Join us for the inaugural event for the Andrew W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Global Language Justice 2017-2019!

Poets from all corners of the earth have had something to teach us about the life and death of languages. As Carl Sandburg puts it, “words wrapped around your tongue today and broken to the shape of thought now and today…shall be faded hieroglyphics.”

Will the plurality of poetic speech and the diversity of human languages be faded likewise and become obsolete in the not so distant future? If poetry, as language that lends itself to memorization and recitation, arises from the lived worlds of song and ritual incantation, what would happen to human societies when we could no longer sing the song or form emotional attachment to the rich traditions embodied by the plurality of poetic speech around the world?

This two day event will begin with a reading on Friday, September 22, at Columbia University. There is a closed workshop and a public reading at the Poets House on Saturday, September 23.

Friday evening’s presentation will include readings by

Bei Dao, Mohammed Bennis, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Sharmistha Mohanty, Daouda Ndiaye, Anne Waldman, Orlando White, Zhai Yongming, and Raúl Zurita

This event is open to the public. First come, first seated. Seating is limited but the event will be live streamed and the program attached to the webpage as PDF.

The photos for this event are now available. Video footage from the presentation is now available as well.