Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tracking Poetry Centres

The new look Australian Poetry is imminent. So am tracking directions other poetry centres are taking - poetry centres of one kind or another, in one part of the world or another, by one name or another. Some highlights:

• The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre’s new anthology titled See How I Land: Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers, is the result of a project bringing together 14 established poets and 14 refugees. It is supported by the Poetry Centre and the Oxford-based charity, Asylum Welcome.
• The Electronic Poetry Centre (EPC), Buffalo, is planning E-Poetry 2011, “a renowned biennial international artistic gathering founded on dialog over emerging issues in digital, visual, sound, and language-based artistic practice. Participants should keep in mind that its emphasis is on literary practice in an encompassing sense, i.e., the practice of thinking through engagement with the material aspects of media forms, the building of community, and the exchange of ideas across languages, borders, and ideologies. Accepting papers (250 words) until December 15.
 • The Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre, Queens University, Belfast, held the British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference in September. You can access a range readings by poets invited to regular readings at the centre through its online Poetry Audio Library.
• Just launched at the NZ Electronic Poetry Centre is All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney. An impressive selection of text, audio and video – you’ll need time to work through it.
 • The San Francisco State University Poetry Centre has run regular poetry readings since 1954 – possibly a US record (world record?). Their American Poetry Archives will be available to the public online from April 2011.
 • “English poetry has yet to engage with the rich poetic traditions of the many languages now spoken in the UK…” according to the London-based Poetry Translation Centre. Click here for African, Asian and Latin American poetry by poets with significant reputations in their own language base, translated into English and available as chapbooks and podcasts. Check out the very attractive boxed set of multilingual books – there may be some still available.
 • If you are going to London you could also catch up with Emergency Verse: Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State, an e-book with a print launch at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre in January 2011. This is the first event in Special Edition, a new series of poetry events on the first Wednesday of each month. "...find the most comprehensive collection of poetry in the UK transformed into the backdrop for poetry-related debates, talks, collaborations and readings of live poetry."
 • The Scottish Poetry Library is expanding its European holdings to foster relationships between Scottish and European poets. On their website you can find translations, Polish e-cards, NZ poetry extracts and a list of international links. No Australian entries under the Australasian heading (but I sent some info).
 • Also visited Centre International de Po├ęsie Marseille online. Darn – why didn’t I learn French.

A bit random but reflects my interests: multicultural, multilingual, support for refugees and migrants, social, international interactions, access and promotion through online activities.

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