Poetry International Poetry International
52e Poetry International Festival Rotterdam

Poetry reading: Threa Almontaser & Takako Arai

Date
Fr June 10
20:30 - 21:30
Location
LantarenVenster 2
Poetry reading: Threa Almontaser & Takako Arai

Poetry reading: Threa Almontaser & Takako Arai

Poetry reading: Threa Almontaser (USA) & Takako Arai (Japan)

Threa Almontaser (1993, USA) is a Yemini American poet. Her poetry is an incisive exploration of a life lived between two cultures. Her poems are littered with Arabic words, which alienate English-speaking readers from their own language. She refers in her work to her own sense of alienation caused by the hostile attitude of fellow Americans after the 9/11 attacks, as in the poem Hunting Girliness, where she writes: ‘(I) wore the city’s hatred as hijab’. In many of her poems she criticises conventional ideas about femininity in light of the violence that occurs in all kinds of situations around the world. The vulnerability of the body facing ideological oppression is also starkly underlined in Almontaser’s work. In physical reality, life in two languages plays a major role. She contrasts the language of our consumerist world – devour, taste, swallow – with the story of Yemen, the hunger, the conflict and her parents’ history. Almontaser’s poetry prompts us to think about language an...

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Threa Almontaser (1993, USA) is a Yemini American poet. Her poetry is an incisive exploration of a life lived between two cultures. Her poems are littered with Arabic words, which alienate English-speaking readers from their own language. She refers in her work to her own sense of alienation caused by the hostile attitude of fellow Americans after the 9/11 attacks, as in the poem Hunting Girliness, where she writes: ‘(I) wore the city’s hatred as hijab’. In many of her poems she criticises conventional ideas about femininity in light of the violence that occurs in all kinds of situations around the world. The vulnerability of the body facing ideological oppression is also starkly underlined in Almontaser’s work. In physical reality, life in two languages plays a major role. She contrasts the language of our consumerist world – devour, taste, swallow – with the story of Yemen, the hunger, the conflict and her parents’ history. Almontaser’s poetry prompts us to think about language and culture, roots and destination, anew and persuasively perceptive.

Celebrated Japanese poet Takako Arai (1966) replied to our invitation to Rotterdam with a poem about her frequent trips to small villages, where she sits on a bench and listens to the voices of old ladies. Everything is poetry to Arai. Her poems are playful, avant-garde and vibrant. They track sounds to their source, express how sounds are made in the body and give them names. In the enthralling anthology Factory Girls (2020) rhythmic, narrative poems reveal the harsh hidden world of women who work in the declining silk industry, bringing their emotional world to life and placing them in surreal situations: “Ghosts, people, factories, and creatures blow through each other like smoke rings (…) so vivid and vermicular, they all but crawl under the reader’s skin.” (Japan Times)

Host: Fiep van Bodegom

Pricing

For this program you need a day ticket for Friday 10 June or a festival passe-partout
Day ticket: 10 to 20 euro’s
Passe-partout (three days): 25 – 50 euro’s
Discounts for CJP, Student card, Rotterdampas

Language and duration

Poets will read their work in their own language. Translations in English and Dutch will be presented simultaneously through projections.



Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère