Last January, we described in these pages a Barcelona poetry event sponsored by Poémame and organized by Dick Edelstein and José Luis Regojo. The reading echoed the launch of the Irish Fired! campaign to achieve greater visibility for historical and contemporary Irish women poets.
Now, nine months later, on 18 October, Poémame again sponsored a reading at the Cafè de les Delícies on the Rambla del Raval, announced here and on the Fired! website.
Besides inviting poets Geraldine Mitchell and Fired! member Christine Murray to read in English, we acknowledged Women Writers Day in Spain by inviting two more women poets: María Antònia Massanet of Palma Mallorca, to read in Catalan, and Gemma Rabaneda ( Ze Pequeño) of Barcelona, on this occasion reading in Spanish. “Rebellious and transgressive women” was this year’s pertinent theme of Women Writers Day, convoked by the Biblioteca National de España.
But we hadn’t counted on a pernicious virus sweeping across Europe that had its affect on our event. [J.L., in his introduction, had referred to “the virus of racism cutting a swath across Europe”, endangering the already precarious existence of refugees on the move.] Christine Murray and María Antònia Massanet excused their absence. Presenter José Luis Regojo, explained that the trilingual character of the event would be guaranteed since Ze Pequeño was going to read poems from her two collections, one in Catalan and the other in Spanish.
The first part of the reading featured Gemma Rabaneda (Ze Pequeño), reciting in Spanish and Catalan, Geraldine Mitchell in English, and José L. Regojo in Spanish. Ann King, Geraldine Mitchell and Dick Edelstein then read a series of poems by historical and contemporary Irish women poets Lola Ridge, Susan L. Mitchel, Lady Gregory, Kathy D’Arcy and Jane Clarke. José Luis also read the Manifesto on universal women’s rights drawn up by the women writers of PEN International and published in Spain by their counterparts in PEN Catalunya.
The second part was an open mic session in which a dozen poets came up to recite two or three poems. The final reader, Barcelona-based Michael Bunn, a featured reader at the next Poémame en el Raval event, ended the recital while giving a warm and endearing fortaste of the autobiographical poem sequence he will read on 13 December.
Four contributors to Poémame met in person for the first time and contributed to the reading: @Pequenho_Ze, Guille Diez, @LaraenREM and @Jose_Luis_Regojo. Also present were several contributors to the Acojida/Acollida Anthology published by Poémame together with the NGO BarcelonaActua to raise funds for refugee support activities.
Before concluding, we must thank the attendees for their generosity in donating to the Caja de Solidaridad to aid the refugee and migrant support work of the BarcelonActua Foundation with which the organizers of this poetry reading collaborate.
We invite you to the third Poémame en el Raval event, which will take place on December 13th at 8pm at the Café de las Delícies. See you soon!
Originally published: Revista Poémame
|Photo credits © Montse Terrrés