With Raymond Antrobus Jamaica/UK | Agustín Fernández Mallo Spain | Dorothea Grünzweig Germany | Mihret Kebede Ethiopia und Robert Lippok Germany (music) | Kim Yideum South Korea | Wulf Kirsten Germany | Halyna Kruk Ukraine | Aleš Šteger Slovenia und Jure Tori Slovenia (music) | Julia Wong Kcomt Peru | Moderation: Maren Jäger Germany
Weltklang - Night of Poetry is the poesiefestival berlin’s polyphonic opening event. Poets from all over the world will read, sing, and perform in seven languages – demonstrating the richness of contemporary poetry in all its approaches and styles.
An anthology with the event’s German translations will be published for simultaneous reading (and re-reading) at Edition diá (Berlin).
Raymond Antrobus (born 1986 in London, England) is a Jamaican-British poet whose two volumes of poetry have led him to be a shooting star in international poetry. He writes about casual racism, discrimination against deaf people, and his relationship with his parents. His poems are at once assertive and warm, direct and playful.
Agustín Fernández Mallo (born 1967 in A Coruña, Spain) is known all over the world – in Germany he is considered an insider tip. Critics compare him to Borges and Bolaño. Mathias Énard calls him the most original and powerful author of his generation in Spain. His work creates “worlds from which we must look back at ourselves and recalibrate” (DBC Pierre).
Dorothea Grünzweig (born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1952) is a solo act in contemporary German-language poetry. Having lived in Finland since 1989, her poems combine Sami mythology and Swabian childhood – they are intimate dialogues with Nordic nature and the dead. Grünzweig’s language captures the “lively sense of possibility” latent in all things – one that is unleashed by her poems.
Mihret Kebede (born in Dese, Ethiopia, in 1978) enjoys working in collaborative, cross-cultural contexts. Her poetry, written in Amharic, is pictorial and emotional, analytical and reflective, tender and assertive at the same time – open texts for all those marginalized in the name of cultural and social hegemonies. For Weltklang, she collaborates with musician and composer Robert Lippok.
In Kim Yideum’s poems (born in Jinju, South Korea, in 1969), multiple figures appear, destroying world orders with their unwieldy language. Her decidedly feminist poetry subverts social norms with eroticism and sarcasm, with drama and dissonance. In her poems, we observe the beauty of outsiders – their wild and clever power.
Wulf Kirsten (born 1934 in Klipphausen near Meissen, Germany) is often called a landscape poet, and yes: in a landscape‘s layers he reveals past and present, memories of childhood and of great historical developments. Kirsten's poems elude every current: they are themselves in flux, with a language “in which one can provision oneself against speed, adaptation, loss” (Martin Walser).
For Halyna Kruk (born 1974 in Lviv, Ukraine), poetry is never an end in itself. She does not want to “write about stars in the sky when there is something more important, something more timely and topical.” She will read poems written especially for Weltklang, all of which deal with the current situation. These are texts about the square root of evil – and the hope of awaking in a different dream the next morning.
Aleš Šteger (born 1973 in Ptuj, Slovenia) is one of Slovenia's best-known authors: a cosmopolitan and traveler, an author of unpretentious, long-reverberating lines. He writes poems "in which the inevitable and mercy can take space and breathe" (Marica Bodrožić). At Weltklang, Šteger will perform a dramatic, intimate, and entirely dusted-off “lyric cabaret” with accordionist Jure Tori.
Julia Wong Kcomt's (born 1965 in Chepén, Peru) poems speak from the diasporic soul with great lucidity. Her Peruvian family’s Chinese roots leads her extensive body of work to pay better attention to different cultures and ethnic and religious diversities.
Project leaders: Alexander Gumz, Matthias Kniep
WELTKLANG – Night of Poetry is kindly supported by the Instituto Cervantes Berlin, the Embassy of the Republic of Peru and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, the Slovenian Cultural Institute Berlin (SKICA), the Berlin Artists Program of the DAAD, the British Council Berlin, the Korean Cultural Center, Literature Translation Institute of Korea, and The Mandala Hotel.
Raymond Antrobus takes part in the festival as part of the European poetry platform Versopolis, funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.