is a poet who published the collection Godface (2019), in which the world and identity are definitively unstable and various voices speak through one other: 'ik lig op de bank / terwijl ik mee moet doen met de revolutie', and: 'dit was de laatste keer dat ik op mijn werkmail inlogde / ik ben niet meer het monster dat ik was.' ("I'm lying on the couch / while I have to join the revolution," and: "this was the last time I logged into my work email / I'm no longer the monster I was."). Her poems, essays and short stories have also appeared in such publications as nY, Het Liegend Konijn, Tirade, Poëziekrant, Terras, Revisor, De Groene, DW B, Cimedart, Extra Extra, De Gids and online at SampleKanon, MisterMotley, DIG, Minutes of the Invisible, Optimist, and Ooteotee. She makes poetry films with artist Johan van Dijke. Her writing residency at the Jan van Eyck Academy led to curating programmes for Perdu. Besides writing, she works as a pediatrician.(WN 2023)
Archive available for: Asha Karami
With: Alara Adilow, Asha Karami, Caro Derkx, Dean Bowen, Irina Baldini, Johan van Dijke, Maarten van der Graaff, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Martin Rombouts, Marwin Vos, Maxime Garcia Diaz, Mustafa Stitou, Willie Darktrousers
For the closing event of the 2023 Winternachten festival, poets and artists seeked out the raw material of poems. How do the violence of resource extraction, the destruction of lives and worlds, and the depletion of Earth become audible and palpable in language? What are poems made of: can they, too, plunder and harm?
De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems) was a Dutch-language event with familiar and new voices, unexpected performances, dance, music and images.
Anyone who opens a children's book about a farm does not see hyper-modern, destructive industry, but lovely scenes. This obfuscation of reality, according to British zoologist, author and activist George Monbiot, is due to persistent images about our dealings with animals and land, borrowed from poetry. "One of the greatest threats to life on Earth is poetry," he wrote provocatively.
Yet the plundering of Earth has indeed made its way into modern poetry. In the poem Sinaasappel, bitter je schil (Orange, bitter your peel) by Surinamese poet Michaël Slory, the minerals themselves bear witness to that history:
'Op Afobaka wil ik zijn
als de arbeiders staken,
de morgen zich boort
in de papaya,
het bauxiet woedend zingt
over zoveel misbruik,
("On Afobaka I want to be
when the workers strike,
the morning drills itself
into the papaya,
the bauxite sings furiously
about so much abuse,
so many lies
so much deception.")
Bookstore De Vries van Stockum will be present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others including signing opportunities!
De grondstof van het gedicht was curated by poet and writer Maarten van der Graaff.
The evening programme will be opened by poet Asha Karami. Her performance will be followed by the introduction of the Free the Word!-speech by PEN International Chair Jennifer Clement. The speech, with a focus on the freedom of expression, will be held by Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek.
Yazbek, born in Jableh, Syria, is the recipient of the PEN Pinter award, the PEN Tucholsky award, and the PEN Oxfam Novib Award for her book A Woman in the Crossfire (2011). Her book The Crossing received the 2016 Best Foreign Book award in France. Her books have been translated into more than 15 languages, and in 2018 Yazbek was shortlisted for the Prix Femina for her novel, La marcheuse, that was recently published in Dutch translation as De blauwe pen by Orlando Uitgevers in collaboration with Oxfam Novib.
The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Award, given out by Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes, honours authors who currently risk their freedom and their lives to seek out and publish the truth.
After the ceremony, Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh and Turkish writer and journalist Barbaros Altuğ will be interviewed, on behalf of PEN Netherlands, by Hassnae Bouazza and Liesbeth Staats. Azaizeh and Altuğ will also read from their works.
The evening will be enhanced with performances by classical accordeon player Oleg Lysenko and will be hosted by Hassnae Bouazza. The Free the Word - Oxfam Novib PEN Award Night is a collaboration between Oxfam Novib, PEN International, PEN Netherlands and Writers Unlimited.
"Thinking of Holland / I see broad rivers / winding slowly through endless lowlands" is perhaps the best-known Dutch opening verse. In Memory of Holland written in 1936, Hendrik Marsman describes the lanscape and the struggle against water. Seven young authors went fast forward to today, allowing the poem to inspire their future vision of the Netherlands. Poets Asha Karami and Derek Otte, singer-songwriters Lounar and Raj Mohan, performer and visual artist Roberta Petzoldt, and writers Simone van Saarloos and Vamba Sherif presented their new versions. Programmer and host Francis Broekhuijsen opened the programme by reading Marsmans classic poem.
In order to protect ourselves, Radbout professor Martha Larson pleads for artificial ignorance: some data must be deliberately overlooked in IT. Eight authors made Larson's idea the starting point of their performance. They looked at technology in a different, creative way. What does technology reveal about its inventor? Also, the smart thermostat, the pacemaker and Google Maps may help us, but do they also define us? And what is the value of a digital error or failure?