Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My reading at LEX-Icon in Mulhouse, June 10, 2012

I had the pleasure of reading at the Ballades event that concluded the LEX-Icon conference in Mulhouse on Sunday, June 10, 2012. The reading was organized by the indefatigable Jennifer K. Dick; she invited over a dozen poets to be part of a mobile reading that went to a variety of locations in the city. My reading took place in the middle of a square outside the Mulhouse offices of the Parti Socialiste.

At the last moment, I decided to begin with a bit of Ernst Jandl, "fünfter sein", followed by my translation of it. If you know the poem, you know that it's easy to memorize!

That got me good and warmed up, and from then on, the adrenalin carried me through the reading. Since I was doing an open-air reading without a microphone, I made a point of speaking as loudly as I could without shouting. That was quite exhilarating; it felt good to put my full voice into the poems. I wonder how that would work indoors with a microphone.

Here's my setlist:

1. fünfter sein (Ernst Jandl)
Ernst Jandl, who could not be there, sadly
2. fifth in line (my translation of the Jandl; I didn't sing it, though!)
4. Expat
5. City
6. Slide
7. Cabinet d'Amateur

Many thanks to Jennifer for inviting me and to all the other poets who read for making it such a wonderful afternoon! I'm definitely interested in doing something similar in Basel, with a mobile group of poets wandering around reading! And I might well steal Jacob Bromberg's idea of crumpling up each poem after reading it.

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