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).
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.