Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, New Orleans, 6-8 pm / Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Brooklyn, NY, 7-9 pm
from hosts Emily Farranto (NOLA) and Justin Marks (Brooklyn)
Reading organized in partnership with Be'chol Lashon
In 2014 I organized a reading that would bring together people of different linguistic backgrounds for a reading. Many, or even most of the readers, were not writers or performers but came to read, to represent their country and language of origin or adoption. It was an experiment about language, community, and poetry.
In 2017, on the night of the presidential inauguration, I hosted the second Xenotheque reading at Mayjacks in New Orleans. We had more readers, more languages, and more attendees. The last poem read was Poem of Prohibitions written by Ahmed Fouad Negm and read by Khaled Hegazi, who with Andy Young, translated it from Arabic. That was one of the most memorable readings of a poem I have witnessed.
This January we are organizing another Xenotheque Multi- Language Reading, this time in multiple locations, New Orleans, LA and Brooklyn NY.
If you would like to join us, come. If you would like to read or to organize your own event, please see FAQ below.
Poetry in all languages is based on the length of a breath and the rhythm of the heart. People regardless of nationality have this in common. That and the strange impulse to write poems.
CAN I COME?
CAN I READ?
If you would like to read, and can make it to one of the readings, and speak a language other than American English, send us a message.
CAN I ORGANIZE A XENOTHEQUE READING?
1. Find a willing venue: libraries, galleries, bookstores, schools…
2. Find readers.
3. Let us know your location and we will post it here.
4. Get the word out about your reading.
5. Feel free to contact us for more details or to talk about hosting a reading.
HOW IS THE READING STRUCTURED?
Each poem is short, under one page. After an introduction the first reader is called by name. The reader states the title of the poem in English, the name of the poet, the language it is in and country it comes from. The the title of the poem and the poem are then read in the original language. Afterwords, we have a small reception.
I CAN’T MAKE IT TO NOLA OR BROOKLYN. CAN I SEE OR HEAR THE READING ONLINE?
We hope so. The Brooklyn event will be live-streamed with archiving on Berl’s facebook page.