LODEVE: The last post of today, before I head off to listen to many poets and a few debates on/about poetry. For those of yuo unfamiliar as I was last year with this festival, it is an annual festival called Voix: as in voix de la méditéranée, and gathers together authors from all corners of the med sea as well as a few who have gathered to read despite their land-locked locations! I have particularly enjoyed the varied venues, such as lounding on a hammock (see feet!) whil enjoying authors reading from Algeria, France, Iran, Tunesia, Malte... I wander from venue to venue, listening, observing, occasionally taking a pic or two. The readings start at 10am every day and finish arund 1am. There are also concerts, and nearby a volcanic lake, red-rocks and a pebble beach, where I took a break, hiking for a fewhours then swimming and lounding on the beach before heading back on the bus into this southern mountainous village. For the event site, see: http://www.voixdelamediterranee.com/php/index.php Voici quelques photos!!!
Arrival that is not an arrival: Marielle Anselmo and I sit in a little café within the ramparts in Montpellier between train and then bus onto Lodève (photo above of the Montpellier ramparts). Sweet frozen café drinks and the gurgling of a fountain at Marielle's back. Vacation begins!
Opening night: I sit with Maryanne and F while the eternal series of discours goes on thanking everyone, politicizing and culture and econ and politics chatting. The official thanks and welcome talks were the only marathon thus far! Opening night: 70 performers (poets, musicians, sound experiments). The most performers doing separate pieces that I have ever seen gathered at once. It was astounding, putting 4 poets on stage with their own mikes,; spread out, then just popping the spotlight on one then antoher as they read for a minute or less, a tiny taste of the work to be savored at later events. At the end of each, Blaine read out the author or musican's name(s) and then their country of origin, and on we went to the next and the next. Sometimes, as in this pic of Claude Ber with her accompaniatrice (sorry, I forget her name) the mike is brought to the author/performer and then the spotlight glows down on them wherever they are among the audience and tables. Made for a lovely dynamic. Julian Blaine takes a pause from his announcer role to do his own performance piece. Was the mic necessary? Perhaps this time!!! But he does have a serious pair of lungs!!! Dimanche: photo of my feet as I lounge in a hammock listening to Egyptian poet Yasser Abdel-Latif, French poet Jean-Gabriel Cosculluela, Iranian poet Farzin Hoomanfar and the presentations by French poet Josyane De Jesus-Bergey. A fabulous way to spend the afternoon. Aftter, I wandered and looked down on the setup for the reading to take place where the audience's feet sit in the water.
Then I had a wonderful experience of discovering the"sound" poetry, and really just very exciting both visual, lyrical, dynamic work of Anne Kawala--here in her blue dress with her arms dancing alongside her in the Place de l'Abbeye. Post-dinner, I discover a cozy off-beat spot, café bar set up with lounge spaces, people half-hiding in plantlife and laying against each other on wide white couches or along carpets set over the road as various authors read (Geneviève Raphanel from France, Souad Salem El Hagaj from Libia and Issa Samaa from Oman). Finally, to end my first full day here, late night, still meandering in circles mid-walls of Lozère, I stumble upon a qute event taking place where between the mini lyrics of Tunesian author Abdelfatah Ben Hamouda and the longer Italian "songs" of Fabio Scotto, Spanish musican and performer Pepe Martinez is banging agains the walls of the lavoir, singing joyous little bubbly song-poems breaking up the drowsy evening spirit in this glowing red space. By Tuesday I have taken on the habit of attending most of the sound & visual poetry performances, as well as the debates mediated by Julian Blaine. I find it terribly exciting to hear paired the extremes of lyric, from the traditional to the sound poets, and enjoy the fact that a dialogue is being encouraged between them here in this village. Among the most ear-splitting and also diverse was the reading and debate with Fabrikdelabeslot (French, in middle here, who calls himself neither poet, nor performer, nor plastician, but somewhere around these) and Jean Joubert--pictured here at right with F's sound tools in front of him, and with Julian Blaine at the two poet's left. Then Fabrikdelabeslot in action, in his bright orange workclothes. Also arriving on the sound/poetry rim of readings has been Pierre Joris, pictured here, who read in French translation with some language mixings poems with sound and/or music behind (around) them in the Place de l'Abbeye. Finally, the picture of me on break: out at the lke, taking in some air, silence, or rather the wild sounds of the waves, wind and either cicadas or crickets.