Poets of the World, Unite!
Poets from nine countries converged on campus to celebrate Semana Poetica IX, an international poetry festival featuring poetic performances, discussions and readings in several languages.
Poets from Italy, Russia, China, Spain, Germany, Iran, Bulgaria, Israel and the United States met with students and professors in writing and language courses and performed readings for the greater Dickinson community, often speaking candidly about their professions and bodies of work. Many read their poems in both English and in their native tongues.
The five-day festival began Oct. 29 with readings by Catherine Wing, an award-winning American poet whose work was recently chosen for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2010, and by Dickinson seniors Anya Settle and Mitchell Cooper. A musical performance by Associate Professor of Music Lynn Helding and Music Instructor Eun Ae Baik-Kim followed. [Article continues below.]
The week's highlights included an exhibition of drawings by poet/artist Günter Kunert, who studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Berlin, and whose works often reflect his experiences with war and fascism in World War II Germany. Last summer in Bremen, Germany, President William G. Durden '71 presented Kunert with an honorary doctor of letters.
The poets closed the festival on Oct. 28 with a reception and joint performance in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium. Semana Poetica IX was co-sponsored by the Dickinson College's academic affairs and global education departments, the Waidner-Spahr Library, The Trout Gallery and the departments of Spanish & Portuguese, German, French & Italian, Russian, East Asian studies, English, Middle East studies and music.
By MaryAlice Bitts Jackson
Photos by A. Pierce Bounds '71