Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Norwich Showcase – March 9 to 13 2012

The welcoming by our hosts, the British Council and the Norwich Writers Center, was well organized. Immediately after arriving at the campus of the University of East Anglia (15 min outside Norwich) spring started: The loans got fresh and green, daffodils began to blossom, birds choirs intonated their newest compositions and lots of happy rabbits fearlessly jumped over the campus hills… no joke.
  All guests were accommodated at the nice Broadview lodge having a really broad view on the gentle landscape around the campus. In the evening, after poetry readings by local poets at the modern wooden side hall of the Norwich cathedral, we had our getting-to-know-dinner at the same location. I was shocked to meet so many crazy literature activists like me: festival makers and project managers, most of them authors or publishers themselves, from all over the world. In our discussions I learned that we really share the same obsessions, problems and hopes, no matter if we come from Brasil, Bangladesh, Canada, the Caribbean, Japan, Malaysia, India, Uganda, Egypt, Israel etc. (Its always too less money, too much pressure from political and commercial sides and too much burocracy…)
 The schedule was fully packed: 4 days we listened to the presentations of our colleagues and to several readings and discussions presenting newest British literature nearly all around the clock: New poetry and fiction, translations and new forms of presenting literature were discussed. It was always a lot of information and a flood of impressions but never boring. Sometimes the fast-talking enthusiasm of the British made it hard for a non-native speaker to follow all those ambitious and very engaged contributions. I was looking for interesting new writers as well as for new forms of presenting literature - and I found it. For the novelists Anjali Joseph and Yvette Edwards, for instance, we might soon find German publishers. And I hope I will be able to invite poets like Emily Berry or Kei Miller soon to Berlin. Maybe a Translation Slam or a Literary Death Match really keeps what its title promises and we can do it in Berlin too? (By the way, many events were live-streamed or are podcasted on the British Councils webside see above.)
  The contacts with my colleagues will surely lead to new cooperation. Good food, good talks and the sophisticated and charming moderation of Chris Gribble from the NWC and his colleagues made this meeting work in a nearly perfect way. Getting in direct contact with colleagues from all over the British Council’s universe is definitely helpful and extraordinarily pleasuring for me. Thanks Rachel Stevens for your always kind assistance. Dear Susie Nicklin, your table-talk-theory that English novels are internationally so much more successful than German novels because they are so much better is worth a further discussion. Thank you, British Council! But unfortunately the program was so interesting and packed that we missed most of the extremly beautiful spring presentation that you prepared for us outside... 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

feast days (a mantra)

each day
a day of life
the plants
don’t misunderstand us
but inconceivable
and also
yet to be explained
by all our wisdom:
the movement
from zero to one

let’s wash out our handful
of experiences
under a jet of water
what’s left
dries in the sun
to be on the safe side
we’ll  keep it
and start over again

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

new songs

new songs

from the duty of revolution
we enjoy the later morning
and the grumbling of the ageing
joggers that in former times everything was better
worse and the youth
did not smile so mildly

we take pleasure in the special reports
on the daily apocalypses of course
we are worried and a little bit indignant
well-behaved rebels
we go and take a shower

we are accused
of accepting everything
                       and of not being sufficiently discontented
we nod assent
and switch off the tremendous music
coming out of the radio we whistle
a little tune
not new but who cares

we are offered revolutionary
soft-drinks exciting
creations and hand-selected
pro-biotic world-cultures 
we are amazed but
thank you

granted, a glass of water
is not new
but still
quite good