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A poetry reading for Tampa International Book Fair that turns into a wonderful mish mash of cultural stories involving Tranås, Herman Norrman, José Martí and the Swedish Academy

On the 10 March I had the great opportunity to read at the Tampa International Book Fair with Alesia Ribalta who invited me as well as Magnus Grehn, Jonas Ellerström and George Mario Ángel Quintero to participate as we have all worked with Alesia in one way or another. I read 3 poems:

You can see the whole event here and continue reading the article bellow

Having planned to travel to Stockholm to meet up with a friend during the weekend I received an invitation to read at the Tampa International Book Fair from Alesia Ribalta my publisher. She edited and translated my poems to create the book Hora Dorada/Golden Hour. We were to be 5 readers reading digitally in the José Martí room during the book fair. Because of the time differences Magnus Grehn and i were looking at the prospect of having to read from Seher Uysals hotel room due to the event being so late on a Sunday, then running to the last train home to Tranås.

The Swedish Academy’s cellar reference section to the Nobel Library was then suggested by Jonas as an alternative venue to read from as he had a workspace there, and so it was with Seher filming and us reading we indulged in cultural exchanges between Stockholm, Helsingborg, Colombia, and Tampa Florida.

And so, the fascinating connection between Tranås and Cuba through Herman Norrman who was a very good friend of José Martí the Cuban philosopher and poet who is considered a Cuban national hero because of his role in the liberation of his country from Spain came forward. The wonderment of small things, to experience literary status, national heroes and amazing connections in sharing between friends.

The difference of feeling created by translation of poetry as a new minds experience stimulates emotional responses not possible in the original form, so the magic and miracle of creativity is born in trust, expression and sharing. And not just in poetry but also in painting we see today the only portrait created by a Tranås man who befriended a revolutionary while visiting the Americas, a relationship to build upon.

1 Comment

Aleisa Ribalta
Aleisa Ribalta
Mar 24

What a wonderful experience, to interact and represent you all, and your poetry in other languages and contexts gave a lot of inspiration.

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