Friday, 29 September 2017

National Poetry Day in Glasgow - celebration of Russian Poets.

Tsvetayeva. Phto by Pierre Choumoff. (Free use by Creative Commons.)

On Sept 28th, National Poetry Day event organized by the Scottish Federation of Poets, was on the theme of 'Freedom'. This was a celebration by various poets of the dissident Soviet poets  on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.  I was delighted to be asked by the organizer, William Bonar, to talk about and read poems by Marina Tsvetaeva.
Other poets celebrated were: Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Other readers were: Liz Lochhead,Valerie Thornton, Dai Vaughan, Alan MacGlas, Robyn Marsack and
James McGonigal. 
Held in the Mittchell Library, Glasgow, it was fascinating to hear so many different ways of talking about the poets, even some personal encounters. I was inspired to get back to rereading them all, in particular, Anna Akhmatova, though Tsvetayeva a close second.  Her passion and contemporary-sounding personal voice just grabs you and won't let go. Such a sad life, in particular, her suicide and her body discovered by her young son.

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