Small Nations' Poetry Reading
Representatives from the embassies of 10 countries, including Ondina Blokar DrobiÄŤ, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Slovenian Embassy, gathered at Katzen Center at the American University in Washington on Wednesday, May 23, to read poetry from their countries for the 7th Small Nations' Poetry Reading. The following countries participated with Slovenia: Austria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cyrpus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, and Monaco. The topic of this yearâ€™s reading was comedy.
Opening remarks were given by Dr. Naomi Baron, Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning at the Department of Language and Foreign Studies at the American University, followed by an introduction of Ambassador of Lichtenstein, Claudia Fritsche, who also had opened the first Small Nations Poetry Reading back in 2003.
Slovenia's DCM, Blokar DrobiÄŤ, read a poem by TomaĹľ Ĺ alamun titled Homage to the Hat Uncle Guido and Eliot (Homage kapi stricu Gvidu in Eliotu) in Slovenian and its English translation. The poet, who was honored in 1973 by the PreĹˇeren Foundation Prize/National Book Award, was in the 1960s the leading figure of Slovenian poetical avant-garde. He has published extensively since his first collection, Poker, and the poem appeared in it in 1966. Word play, free form, macaronic language (Slovene, English, Spanish all mixed together) characterize his poems that are comic and political. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages, including English.
The Small Nations' Poetry Night was followed by a reception provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, where wines of the participating countries also were served. Guests also had a great opportunity to learn about each nation by visiting country tables and to talk to representatives from various embassies.