Poetry and Media #018

Filed under: Poetry and Media |

Vahni Capildeo and Xasan Daahir "Weedhsame" will be joining forces for "Poetics of Place and Displacement," a virtual reading and discussion happening on November 11th. With all the talk of politics and elections, it can be all too easy to lose sight of how damaging, on a human level, the strange rituals of nations can be. From the UN: "There are now 80 million displaced people around the world–almost double the number from a decade ago–owing to war, violence, persecution, and other emergencies." Capildeo and Weedhsame are uniquely equipped to talk about this global castastrophe. Capildeo is the author of Measures of Expatriation, a book burdened by associations with leaving and distance–from mythical exodus, to bird migration, to recent conflicts in the Middle East and their human consequences. Weedhsame was born in eastern Somalia but at the age of six was forced to flee with his family to the Dul'ad refugee camp in Ethiopia. While Capildeo's work is widely available, Weedhsame's is harder to track down. In one of the few poems of his translated into English that's available online, he writes:

I'm not putting hope aside,
your gloating is a raised stick,
I'm not learning my lesson,
you show no mercy,
I cannot be silent,
you've withheld kind words,
I brought you flowers,
you handed me thorns.
Click here to read the rest of Weedhsame's poem. Capildeo's poem "Erasure as Shinethrough" was recently given life as an artful audiovisual piece on the York Centre for Writing YouTube channel. The poem is a multilingual series of expressionistic bursts derived from an essay by Simone WeilClick here to watch. And for more details on the Capildeo and Weedhsame virtual event, click here.
And now, the Poetry and Media digest:
  • Mimi Naja, Jay Cobb Anderson, and Kellen Asebroek are a trio of singer/songwriters who make up the band Fruition. The group performed their song "The New Colossus" (which borrows many of its lyrics from an Emma Lazarus poem of the same title) at the Democracy Comes Alive virtual music festival. Click here to watch.
  • Aimé Césaire, in a 1950 essay entitled "Discourse on Colonialism," wrote, "Europe is responsible before the human community for the highest heap of corpses in history." These words open a recent installment of the BBC's "Arts & Ideas" radio program that features Sudhir HazareesinghAlexandra Reza, and Jason Allen-Paisant discussing Césaire's crucial work. Click here to listen.
  • Uche Nduka and Sophia Dahlin were the guests on a recent installment of "LIVE! from City Lights," a momentarily virtual reading series hosted by Peter Maravelis, events coordinator at the legendary City Lights Bookstore. Click here to listen.
  • Amanda Choo QuanChiwan Choi, and Shivanee Ramlochan kicked off the inaugural episode of Boca Lit Fest's new streaming program "Lit's Be Real." You can watch a replay of the broadast on the Boca Lit Fest Facebook page. Click here.
  • A.F. Moritz, the poet laureate of Toronto, asked readers of the Toronto Star to send him haiku about the U.S. presidential election. The day after election day, Moritz compiled some of his favorites and shared them with the world. Click here to read and listen.
  • Samuel Ace's Zoom reading series "@Salon Pride: Queer Sound 2020" has been archived on the Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora Vimeo page. Click here to watch the June 30th episode, which features Andrea Abi-Karam and Serena Chopra.
  • Alex Spenser lost her race to represent Oregon's 2nd District in the United States Congress. Spenser's campaign website describes her as "a poet who believes in peace and sees poetry in all things." To get a sense of Spenser's social vision, click here to watch a brief interview.
  • Sylvia Plath's honeymoon with Ted Hughes is the subject of the upcoming film It Snows in Benidorm. Filming is currently taking place in Benidorm, a Spanish tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast. Click here to learn more.
  • Finally, a virtual event to check out… Morgan Parker is the guest reader at UC Santa Cruz's Morton Marcus Poetry Reading. The event takes place on November 12th. Click here to register
For tips, comments, questions, or anything in between, drop us a line at pswebed@unl.edu.