From left – Tina Chang, Heather Christle, David Lehman, Matthew Yeager, Alla Gorbunova, Dina Gatina, Lev Oborin
Causia Artium and The Debut Prize Foundation sponsored a lively and energetic poetry reading last night at the Mid-Manhattan Branch of The New York Public Library. The event was engagingly moderated by David Lehman, a poet himself, and one of the foremost editors, literary critics and anthologists of contemporary American literature.
Poets were presented individually, rising from the audience to take their place at the podium for 12 minute readings. The American poets included Tina Chang, Heather Christle, and Matthew Yaeger. The Russian poets were Dina Gatina, Alla Gorbunova, and Lev Oborin. They were assisted by translator John William Narins, co-founder of Causa Artium and a writer, poet,and literary scholar himself, who was both accurate and spoke the words as they were meant to be spoken.
Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn for 2010, wove her poems as beautifully as the golden threads fairy princesses have been weaving since time immemorial. Dina Gatina, a Russian artist, illustrator, and poet, took the podium with a darker, more unsettling stream of words. Heather Christle, the winner of the 2012 Believer Poetry Award presented sprightly, humorous creations which drew much warmth from the audience. Poet Lev Oborin, a musician and an editor at the Russian Edition of Rolling Stone, painted the room with words both thoughtful and aware. The evening ended with Matthew Yeager hijacking the stage with the poetic delivery equivalent of a Thompson Sub Machine gun, blasting the audience with words just as powerful.
The Debut Prize Foundation seeks to bring the newest generation in Russian to readers worldwide. For more information, go to www.DebutPrize.com
Causa Artium is dedicated to expanding awareness of literary, visual, performance, musical, and other art forms. For more information on Causa Artium, go to http://www.causaartium.org/