Snowshoe Poetry/Armenian Poet’s Translation/Atwood Helps Gender Violence Project – Poetry News Roundup February 11th

Today on My Poetic Side we look at a snowy poetry project, the Armenian poet who is to be published in English for the first time and the Gender Violence project that asked Margaret Atwood for help.

Snowshoe Poetry

The birthplace of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, Haverhill is holding a “Snowshoe Poetry Hike” today. The event will be free to attend and there will be staff available to answer any questions people may have.

The house, which is located at number 305 Whittier Road in Haverhill, was also the inspiration for “Snow-Bound” the poet’s most famous poet. The proposed hike should last around two hours and follows the Donald C. Freeman Memorial Trail. There will be 13 stops marked along the way and there will be a short piece of the poet’s writing to read at each one.

Snowshoes or sturdy walking boots are recommended as the conditions underfoot will almost certainly be somewhat snowy.

Armenian Poet to be Published in English

Misak Medzarents: The Complete Lyric Poems is to be published in English having been translated by Dr James Russell. Russell is a professor of Armenian studies at Harvard University and the author of a number of books.

Misak Medzarents, who was born in 1886 and died in 1908, was the second greatest Armenian language lyric poet – the first was Bedros Tourian. During his lifetime he wrote and published a number of slim volumes of poetry. His verses were written in an allusive and complex language that combined local dialect ancient Armenian and a vocabulary full of symbolism.

Russell has not only translated each poem but has also included an analysis for each one in the book, looking at the language, the length and the patterns in the content. The book is considered to be a very important addition to the Armenian series of literature.

Russell has also translated poetry by Bedros Tourian in the past and has written several hundred articles on issues relating to Armenia.

Gender Violence Project Given Helping Hand by Margaret Atwood

The brother of one of three women who was killed by their former partner in Ottawa Valley has appealed to Margaret Atwood for help with a music project he is undertaking that will look at gender-based domestic violence.

The project is the idea of Joshua Hopkins, who is a baritone and whose sister was murdered in 2015. Both Atwood and the composer Jake Heggie have agreed to help with the project which will see them creating an eight-track album containing some of Atwood’s poetry sung by Hopkins, with Heggie accompanying him on the piano.

The album is called “Songs for Murdered Sisters” and has been co-commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the Houston Grand Opera. The album is due to be released, just before International Women’s Day, on 5th March.

There will also be a filmed version of the performance which will be available from the 19th of February. People will be able to stream it for free via the Marquee TV platform.

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