Arts editor HELEN MUSA shares a week of arts in Canberra
Although hosted by the International Poetry Studies Institute within the University of Canberra the event is moving into town, with most events to take place at its newly-christened “festival hub” at the Ainslie and Gorman Arts centres as well as the National Portrait Gallery and Canberra Museum and Gallery.
This year’s festival, “Inhabiting Language”, has taken its theme from the various ways language lives in and through poetry and the way that poetry has something to do with people’s experiences. It will see more than 40 poets and other contributors converging on Canberra for five days.
Festival director Shane Strange says: “Australian poetry as a whole is in rude good health, and it is a pleasure to be able to curate a program with this embarrassment of riches to choose from.”
The festival kicked off today, September 13, with a full-day poetry research symposium at Canberra Museum and Gallery, and this evening the University of Canberra’s vice-chancellor’s International Poetry Prize will be announced on campus.
During the event, a variety of local and international poets will participate in readings, panels, discussions and events.
International poets in residence will include Iranian-born US poet, writer and 2018 writer-in residence at UCLA, Sholeh Wolpé, whose modern translation of Attar’s “The Conference of the Birds” has been hailed as a translation sure to be as timeless as the masterpiece itself.
Tokyo poet and professor of critical theory at Meiji University, Keijiro Suga, well known for his ten books of essays and his translations, will also be here, as well as American poet/ translator Moira Egan, who lives in Rome and has published eight volumes of poetry, five in the US and three in Italy, as well as York writer, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician, Oz Hardwick, who is Prof of English and Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University.
“Poetry on the Move: Inhabiting Language”, September 13–17. All events, free, but bookings essential to eventbrite.com