lunes, 29 de noviembre de 2010

The Americas get together to read aloud

A.F. Moritz, Weekend Post · Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010

I found myself looking up into a vast amphitheatre, reading poems to 2,700 persons who encircled me entirely and sat attentively in banked seats that rose up into the darkness. Little had I realized what I was being offered when I received an invitation to the fourth Carlos Montemayor Languages of the Americas Festival of Poetry -- one of the most provocative and best-attended literary events in the hemisphere, though word of it has scarcely arrived here.

The festival's main reading, on Oct. 11, filled the vast circular Nezahualcoyotl Hall, a symphony venue named for an Aztec warrior-emperor and poet. The hall is part of the arts complex of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, far toward the south end of Mexico City, with a view of the volcanic mountains edging the high plateau. Even the seats behind the stage used by choirs in symphonic choral works were filled, and the reading was broadcast on closed circuit to adjoining university rooms holding the overflow crowd.

The goal of the biennial event is to gather many American languages on one stage, and so it is held on or near Columbus Day, Oct. 23, which memorializes the first influx of a European tongue into the hemisphere and which is "the date assigned for celebrating the closing off of our own memories" in respect of the native tongues, in Carlos Montemayor's words.