On November 4th, Wave Books kicks off their 2nd annual Poetry Festival at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. This year, their theme is Poetry in Translation, which already has me running around in circles like an over-excited pet. Each day is packed with fifteen separate events, ranging from art exhibitions to lectures and discussions, to readings held in the beatific James Turrell Skyspace. Friday night is looking mighty fine: from 7pm to 9pm over a dozen festival participants are assembling at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium for a gigantic group reading. And Sunday’s grand finale sounds phenomenal: at 7:30 pm, MacArthur grant winning poet Peter Cole, preeminent translator of Chinese and Buddhist texts Bill Porter (aka Red Pine), and James Joyce translator/scholar Nikolai Popov gather to speak at the Neptune Theatre. The lecture, entitled, “Translators on Translation,” is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures and will be moderated by poet Matthew Zapruder.
The sheer scope of this festival is flabbergasting; especially when one considers just how little international literature we have access to in America. As publishing house Open Letter points out, only 3 percent of books published in the U.S. are works in translation (when you run those numbers for literary fiction and poetry, it’s more like 0.7 percent). So thank you, Wave, for organizing such a singular and edifying weekend. Here’s a glimpse at just a few of the poets, translators, and editors scheduled to attend:
John Beer, Don Mee Choi, Zhang Er, Jonathan Way, Alejandro de Acosta, Deborah Woodard, Michael Biggins, Sarah Valentine, Maged Zaher, Joshua Beckman, Michael Wiegers, Graham Foust, Samuel Frederick, Anthony McCann, Cole Heinowitz, Summer Robinson, Kevin Craft, Annie Janusch, Giuseppe Leporace, Laura Jensen, Anthony Geist, and Alissa Valles.
(11/4) Friday’s schedule of events is here
(11/5) Saturday’s schedule of events is here
(11/6) Sunday’s schedule of events is here
Purchasing a pass gains you entry to all three days of the festival, plus a welcome packet including, among other delights: a handmade book, pamphlets, festival ephemera, and a ticket to Sunday night’s grand finale.
Visit Wave Books for more info and pick up your pass today!