Typewriter Project/Keorapetse Kgositsile/Molla Panah Vagif – Poetry News Roundup January 15th

We begin the week with a news round-up that looks at the Typewriter project in Pensacola, the memorials that are planned for the South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile and finally the 300th Anniversary of the poet Molla Panah Vagif.

The Typewriter Project

From next week residents in Pensacola will be able to take part in a poetry collaboration thanks to the Typewriter Project. The highly immersive poetry installation which is currently on display in New York will be journeying to Pensacola as part of a wider community project.

The project is the brainchild of Stephanie Berger and Nick Adamski, who together with University of West Florida professor of English, Robin Blyn, will be giving a lecture on the project on Wednesday this week.

The idea behind the project is that members of the public will help by participating in a collaborative poem courtesy of a typewriter booth; this will be at the lecture and then at a further two locations until 16th February. The hope is that some people might be inspired to write their own thought on the typewriter whilst others will read what has already been written and add to it, thereby creating one long continuous train of thought.

South African Poet to be Remembered

Last week we reported on the sad death of the national poet laureate of South African, Keorapetse Kgositsile, or Bra Willie as he was often known.

It has been announced that the poet will be given a special official funeral, such as those usually reserved only for distinguished South Africans, predominately politicians. He will be buried at the Heroes Acre at West Park Cemetery on Tuesday.

There will also be an official memorial service which is to take place on Thursday at the Johannesburg City Hall. A memorial service to celebrate the life of the poet has already taken place in New York, one of the many places he lived, and it is hoped that several more will take place in Johannesburg.

The president of South Africa, Joseph Zuma, has ordered that all flags placed at flag stations across the country be flown at half mast on January 16th, the day of the funeral and it is expected that the Deputy President will deliver the eulogy.

Molla Panah Vagif – 300th Anniversary Event

The Milan Conservatory will be hosting an event to mark the 300th anniversary Molla Panah Vagif, the Azerbaijani Poet. The event is to be hosted by the Italian-Azerbaijani Cooperation and Friendship Association and it is hoped that it will be attended by staff from the Milan Conservatory, students and writers.

Born in 1717 Vagif was the founder of the genre of poetry known as Azerbaijani realism, he was also a rather prominent statesman and a diplomat, holding the position of vizier. He was one of the most educated Azerbaijanis of his era with a knowledge of both the Arabic and Persian languages as well as being a student of astronomy and architecture.

Events to commemorate the life of he poet and his works have already been held at the Azerbaijan University of Languages, and the University of Usak in Turkey.

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