Tuesday, March 24, 2009

StAnza 2009 - Readings

I got to quite a few readings at StAnza. My two favourite ones were Roddy Lumsden’s launch of Third Wish Wasted and the showcase of two Italian poets, Elisa Biagini and Bianca Tarozzi.

I had to buy Roddy’s book for a second time after somehow losing it the week before. Now that I’ve bought it again, I’m expecting the first copy to turn up, but it hasn't so far. Anyway, it was a good reading and the book is very interesting, packed full of surprising imagery which requires the reader’s close attention, signified immediately by the opening lines of the first poem (‘The Young’):

You bastards! It’s all sherbet, and folly
makes you laugh like mules…

So not exactly prosy little stories with a faint twist towards the end then!

The Italian poets didn’t fit that model either. Elisa Biagini described her poetic influences as Celan and …oh, someone else, I forget… She writes mainly sparse, short poems, as you can see from the link above. I bought a DVD featuring some of her work, which I’ve yet to see. Bianca Tarozzi is one of those poets who are able to alter normal perception of a scene in the space of a few lines. She said her translators had translated her shorter poems, but that she mainly wrote long ones, which were better in any case. She had quite a sense of humour and came over to me as a formidable character with a twinkle in her eye. Her book, Gli Oggetti della Memoria/Objects of Memory contains her poems on photographs by Nijole Kurdika, which are also printed in the book.


apprentice said...

I really enjoyed Roddy Lumsden too, even his stance when reading was engaging.

Anonymous said...

I especially enjoyed his trousers which were rolled up many times about the ankle, and also the shirt which I gave him in 1989.


Anonymous said...

And it's actually 'laugh like mules'.

I would like to be able to dance like a mule.


Rob said...

Thanks, that's sorted. I quoted the lines with the book open in front of me. I'm never sure how those things happen!

roddy said...

That's interesting - I found myself thinking today - what did I mean when I wrote 'dance like mules' - that's a bit of an odd visual image, but I like it. It didn't occur to me at all that Rob had copied it wrongly. I have to say that, though we are a horsey household, I'm not au fait with the dancing or laughing capabilities of mules, though the whole business of how horses act around a donkey is truly facinating.

Rob said...

I also thought about the dancing image and imagined a moody awkwardness, or perhaps a dance akin to a mule stamping its feet (whether they really do that, I don't know).

But 'laugh' is spot on.

Roddy said...

Actually, I now officially prefer 'dance' - too late to change alas!