Poetry International Poetry International
54th Poetry International Festival Rotterdam
A Tale of Two Cities: Los Angeles & Rotterdam

A Tale of Two Cities: Los Angeles & Rotterdam

The very first cross-continental production of Poetry International

Host: Mason Granger (USA) 
USA: Scott Raven / Ariana Lee / Kylan Denny / Salome Agbaroji   
Netherlands: Soraya Shawki / Benzokarim / Jackie Ashin / Luc Howie Duzzith 

The very first cross-continental production of Poetry International offers spoken word on a level that we do not see often enough. A spectacular three-way collaboration with LA-based poets, Poetry Circle Nowhere and Poetry International, in which American poets and Dutch alumni of Poetry Circle Nowhere Rotterdam will come together to tell a tale of two cities through original poems created together across the Atlantic Ocean.

Bio Mason Granger  
Originally from Philadelphia PA, Mason Granger is a spoken word artist who has captivated audiences at home and abroad with his deft language and preternaturally engaging performances for 20+ years. In 2014, he created SlamFind, the first digital platform to connect fans of poetry videos with poets and live poetry venues across the US & Canada, and this connecting of the poetry ...

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Host: Mason Granger (USA) 
USA: Scott Raven / Ariana Lee / Kylan Denny / Salome Agbaroji   
Netherlands: Soraya Shawki / Benzokarim / Jackie Ashin / Luc Howie Duzzith 

The very first cross-continental production of Poetry International offers spoken word on a level that we do not see often enough. A spectacular three-way collaboration with LA-based poets, Poetry Circle Nowhere and Poetry International, in which American poets and Dutch alumni of Poetry Circle Nowhere Rotterdam will come together to tell a tale of two cities through original poems created together across the Atlantic Ocean.

Bio Mason Granger  
Originally from Philadelphia PA, Mason Granger is a spoken word artist who has captivated audiences at home and abroad with his deft language and preternaturally engaging performances for 20+ years. In 2014, he created SlamFind, the first digital platform to connect fans of poetry videos with poets and live poetry venues across the US & Canada, and this connecting of the poetry community to itself and to the rest of the world continues to be the foundation of his work to this day.   

From 2017-2019, Mason hosted & curated the weekly PoetNY open mic at Bowery Poetry Club in NYC while also serving as Executive Director through 2019. It was in this capacity that he, in collaboration with the Romanian Cultural Institute, spearheaded the creation of the Poezie 4x4 Poetry Exchange between New York City and Bucharest, Romania, giving poets from both cities an unforgettable first hand artistic and cultural experience.   

Now as a Los Angeles resident and Deputy Director at the youth literacy non-profit organization Get Lit–Words Ignite, Mason continues to pursue creative projects while helping to shape the future of spoken word poetry education in California and beyond. His debut full length poetry collection is slated for publication in Fall 2024.  

Bio Salome Agbaroji (Youth Poet Laureate VS)  
Salome Agbaroji is a Nigerian-American poet that has written and/or performed spoken word poetry for the Golden Globes Pre-Show, NFL Rams Halftime Show, an Opening Act on Rupi Kaur's World Tour, the likes of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors, Mrs. Tina Lawson, and many more. This year, she is an ambassador for Vans’ global grand campaign. Salome was a YoungArts winner in Spoken Word and has been honored by the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, among many others. She has been published in NPR's KCRW, Noema Magazine, the Harvard Technology Review, and more. Salome currently attends Harvard University, studying Government and Political Science. Her focuses outside of poetry are civic engagement and advocacy about issues such as racism towards minority communities, immigrant stories, injustices in the international community, and more.  

Bio Jackie Ashkin 
Jackie Ashkin is a Netherlands-based spoken word artist and researcher. Half-Malaysian and half-American, her writing draws on twenty-something years of experience living between and across cultures. Join her for a lyrical tour of intrusive thoughts and hot news items as she tries to make sense of a world falling apart at the seams – without getting too sad about it.  

Bio Luc Howie Duzzith 
Luc Howie Duzzith is a maker who hovers between different creative expressions.  In this, he tries as much as possible to serve the art and the feeling or state of mind that precedes the making process. Because of his versatility, this can be expressed in spoken word, poetry, stories, music or theatre. His words are a way of holding up a mirror to others, but especially himself, and seeking deeper layers of emotions and thinking in himself and others. 

At Poetry Circle, he learned to make himself vulnerable on stage and share this with others, drawing strength and energy from it. During this time, he was a regular at Sprakuhloos. In 2023, he won the Spoken Word Award and the Golden Award at the Spoken Awards, followed by a theatre tour. Despite all this, he will describe himself as a maker rather than a word artist or with such labels. 

Bio Soraya Shawki aka SorayaSpeaking 
Soraya Shawki (or SorayaSpeaking) is a researcher, spokenword artist and poet. Her work is hopeful, personal and interdisciplinary. She debuted her spoken word as a winner of the MLK spoken word contest in 2022 and as a finalist of the El Hizjra Literature Contest and the NK PoetrySlam in 2023. Her love for words is growing by the day and she hopes to build bridges with her creative writing; for reconciliation with herself and the world around her. 

Bio Benzokarim 
Benzokarim (born 1996) is a poet, spoken word artist and writer. Karim moves even before he has spoken. His presence speaks. His readings are musical, rhythmic, dynamic and riddled with emotions as only he can articulate them. Karim has found a home in both the spoken and written word. For him, writing is an activist and poetic act.  

In 2022, he was part of the Letterenfonds' Slow Writing Lab, and won the El Hizjra literature prize (Poetry). He is also a coach at Poetry Circle and an editor at People Say Things. Besides performing at various venues such as Lowlands, Crossing Border, Read My World, Poetry International, Opera Forward Festival and the Book Ball, he debuted his poetry collection El Ghorba on 18 November 2022, a collection that focuses on conversations with his father - and remembering his mother.

Date:
Fr June 7
Location:
LantarenVenster - zaal 1

Festival poets

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