lyrikline blog

World Poetry Day and an Open Call from Belgium

To celebrate World Poetry Day on March 21, Lyrikline publishes six fine new poets from around the world between March 19-21 (find all their names below).

Laurence Vielle, photo © Isaora Sanna

Laurence Vielle

One of them is Wallonian poet Laurence Vielle, the first poet contributed by our new Wallonian network partner L’Arbre de Diane.

Laurence was the Belgian National Poet until Els Moors took over in January of 2018. Now Els Moors has started an open call in connection with World Poetry Day:

Adopt your city with a poem

On the 21st of March, World Poetry Day, the National Poet of Belgium, Els Moors, invites all people worldwide to gather their most beautiful odes and elegies on their cities (/ countries / states / …) and make them public. In times of gentrification, mass tourism and worldwide migration we are craving for lonely flâneurs and notorious wanderers who want to lay bare the mysterious heart of their cities. Are you still in love with the city you were born in? Were you pushed on by love, or obliged to leave your hearth and home? Adopt your city by writing an urban elegy and take part in the writing of the most exotic Lonely Planet at this time: The adopted cities.

Would you like to contribute to this special worldwide anthology, and motivate others to join?
Then join this action in a few steps:
1. Publish your own poem on our page starting the 21st of March 2018: www.adoptedcities.be
2. Post your poem on all your possible (social) media and encourage fellow citizens to adopt a city with a poem and to join the action. Everybody can share their city-poem on our website. On Facebook, please use #adoptedcities so we can follow and share your posts.
3. Enjoy an easily accessible and interactive online anthology, a playful way to motivate people to read and write poetry! 

Els Moors, private photo

Els Moors

Read the poems of Els Moors, “Dichter des Vaderlands” of Belgium here. Read the city poem of her predecessor and ambassador Laurence Vielle here.
We would – very much – like people from all over the world to take just a minute to think about poetry (and all its modern interpretations) and to write even a short piece of poetry. Let’s make a tribute to poetry and to our world together!

We hope that many people out there follow Els Moors’ call to post poems. We’d also like to invite you to discover the other new voices that we published on the occasion of this year’s World Poetry Day, next to Laurence Vielle:
M. NourbeSe Philip (Tobago/Canada)
Sukrita Paul Kumar
(India)
Benjamín Chávez (Bolivia)
Ketty Nivyabandi (Burundi/Canada) and
Yoko Tawada (Japan/Germany).

Happy World Poetry Day!

 

Poetry from Burundi

Posted in Adams Sinarinzi, Autoren / poets, country portrait, Länderporträt, our network partners by Heiko Strunk on 20. April 2016

By Adams Sinarinzi of Ubuntu Advocates Initiative, the Lyrikline partner organisation in Burundi

Presenting poetry from Burundi is not an easy task. T.S. Eliot seemed to think true poetry is hardly translated, and one needs to truly sense where those words are from. Until the emergence of the modern, there was no need of presentingpoetry, for poetry was part of life.

….do you feel her drive?
Look at his eyes,
Do you read his verse? 
[1]

But the unity of life, some will say, was lost with the last myth and cosmic societies, that Burundi belonged to until a century ago. Dissolved by the increasing requirements of the modern world, several separate and independent spheres were born. One of them, the arts and culture, has grown (often unwillingly) to acquire the function of precisely representing the lost unity.

Beyond their powers to express the various contradictions and sensitivities, the world literature offers us symbolic levers for an understanding and appropriation of our lives. The young contemporary Burundian literature is best understood in this context, which is of an attempt to understand its environment and express its sensibility to the world.

In his academic book La Littérature de langue française au Burundi, [2] Professor J. Ngorwanubusa of the University of Burundi regrets however the few avenues for the literature of Burundi. There is barely any publishing house; a few reviews had been existing in the 1960s and 1970s but never survived except a few Christian reviews run by a few members of the Burundi Catholic Church.

samandari_10_SW.jpg

But the interested literary person won’t miss the corners behind the central market where the old (often stolen!) books are sold, the oldest book storeLibrairie St Paul, or the French cultural center (whose interesting café hosts the unfortunately more and more penniless intellectuals in the city!) and of course the newly opened Lire Africa in Gallerie Alexander, specializing in fiction from Africa. A blog by the poet Thierry Manirambona (“la plume burundaise”) lists an impressive archeology of Burundian books old and new, and a few poets do publish their poetry  directly on the internet as the acclaimed Ketty Nivyabandi.

Poetry in print might be hard to find in the country, but if you are insisting you will discover the underground intellectual and literary scene of the marvelous Café literaire Samandari that meets every Thursday evening at the Burundi Palace right in the middle of the city center. But one should say they met there, for since a year now these meetings are no longer held. (more…)