Poetry International Poetry International
52e Poetry International Festival Rotterdam

Short reading: three poets

Date
Sa June 11
18:00 - 18:45
Location
LantarenVenster 1
Short reading: three poets

Short reading: three poets

Threa Almontaser, Marjolijn van Heemstra & Laura Jane Lee

Threa Almontaser 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 persuasively perceptive poetry prompts us to think anew ...

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Threa Almontaser 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 persuasively perceptive poetry prompts us to think anew about language and culture, roots and destination.

Marjolijn van Heemstra is a poet, writer and theatre maker who recently became Amsterdam’s poet laureate. Her vocation is to ask questions, out loud. Her apparently limitless fascination with the unfathomable dimensions of the universe seduces us all into wondering in awe at how all that vastness resonates in our insignificant existence. In her poetry, asking the question is infinitely more important than any answer. This creates a breathtaking boundlessness that gives us the scope to see and move beyond the confines of the human. A constant dual awareness, in which life takes place in the omnipresence of death, echoes through her most recent collection Reistijd, Bedtijd, IJstijd. The juxtaposition of these contradictions gives time a cyclical aspect and the body, which carries within it all possible perspectives, acts as a knot, tying up all those temporal entanglements. Van Heemstra is able to adjust the scale of her view like no other, thereby adjusting our view, and scaling everything within us.  

Young Laura Jane Lee surprised us with her recently published collection flinch & air (October 2021), which is as much about love as it is a unique exploration of Asian female identity.Against the backdrop of the mass protests in Hong Kong, she explores Asian women’s cultural, political and social struggle, particularly that of her female ancestors, telling a story of indebtedness, courage, resilience and sacrifice. At the same time, she delves in a clear, fresh way into the sensuality, tenderness, madness and uncertainty of romantic love. Lee writes in English and in Mandarin. In her poems, the two languages enter into a dialogue, and she also engages in discussion with poets like Frank O’Hara and Reginald Shepherd, her great inspirations. “This poetry has an uncanny lightness and ease of movement. It is sharp, funny and deeply seeing.” (Mark Waldron) 

 

Pricing

For this program you need a day ticket for Saturday 11 June or a festival passe-partout
Day ticket: 10 to 25 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. 

Related Events

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