Poetry International Poetry International
52e Poetry International Festival Rotterdam

Short reading: three poets

Date
Fr June 10
19:00 - 19:45
Location
LantarenVenster 1
Short reading: three poets

Short reading: three poets

Ilya Kaminsky, Sasja Janssen & Kim Yideum

Kim Yideum (South-Korea, 1969) believes the way history is generally presented is too neat and tidy. Where are the courtesans, why does no one talk about the women who chose a different life? In her poems she seeks out the darker sides of life, the places and events that are not usually talked about. Figures brush up against each other in dark alleyways, never shying away from the physical reality of contact. The body is sometimes dirty, wet and sticky, and it is precisely this imperfect state that Kim Yideum describes, attentively and full of wonder, so vividly that it can almost make the reader uncomfortable. Some poems are brief, gentle and romantic, while others are as muddled as monologues delivered by an unreliable narrator, brimming with contradictions. While her characters are sometimes listless, yearning for scandal and adventure, Yideum always manages to grab and hold the attention of her readers and listeners.

"Everyday life is a wonderful thing and to be quite honest it...

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Kim Yideum (South-Korea, 1969) believes the way history is generally presented is too neat and tidy. Where are the courtesans, why does no one talk about the women who chose a different life? In her poems she seeks out the darker sides of life, the places and events that are not usually talked about. Figures brush up against each other in dark alleyways, never shying away from the physical reality of contact. The body is sometimes dirty, wet and sticky, and it is precisely this imperfect state that Kim Yideum describes, attentively and full of wonder, so vividly that it can almost make the reader uncomfortable. Some poems are brief, gentle and romantic, while others are as muddled as monologues delivered by an unreliable narrator, brimming with contradictions. While her characters are sometimes listless, yearning for scandal and adventure, Yideum always manages to grab and hold the attention of her readers and listeners.

"Everyday life is a wonderful thing and to be quite honest it is all we have.” To Ilya Kaminsky (USA/Ukraine), 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”.

Sasja Janssen (the Netherlands, 1968) is a poet and author of novels and short stories. The body features in her poetry in many forms, from vehicle to target, and from weapon to wound. Her ability to make her often physical fascinations tangible unparalleled, as she condenses them into something that nestles in the body like a secret. After the success of her collections Ik trek mijn species aan (Putting On My Species, 2014, nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize) and Happy (2017), she is now causing a stir with Virgula (2021), for which she received the Awater Poetry Prize and has received nominations for the Ida Gerhardt Poetry Prize and this year's Herman de Coninck Prize and De Grote Poëzieprijs (Grand Poetry Prize) for best poetry collection of the year. This collection strikes an impressive balance between mystery and razor-sharp intent, with Janssen’s use of the comma (virgula in Latin) constantly causing shifts and contrasts in perspective. The boldness of this small intervention turns a little glitch into the tissue that connects interpretation and confusion; a tiny stumble in the ceaseless flow of life.

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. 

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