Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pen World Voices, KGB Bar and Romanian poets in NYC

OK, Pen World Voices happened in NYC and we (I and a bunch of cool and interesting Romanian poets of various ages and voices/styles: Elena Vladareanu, Constantin Vica, Razvan Tupa, Dan Sociu, Nora Iuga, Eugen Suman, Vasile Leac, Nina Cassian) had poetry readings at KGB BAR and RCINY.
I curated the reading at KGB - yea, I thought it would be fun and ironic to read there with the Romanian poets. What did "curating" mean: got us scheduled/approved there, it's a selective literary venue - it's not like everybody can read there, got my friend Sharon Mesmer on board to co-host cuz I knew the Romanian writers wouldn't be happy just with me, so I also invited Brandon from Calque who's gonna publish an issue with Romanian poetry in translation, meaning: with them, not with me cuz I write in English, but anyway I'm happy that the Romanian poets who came here, very talented people, most of them for the first time in NYC, were excited by the KGB Bar Reading and the responses they got. Razvan Tupa posted short videos with our readings on YouTube, here's the link to my GOOGLE ME! poem and you'll find there links to the other poets too:


diana said...

i guess it was only Ruxandra Cesereanu and Adrian Codrescu missing from the "assembly" of Romanian poets...

Saviana said...

I didn't choose the poets who came to New York. But I did ask Andrei Codrescu and he couldn't come to NY, he lives near New Orleans, and I would have definitely invited Ruxandra who's an old friend of mine, but RCINY's idea was to create a dialog btw young generation - old generation, hence the young poets and Nina Cassian, Nora Iuga. I just did my "job" (on top of translating many of the poems into English with Adam Sorkin): to organize a professional reading for them/us at very short notice, when venues like Bowery Poetry Club, Poets House, Cornelia Cafe were taken. KGB Bar was the next best thing in terms of literary prestige here in NYC. I did my best to give them a bit of NYC poetry reading experience. I'm doing all this curating and advising in Drama and Poetry for RCINY without a salary (I got just a small translator honorarium), only because I like to help more Romanian artists to make their voices heard here in USA.
Of course I can't help all Romanian artists, I generally work with those who manage to get here somehow as I don't have money to bring them over. However, as the Director of playwright exchange for Lark Play Development Center (2005-2007), I did bring quite a few young Romanian playwrights in NYC and I opened other doors for them.