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Poets to Read in Swahili and Other Languages During Jamaica Festival

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 22, 2013 5:29pm
 Central Library is Jamaica will host an international poetry festival.
International Poetry Festival at Central Library
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QUEENS — More than two dozen poets will read their works in 12 different languages during a festival in Jamaica this Saturday, organizers said.

The International Poetry Festival, which is coming to the Central Library on Merrick Boulevard for the first time, is part of a 3-day event with performances scheduled also in Tribeca and Long Island.

“There is a lot of excitement about this festival,” said Joanne King, the spokeswoman for the Queens library.

Poets will be reading their verses in English, Bengali, Yiddish, Catalan, Italian, Persian, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Sicilian, Spanish and Swahili.

Among the poets scheduled to read are Robin Metz from Chicago, who is also the director of the program in creative writing at Knox College, Stanley Barkan, a  Long Island-based writer, whose works have been translated into 25 different languages, and Kristine Doll, a Hispanic Studies professor at Salem State University.

The festival is organized by Shabdaguchha, a Woodhaven-based bilingual poetry magazine, published in English and Bengali, which has also printed poems in at least 25 other languages, according to its editor, Hassanal Abdullah.

Some performances will feature a mix of poetry, dance and music — including a performance by Michela Musolino who will sing in Italian and Sicilian. Leigh Harrison, a poet and songwriter, will play guitar.

“A couple of performers will also sing in Bengali,” Abdullah said.

At 11:30 a.m. there will be an art contest for children ages 5 to 13.

Queens Central Library is located at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica. The event, which will be held at the library's auditorium, is free and open to the public. The festival will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.