Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Friends, We, the band of merry minstrels, dancers and shufflers of the word before the wind of eternity, nomads searching for the horizon of the unknowable, dry drunks, low-way robbers, apprentice tricksters, would-be revolutionaries… Salute and hail you, our illustrious ancestors and ...

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diow 2016, Conversation I

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
07.05.16, 10am, CONVERSATION I Is statue smashing the armed wing of political correctness? Does destruction of the symbols from the past bind the wounds of the present, or are we tilting at windmills? A confident and secure government – and populace – does not find such symbols threatening. M ...

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Harriet Tubman in the news, twice

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2016
FOR STERLING PLUMPP When Harriet Tubman heard the thunder of the guns and saw their terrible lightning and the blood and the dead bodies your voice was there Your voice was born and borne in the muddy waters of the delta way before a brother had been through enough to ...

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From Dakar, Senegal

Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2016
From slam poet Diamil, Moustapha Ciss, who alongside Vendredi Slam partner, Jabir, participated in dancing in other words 2014, this contribution to diow 2016: VICTIMES Cent cinquante millions de la population mondiale Cinquante mille dans les rues du Sénégal Nous avons tous la même mère ...

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Efe Paul Azino

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2016
Lost by Efe Paul Azino ...

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from Bill, a poem and a smile

Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2016
Your smile your smile could get a job in a circus as an acrobat Dear Dominique, Breyten, Marí wishing you an even more wonderful DIOW this May. I'll be eagerly observing your word-dancing, wine-drinking and travels from up here in the other hemisphere, with much nostalgia. With fondest w ...

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On Deguy, Derrida. And Plato.

Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2016
the idea of a voiceless verse is exactly the kind of conundrum that philosophy is designed to address; the inherent paradox reaching back toward Plato’s preference for reason over emotion, precisely the problem that Deguy’s work seeks to explore. The problem for the translator of his poetry, the ...

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Freedom on World Poetry Day

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
A poem by Kereopatse Kgositsile, South African poet laureate and guest at the upcoming Spier Poetry Festival, dancing in other words. This is shared courtesy of the poet and of PEN South Africa who shared the poem on social media in celebration of Freedom Day in South Africa on 21 March.  21 March ...

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sightings of beauty

Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2016
Letter from Petra Muller to Bill Dodd, 2015. Bill Dodd ...

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cairn 2013 & 2014

Posted on Friday, March 4th, 2016
"Listening to a taped reading by Carolyn Forché the other night, of her poem Museum of Stones, we were reminded of the universal sense of stones as both the markers of shared consciousness and customs, and the fact that they are humbly but profoundly living organisms of beauty in time. We will bow ...

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Abdellatif Laâbi

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014
For the past fifty years, Abdellatif Laâbi has been a beacon of poetry and hope in his country, Morocco, the wider region of North Africa, where he has become a source of inspiration to a new generation of activists during this turbulent chapter of its history, as well as the wider world. It is for ...

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Abdellatif Laabi en Breyten in Parys 1985

Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Abdellatif Laabi is one of our visiting poets this year. ...

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Every word a poem, unbound

Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Ko Un is Korea’s world famous poet and certainly its most prolific with well over 100 books to his name. His magnum opus is Maninbo, translated literally as Ten Thousand Lives – 10 000 being a metaphor for very many in Korean – begun in prison (he has been thrown in jail many times, once se ...

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Breyten, Bill and Oubaas

Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Curator Breyten Breytenbach (left) with poet Bill Dodd (middle) and Oubaas, Breyten’s father (right). ...

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Ko Un’s poem at the cairn

Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013
I am still wondering which would be a better translation of the poem Ko Un recited at the cairn ceremony. When it rains grass dance; stones get to sleep. or, more direct and faithful translation to the original, Showered grass dance, showered stones sleep. A poets’ cairn was ...

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