Monday, June 15, 2009

Poets on (an) exchange mission

The festival being touted as 12 poets, 7 translators, 4 events, 2 countries, 1 publication.

Basically, this coming Friday and Saturday is the convening of several French poets and some American poet-translators at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (in England that would be "Theatre Centre") in New London, CT. For some of the poets, or maybe just Michèle Métail, it will be their very first visit to U.S. shores.
A week or so later, several American poets will be heading to Cassis for the French leg of the festival. I think all of them have been to France before. But it's funny that both sides of the festival take place in somewhat off-center locales. The French poets coming "here" are due to travel pretty much directly from the airport to New London, and then back, so their main experience of the U.S. will be New London. I stopped in New London a few weeks back, just out of curiosity, and am now quite interested to see what the French poets will make of this somewhat quintessential, industrial, seaside, rather isolated New England town/small city. Not to mention the fried clam bellies and lobster rolls. An interesting "exchange" indeed.
Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to meeting Michèle Métail for the first time, and of course, as soon as I let my subscription to the Centre International de Poésie Marseille's journal lapse, then they go ahead and do a special issue on her. Graah. I'm also looking forward to a little bit of alone time in a hotel room, overlooking the radioactive Groton submarine works across the harbor, perhaps.

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