Poetry International Poetry International
52e Poetry International Festival Rotterdam

Poetry reading: Ilya Kaminsky & Safia Elhillo

Date
Sa June 11
20:30 - 21:15
Location
LantarenVenster 2
Poetry reading: Ilya Kaminsky & Safia Elhillo

Poetry reading: Ilya Kaminsky & Safia Elhillo

Ilya Kaminsky (USA/Russia/Ukrain) & Safia Elhillo (USA/Sudan) - Interpreted into dutch sign language

Everyday life is a wonderful thing and to be quite honest it is all we have.” To Ilya Kaminsky (1977, USA/Russia/Ukrain), poetry is about creating a parallel reality, and thus creating freedom. He was born in Odessa, in the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine), but he and his family moved to the US in 1993. Like Raymond Antrobus, who was at last year’s festival, his deafness was overlooked in early childhood. Kaminsky's characters are often deaf, and yet they make love and dance against all the odds, oblivious to what is being said about them, and failing to hear any orders that may be issued. Kaminsky has a keen eye for the absurdity of existence, writes openly about cruelty and atrocities, but always remains engaged as an observer. With love and optimism, his poetry turns the other cheek. Violence and coercion are met with love, dance and music. His second collection Deaf Republic is regarded as "a contemporary epic”, “a remarkable book of poems”. Author Garth Greenwell calls Kamins...

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Everyday life is a wonderful thing and to be quite honest it is all we have.” To Ilya Kaminsky (1977, USA/Russia/Ukrain), poetry is about creating a parallel reality, and thus creating freedom. He was born in Odessa, in the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine), but he and his family moved to the US in 1993. Like Raymond Antrobus, who was at last year’s festival, his deafness was overlooked in early childhood. Kaminsky's characters are often deaf, and yet they make love and dance against all the odds, oblivious to what is being said about them, and failing to hear any orders that may be issued. Kaminsky has a keen eye for the absurdity of existence, writes openly about cruelty and atrocities, but always remains engaged as an observer. With love and optimism, his poetry turns the other cheek. Violence and coercion are met with love, dance and music. His second collection Deaf Republic is regarded as "a contemporary epic”, “a remarkable book of poems”. Author Garth Greenwell calls Kaminsky "the most brilliant of his generation, one of the world’s few geniuses”.

Sudanese-American poet Safia Elhillo (1990) was already making a name for herself at a young age with her spoken and written work. After a kickstart on the slam circuit her work began to appear in magazines and anthologies, including The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015) and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism (2018). Her debut collection The January Children was particularly highly regarded, “a deeply personal collection of poems that describe the experience of navigating the postcolonial world as a stranger in one’s own land” (Kwame Dawes, Goodreads). This personal search for Arabicness and Africanness and exploration of the tensions caused by this linked identity in these two worlds won her the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and the Arab American Book Award. With searing clarity, Elhillo conveys a state of displacement and longing; no longer prepared to acknowledge any predefined boundaries, she navigates a newly-formed world in a post-colonial narrative that is terrifying, tender and challenging in equal measure. In 2018 Elhillo appeared in Forbes Africa’s ‘30 Under 30’ list.

Host: Elfie Tromp

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

With sign interpreter. 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
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère