Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lithuanian Poets

To the Book Festival yesterday for a reading by three Lithuanian poets: Eugenijus Alisanka, Gintaras Grajauskas and Sigitas Parulskis, representing one half of the anthology Six Lithuanian Poets. It was a fairly small audience, not even filling up the smallest of the festival's performance tents. A pity, really, because the absentees missed themselves: it was a very good reading. The poets read their work in Lithuanian, with the translations read by somebody from Arc whose name I forget but whose face is familiar (though she does look very much like Iseabail McLeod formerly of Scottish Language Dictionaries). I'm utterly unfamiliar with Lithuanian, but it was still fairly easy to hear some of the rhythm and song that was missing from the translations, although the latter weren't bad poems in English either.

Next definite on my festival list is "Jidariyya", by the Palestinian National Theatre. It's based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, who died at the weekend, so it ticks the poetry box too. After that, it's my 3pm appearance at the "Four Hour Festival" on Saturday, though I'm hoping I'll get the chance to look in on other West Port Book Festival events too.

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