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Oct. 3: readings by Mexican and Belarussian poets

Butler University's Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series presents readings by two highly acclaimed young poets: Ekiwah Adler Beléndez (Mexico) and Valzhyna Mort (Belarus)

When: Tuesday, October 3 7:30 PM
Where: Butler University Robertson Hall, Johnson Room

Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez and Valzhyna Mort are two of the world's most promising poets under the age of 25. Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, from Amatlan, Mexico, a small village an hour from Mexico City, will have turned 19 [!] two weeks before this event. The son of a North American father and a Mexican mother, his powerful verses have mesmerized Mexico's literary scene for the better part of a decade. Adler-Beléndez is the author of three volumes of poetry: Soy (I Am); Palabras Inagotables, (Never-ending Words); and Weaver (2003), his first book in English. A bilingual collection of New and Selected Poems is in the works. Check out his bio here, and his website here.

Compared to Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, Valzhyna Mort's 25 years make her seem like a seasoned veteran of the world of international poetry ... and she is. Born Valhyna Martynava in 1981 in Minsk, Mort is famed throughout Europe for her poetry and how she reads it ... or more accurately, how she performs it. She writes in Belarusian at a time when efforts are being made to reestablish the traditional language, after governmental attempts to absorb it into the Russian language have been relinquished; at the same time, the Belarusian government is the last enclave of Communist-style repressiveness in Europe, and its president Lukashenko still aspires to recreate something like the USSR. Mort reads her poems aloud in both Belarusian and English. Learn more about her here. Examples of her poetry can be found here.

In addition to poetry readings, she speaks on "The Politics of Language and The Poetry of Revolution" ... I hope to announce a talk by Mort on this topic as well, stay tuned to IndyBuzz for more information.

This is not the first time Mort and Adler-Beléndez have appeared together. This is from a review of their joint appearance earlier this year Berkshire School (MA):

Poets Valzhyna Mort from Belarus and Ekiwah Adler-Belendez from Mexico visited Berkshire School on April 7. While many Berkshire students attended the reading at the urging of their English or foreign language teachers, others attended for fun. Most gained a deep respect for the poets and their experiences, and several students were even moved to tears by the end of the presentation. Despite the stark difference between their life experiences and respective writings, the two poets made a profound impact on their young audience.

Valzhyna Mort, a 24 year old woman from Minsk, Belarus, has earned fame throughout Europe and the United States for her poetry and her powerful readings. Her presentation began with her reciting a poem in her native language of Belarusian, and her tone of voice was loud and emphatic. She spoke with vigor and energy, and one could easily tell that she was very passionate about what she was doing. As it turns out, much of Mort's poetry is political, speaking about the struggle of the Belarusian people to preserve their own language.

Ekiwah Adler-Belendez is an 18 year old from Amatlan, Mexico. Although he has cerebral palsy, he has not let this illness negatively affect his life or work. Ekiwah seemed very comfortable in his wheelchair on stage, taking time to observe the whole audience between poems. His personality was very calming and welcoming, and to see the young author sharing his words that night moved nearly everyone in Allen Theatre. Ekiwah's attitude and demeanor immediately captivated the students and faculty in the audience. After both poets had completed their readings, they went up together and read one of each others poems.

Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez and Valzhyna Mortwill will appear at Butler,
but not flanked by Berkshire teachers
(and not with the backdrop of Berkshire Hills)
Co-sponsored by the Consulate of Mexico and the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library

1 comment:

Butler-University said...

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