Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's that time again ...

This year is the 25th anniversary of the International Festival of Poetry here in Trois-Rivières.

No, this is not a painted blue metal filing cabinet left abandoned in the library courtyard--it's the Poetry Mailbox, put there intentionally for people to submit their poems.  Just drop them in the slot and someone will read them.  Who knows, you may be invited to read at next year's Poetry Festival.

Side view of the Poetry Mailbox

This is one of many plaques placed all over downtown--in walkways, over doorways, and mounted on the sides of buildings.  This one was affixed to the wooden wall next to the steps climbing up from rue de Forge at Parc-Portuaire, to the Terrasse Turcotte overlooking the harbor.

The above poem, by Bulgarian poet, Miglena Nikolchina, speaks about the language of lovers, a language that doesn't yet exist, but which we immediately comprehend.

This year there will come poets from Denmark, Argentina, Mexico, the Ivory Coast, France, Spain, Turkish Kurdistan,  Uruguay, Columbia, Tibet, Benin, Burkina Faso, Syria, Chili, Australia, La Reunion, Nepal, Russia, Belgium (one each from Brussels and Flanders), the U.S., and Lebanon, as well as Canada (New Brunswick, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and of course, Québec).

For ten days, from October 2 through 11,  these poets will give multiple readings that will take place at various times from morning to night at libraries, bookstores, restaurants, coffeehouses, schools, art galeries, concert halls, cultural centers, at the cinema, in workshops, at jazz sessions, and outdoors in the park.  It's a wonderful opportunity to meet some poets whose work you admire, and discover exciting or interesting poems from poets entirely new to you.

So for nine days, it's all about Poetry.  If you're in town and want to attend some readings, you can pick up the little 103-page pamphlet listing all the poets, the times and place of their readings, complete with map and directions, available free at all the public libraries, hotels and bookstores.  On Friday, October 9th, for example, there will be 38 separate readings happening all over town (some occurring simultaneously). 

The list of poets who will be reading at the Festival this year can be found here, in French.

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