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ilb 2022 | Echo Echo. Post-Soviet Cosmopolis: Poetry Night

Sep 10, 2022 | 08:00 PM

With Semyon Khanin, Volha Hapeyeva, Eugenijus Ališanka

Four poets read from their current poetry collections. Actors will read the German translations, followed by a short conversation with the curator and moderator of the evening, Karolina Golimovska.

Semyon Khanin is a founding member of Orbita, a collective of Russian-speaking poets and artists from Latvia that experiments with unconventional poetry formats – including multimedia approaches. In his volume of poems "aber nicht damit" [German translator: Anja Utler] he pointedly confronts absurdities and subtleties of a sometimes surreal and grotesque daily life with major themes such as freedom, deception and loyalty. This is also reflected on the level of language, which playfully deals with alliterations and associations and mixes registers with ease.

In "Mutantengarten" Volha Hapeyeva looks at politics and history from a decidedly female perspective. She translates letters of fallen soldiers and sensually captures the body "as a medium of interpersonal relationships, which she dissects with sharp precision." [NZZ] Hapeyeva, who now lives in exile in Germany, writes about the many interpretations of homeland and language that can teach people empathy through poetry, especially in times of crisis. "[D]er mund ist eine art linguistischer schuh / unter den tagtäglich tausende wörter geraten / so steigst du hinauf – immerzu / bezwingst den berg der sprache" [tr: [T]he mouth is a kind of linguistic shoe / under which thousands of words get caught every day / so you climb up – all the time / conquering the mountain of language].

Eugenijus Ališanka is a poet, essayist and translator from Vilnius. His own work has been translated into English, French, Polish, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, German and other languages. Arguably one of the most important Lithuanian poets of our time, his writing gives an – often autobiographical – transterritorial account of his many trips across the globe questioning the concept of fixed national identity. During the Poetry Night he will present new poems.

Moderation: Karolina Golimowska
Speakers: Alexandra Gottschlich, Toni Jessen

Tickets & Further Information

The event is part of the special programme Echo. Echo. Post-Soviet Cosmopolis at the international literature festival berlin 2022. The series is a cooperation between the "Temporal Communities" Cluster of Excellence and the ilb.

Time & Location

Sep 10, 2022 | 08:00 PM

Haus der Berliner Festspiele
Schaperstraße 24
10719 Berlin