sounds like something worthy of imitation.

On Saturday, July 28, the Poetry Foundation, Crescendo Literary, and the Austin Town Hall host the 3rd annual Chicago Poetry Block Party. Between 3:00 and 8:00 PM at Austin Town Hall (5620 W. Lake Street), guests of all ages can join in the fun. Poetry, creativity, and literature come alive with writing workshops, visual art activities, poetry readings, games, and musical performances.

The Chicago Poetry Block Party features musical performances from Tasha, Brandon Markell Holmes, avery r. young, and the CPBP House Band. Award-winning poet Danez Smith and other poets from across the U.S. will perform their work. An open mic will allow a chance for participants to take the stage.

The Chicago Poetry Block Party is the culmination of a three-day-long poetry Incubator held July 25-27, presented by the Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary. Through workshops and talks, the Incubator brings together a large group of emerging poets from around the country who engage with community through their poetry. Faculty Tyehimba Jess and Kay Ulanday Barrett share their expertise, teaching Incubator poet participants to enhance their practices and community work.

“The Chicago Poetry Block Party brings poetry onto the streets every summer. It’s a great place to experience the immediacy and vibrancy of the art form, and it’s why the festival is a perfect collaboration for the Poetry Foundation,” said Henry Bienen, President of the Poetry Foundation. “This event creates a space for connection between poets, artists, and families to celebrate and create together.”

Eve Ewing, Director of Crescendo Literary, says, “We’re so excited to host the Chicago Poetry Block Party on the West Side this year. As always, our goal is to have a poetry event that’s open to everyone– hardcore poetry lovers as well as people who just want to enjoy a fun Chicago festival. We’ve worked hard to offer something for everyone.”

Tebrena Howard, Supervisor of the Austin Town Hall, added, “We’re excited to be hosting this party in Austin. There is a vibrant community of artists and poets already here and partnering with these organizations adds loft and scope to these voices.”


About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.


About Crescendo Literary
A collaboration between poets Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall, Crescendo Literary creates and curates events, works of art, and educational resources grounded in the belief that 1) artists can, should, and must be accountable to the communities from which they emerge, and 2) communities, in turn, are strengthened by the meaningful presence of excellent art. For more information, please visit crescendoliterary.com.


About Austin Town Hall
Located in the Austin community, Austin Town Hall Park and Cultural Center is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and covers 3.17 acres. The park features a field house with an indoor swimming pool, two kitchens, a gymnasium, a performance theater/auditorium and a fitness center. Outside, the park offers a basketball court and children’s playground.

Majestic in design, the Austin Town Hall Park and Cultural Center was once the town hall of the Village of Cicero, Illinois. Today, the space is used for park activities including a variety of dance, music and theater classes, music production and more.


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and  California Woman.

Heads-up poets and poetry lovers in Hamilton Ontario and surrounding area: Save the Date


 

MICHAEL DICKEL a poet, fiction writer, and photographer, has taught at various colleges and universities in Israel and the United States. Dickel’s writing, art, and photographs appear in print and online. His poetry has won international awards and been translated into several languages. His chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism came out from Locofo Chaps in 2017. Is a Rose Press released his most recent full-length book (flash fiction), The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, in 2016. Previous books: War Surrounds Us, Midwest / Mid-East, and The World Behind It, Chaos… He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36(2010). He was managing editor for arc-23 and arc-24. With producer / director David Fisher, he received an NEH grant to write a film script about Yiddish theatre. He is the former chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. Meta/ Phor(e) /Play is Michael’s blogZine Michael on Social Media: Twitter | FaceBook Page | Instagram | Academia  Michael is also an a member of The BeZine core team.