Location: Theater Rotterdam - Witte De With - Studio,
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Three poets will read their full festival selection of poems: Dolores Dorantes (Mexico), Joost Baars (The Nederlands) and Gihan Omar (Egypt).
Gihan Omar was not able to travel to Rotterdam as the Dutch Ambassy in Caïro denied her the necessary visa.Goran Čolakhodži from Croatia will read his poems instead.
Goran Čolakhodžić (Croatia, 1990)
Goran Čolakhodžić is a poet and translator. He holds MA degrees in English and in Romanian. In 2015, his then-unpublished volume Na kraju taj vrt (In the End the Garden) won the Croatian poetry debut prize "Goran for Young Poets". The book was published later that year and in 2017 it won the international "Bridges of Struga" award for best poetry debut, awarded by the "Struga Poetry Evenings" festival in Macedonia. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines in Croatia and abroad and have been translated into a number of languages. He is assistant editor of the Croatian BEK (Free Electronic Books) Internet library and a member of the organising committee of the Croatian "Goranovo proljeće" (Goran's Spring) poetry festival.
The voices of women take centre stage in her work, forever myriad and equivocal.
Though Dolores Dorantes was scheduled to appear at the festival in 2012, death threats resulting from her journalistic work forced her to relocate to the US, which she was then not allowed to leave while applying for asylum. This year, she will be able to make it, living and working in Rotterdam for six weeks as a poet in residence. Dorantes' poetry constructs and deconstructs, remembers and forgets, putting into words the cruelty, pain and violence of the country she fled, yet also challenging those words. Still often suppressed in today's world, the voices of women take centre stage in her work, forever myriad and equivocal. Topical and political issues are always subtly present, too. Not only a poet, Dorantes also works as a journalist, a writing instructor, and a teacher in the Mahajrya Buddhist tradition.
Starting a conversation with the yard below his balcony, yet at the same time speaking to something more divine.
Nominated for the C. Buddingh' Prize and awarded the VSB Poetry Prize, Joost Baars' Binnenplaats made for a hugely successful and long-awaited debut in the world of poetry, where for years Baars has been working as a programmer and editor, appearing at events and in literary publications. In his first collection, Baars starts a conversation with the courtyard below his balcony, yet at the same time he also seems to be speaking to something more divine. He does this in a language that is precise and always deliberate. By searching his familiar, direct surroundings for something that supersedes reality, Baars manages to connect the everyday with the transcendental.
Omar is considered a member of the first generation of subversive female voices in Egyptian poetry.
Gihan Omar believes writing poetry to be something that can only happen out of sheer necessity. For herself, she locates this necessity in experiences that have transformed her outlook on life and the world. In one of her collections, for instance, she processes the deadly accident that took the lives of a friend and her husband. Omar is considered part of the first generation of subversive female voices in Egyptian poetry, which emerged in the 1990s. Adopting a clearly female and inquisitive perspective, Omar studies the world (and herself) almost as an outsider. With their sometimes very explicit and always honest tone, her poems clearly evince the necessity out of which they emerged.