Rattapallax Press organized Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry in 2001.
With readings at the United Nations featuring Yusef Komunyakaa, Joyce Carol Oates, Sri Chinmoy, James Ragan & Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Also, there was a literary conference at the UN moderated by John Kinsella, 200 poetry readings in 180 cities, readings on Mt. Everest, Antarctic and West Philippines Sea. Also, Rattapallax Press has been organizing the main UNESCO World Poetry Day reading in New York City featuring some of the best international poets in the world: Robert Creeley, Yusef Komunyakaa, Joyce Carol Oates, Breyten Breytenbach, Sonia Sanchez, Sharon Olds, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Sri Chinmoy, James Ragan, Shashi Tharoor, Bob Holman, Marilyn Hacker, Vijay Seshadri, Grace Schulman, Amiri & Amini Baraka.
Centenary of Neruda in Chile, 2004.
Yusef Komunyakaa, Martín Espada, Nathalie Handal, and Ram Devineni were official delegates for the Centenary of Neruda in Chile. There were on a special train with leading South American poets Ernesto Cardenal, Antonio Skármeta, and the Chilean President Lagos to Neruda’s home in Parral. Also, there were trips to Neruda’s home in Isla Negra and a documentary on Neruda and September 11, 1973. There was also a reading at the Universidad Diego Portales featuring Yusef, Martín, and Raúl Zurita. [ more ]
Major delegation of African-American poets went to Ghana to focus on the AIDS crisis in Africa.
Pulitzer prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa led a delegation of prominent African-American poets to Ghana at the end of March 2004 to motivate a literary and artistic response to the AIDS crisis in Africa. The other distinguished poets include Willie Perdomo (poet and children’s book writer); and Thomas Glave (author of Whose Song? And Other Stories and founding member of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays).
2008 Kolkata Book Fair.
The Kolkata Book Fair in India is the largest book fair in the world with an annual attendance of 2.8 million people.The festival started in 1976 and was organized by the Publishers & Booksellers Guild. Every year, a focal theme country is given a large pavilion to showcase its countries’ books and publishers. The United States was selected for 2008 and US Kolkata Literary Exchange (USKLE) was created to organize this event with the Consulate General of the United States of America in Kolkata. The book fair was supposed to be held from January 30 to February 10, 2008.
In the aftermath of the cancellation of the Kolkata Book Fair by the High Court, USKLE (US-Kolkata Literary Exchange), the organization sponsoring the visit to India by 15 American writers including Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, revised it’s schedule of events. A number of the American readings, seminars, and presentations were hosted by the Bangla Akademi with additional events around town including a poetry jam session with Native American poet Joy Harjo and Bob Holman from New York at the Park Hotel on January 31, 2008 and a special presentation on “Give Peace a Chance” at the Bengal Club on February 4, 2008 hosted by Subodh Sarkar and Mallika Sengupta. Yusef Komunyakaa gave a special reading accompanied by a Baul singer on February 8, 2008 also at the Park Hotel.
USKLE delegation members Goutam Datta, Ram Devineni, and Catherine Fletcher worked closely with the Publishers and Booksellers Guild as well as Sunil Gangopadhyay, Subodh Sarkar, and Mallika Sengupta and the Bengali literary community to create the amended program. Despite the setbacks, the American delegation announced the release of its commemorative anthology, A Mingling of Waters, at the symbolic opening of the Book Fair at Town Hall. Copies were presented to West Bengal’s Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee by the delegation and its publisher, Supernova, and were on sale at the Bangla Akademi. The delegation used the retooled schedule as an opportunity for its writers to get to know the city of Kolkata, its writers, and its residents more intimately.
Words to Comfort Readings.
Musician Lou Reed, actor Claire Danes, poet Sharon Olds, novelist Rick Moody, Oscar Hijuelos and Richard Price, and 60 other readers joined NYC Firefighters, Police Officers, and grade-school children for two major community poetry readings in New York and San Francisco to benefit the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund. The readings, entitled Words to Comfort, took place at the New School Tischman Auditorium in New York City and at San Francisco’s Main Library on October 17, 2001. [ more ]
Poetry on the Peaks
The United Nations has proclaimed 2002 as the International Year of Mountains (IYM) to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems. Poetry on the Peaks celebrates the relationship between humanity to nature through poetry by setting-up poetry readings on as many of the mountains in the world and corresponding cities. There were over twenty readings on mountain-tops from around the world.
A Different September 11: POESÍA 100%.
Martín Espada, Yusef Komunyakaa, Raúl Zurita, Mark Doty, Cecilia Vicuña, Marie Ponsot & Cristóbal Bianchi with Casagrande. Oct. 16 at 8 pm. The New School, Tishman Auditorium at 66 West 12th St., New York City. $5 donation to Casagrande. Hosted by Rattapallax, New School Graduate Writing Program, LouderArts & Terra Incognita. Hosted by Idra Novey. [ more ]
DEMO: A demonstration in words.
A poetry reading on the RNC, President Bush and the crisis in Iraq. Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 8pm. St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St. & 2nd Ave., New York City. Free. Featuring Carl Hancock Rux, Sapphire, Katha Pollitt, Mark Doty, Anne Waldman, Cornelius Eady, Vijay Seshadri, Hal Sirowitz, Bob Holman, Eileen Myles, Marie Ponsot, Robert Polito, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Corie Feiner, John Yau, Rodrigo Toscano, Carol Mirakove, Greg Fuchs, Anselm Berrigan, Laura Elrick, Bruce Andrews, Kathy Engel, Zero Boy & Kristin Prevallet.
Leading International Poets Fight for Social Justice and Arms Control at World Social Forum.
South African activist and writer Breyten Breytenbach was part of the international delegation of poets and writers at the World Social Forum (WSF). The group worked with Oxfam’s Control Arms campaign and participated in several readings. Other participants included Palestine poet Nathalie Handal, Rattapallax editors Ram Devineni & Flávia Rocha. They were joined by Brasilian poets Fabrício Carpinejar, Johnny Lorenz, and Marlon de Almeida. [ more ]
Rattapallax Poetry Reading in Brazil.
Jerome Rothenberg, Cecilia Vicuña, Jussara Salazar, Robert Minhinnick, Iwan Llwyd, Ricardo Corona, Jussara Salazar, Rodrigo Garcia Lopes & Flávia Rocha. December 2, 2004 at 8pm at Teatro Paiol, Curitiba, Brazil. Sponsored by Rattapallax & Travessa Dos Editores . December 7, 2004 at 8pm at Centro Cultural, São Paulo. Sponsored by Rattapallax, Poetry Wales, Editora34 & Cult. [ more ]
Rattapallax Poetry Reading and Brazilian Party in London.
Sept. 5, 2004 at 7 PM. Blag Club, 1st floor, 68 Notting Hill Gate, London W11. Tube: Notting Hill Gate. Featuring Roger Robinson, Pascale Petit, Jacob Sam La Rose, Todd Swift, and others. Hosted by Rajesh Bhardwaj & Ram Devineni. Film showing by caraballo-farman, and Fernando Severo. DJs and Brazilian music. Proceeds benefit ABC: Action for Brazils Children. Co-sponsored with Jungle Drums magazine [ more ]
Brit Lit: New Writing from the UK and Ireland.
October 17, 2002 at 7:00 pm. Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College, 150 E. 25th St. at Lexington Ave., New York City. Featuring Paul Muldoon, Simon Armitage, Glyn Maxwell, Pascale Petit, and Mimi Khalvati.