Dystopian Literature at PEN World Voices Festival organized by Rattapallax in 2017

GENDER, POWER AND AUTHORITARIANISM IN THE DYSTOPIAN AGE with Marge Piercy, Alice Sola Kim, Namwali Serpell, and Jeff VanderMeer at PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. May 4, 2017 at New School. The dominate power of the state to control our thoughts, emotions, and sexuality has been the dominant concern of many women writers, and is reflective in some of the best dystopian literature of the modern age. We look at this critical topic and why we are at a crossroads. How are female protagonists presented in dystopia and what are some future trends? Produced by Rattapallax magazine, ​New School Creative Writing, and New School Gender and Sexuality Studies,​ and supported through a grant from Humanities New York, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

DYSTOPIAN WASTELANDS at PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature with Claire Vaye Watkins, Jeff VanderMeer, Emily St. John Mandel and Alexander Weinstein. May 5, 2017 at Dixon Place. From cataclysmic natural disasters to unsuspecting plagues – one thing is clear – the world is going to end, and soon! How do these writers imagine a post-apocalyptic society and what does it tell of our relationship with the environment, science and the unknown? An eclectic panel of writers who are either masters of the genre or are exploring its possibilities. How do they imagine their dystopian world in their novels in the age of climate change. Produced by Rattapallax magazine, ​and supported through a grant from Humanities New York, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

HACK THE STORY: LEARN INTERACTIVE STORY DESIGN AND PODCASTING at PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. May 6, 2017 at New School. Inspired by William Gibson’s literary work on cyberpunk — participants will examine and learn new forms of storytelling such as virtual reality and interactive stories, followed by a workshop on podcasting for writers and poets run by Frances Harlow, Adnaan Wasey, and Ram Devineni. The day-long session has a mix of expert presentations and hands-on sessions. Students must bring their own laptop and smartphones. Frances Harlow ​is the Deputy Creative Director at Gimlet Media, and was a producer at NPR’s ​Planet Money podcast. Adnaan Wasey is an Emmy-winning and Webby nominated digital media executive who was most recently Digital Executive Producer of the PBS documentary series POV and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Produced by Rattapallax magazine, ​New School Creative Writing, ​ and supported through a grant from Humanities New York, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Rattapallax Press organized Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry in 2001.

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With readings at the United Nations featuring Yusef Komunyakaa, Joyce Carol Oates, Sri Chinmoy, James Ragan & Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Also, there was a literary conference at the UN moderated by John Kinsella, 200 poetry readings in 180 cities, readings on Mt. Everest, Antarctic and West Philippines Sea. Also, Rattapallax Press has been organizing the main UNESCO World Poetry Day reading in New York City featuring some of the best international poets in the world: Robert Creeley, Yusef Komunyakaa, Joyce Carol Oates, Breyten Breytenbach, Sonia Sanchez, Sharon Olds, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Sri Chinmoy, James Ragan, Shashi Tharoor, Bob Holman, Marilyn Hacker, Vijay Seshadri, Grace Schulman, Amiri & Amini Baraka. [ more ]

Words to Comfort Readings.

Musician Lou Reed, actor Claire Danes, poet Sharon Olds, novelist Rick Moody, Oscar Hijuelos and Richard Price, and 60 other readers joined NYC Firefighters, Police Officers, and grade-school children for two major community poetry readings in New York and San Francisco to benefit the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund. The readings, entitled Words to Comfort, took place at the New School Tischman Auditorium in New York City and at San Francisco’s Main Library on October 17, 2001.

October 17, 2001: The New School, Tischman Auditorium, New York City and San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. / November 30, 2001: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont Street. Musician Lou Reed, actor Claire Danes, poet Sharon Olds, novelist Rick Moody, Oscar Hijuelos and Richard Price, and 60 other readers joined NYC Firefighters, Police Officers, and grade-school children for two major community poetry readings in New York and San Francisco to benefit the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund. The readings, entitled Words to Comfort, took place at the New School Tischman Auditorium in New York City and at San Francisco’s Main Library on October 17, 2001. Many of the poems read were selected from the enormous public outpouring of poetry posted at New York City fire stations, Union Square, and numerous other memorial sites around the city. The Word That Comfort benefit at San Francisco’s Main Library featured San Francisco Poet Laureate Janice Mirikitani and award-winning poets Kim Addonizio, Chana Bloch, and Ruth Daigon. The reading Boston featured X.J. Kennedy, Frank Bidart, Boston Fire Commissioner Paul A. Christian, and others. NYC School Children reading at the New School. The purpose of the World Trade Center Relief Fund is to assist the families and dependents of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. This fund is for the benefit of all victims both injured and deceased, including innocent civilians, the dedicated firefighters, policemen, Port Authority officers, Emergency Medical Personnel and relief workers. After the monetary needs of these affected people have been addressed, consideration may be given to other related relief and recovery expenses.

Poetry on the Peaks

The United Nations has proclaimed 2002 as the International Year of Mountains (IYM) to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems. Poetry on the Peaks celebrates the relationship between humanity to nature through poetry by setting-up poetry readings on as many of the mountains in the world and corresponding cities. There were over twenty readings on mountain-tops from around the world. [ more ]

Major delegation of African-American poets went to Ghana to focus on the AIDS crisis in Africa.

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Pulitzer prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa led a delegation of prominent African-American poets to Ghana at the end of March 2004 to motivate a literary and artistic response to the AIDS crisis in Africa. The other distinguished poets include Willie Perdomo (poet and children’s book writer); and Thomas Glave (author of Whose Song? And Other Stories and founding member of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays).

Centenary of Neruda, Chile 2004

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Poets Yusef Komunyakaa, Martín Espada, Nathalie Handal, and Ram Devineni were official delegates for the Centenary of Neruda in Chile. There were on a special train with leading South American poets Ernesto Cardenal, Antonio Skármeta, and the Chilean President Lagos to Neruda’s home in Parral. Also, there were trips to Neruda’s home in Isla Negra and a documentary on Neruda and September 11, 1973. There was also a reading at the Universidad Diego Portales featuring Yusef, Martín, and Raúl Zurita.

A Different September 11: POESÍA 100%. Before the America’s 9/11, there was another one in Santiago, Chile when the dictator Augusto Pinochet used Hawker Jets to bomb the Presidential Palace on September 11, 1973 to remove the democratically elected President Salvador Allende. As a counter reaction to the bombing, Casagrande, an underground literary organization of young poets born during Pinochet, rented a helicopter and dropped 100,000 poems on the Presidential Palace on March 23, 2001. They followed with a bombing of Dubrovnik, Croatia and Gernika, Spain — both cities bombed in the past. Martín Espada, Yusef Komunyakaa, Raúl Zurita, Mark Doty, Cecilia Vicuña, Marie Ponsot & Cristóbal Bianchi with Casagrande. Oct. 16 at 8 pm. The New School, Tishman Auditorium at 66 West 12th St., New York City. Hosted by Idra Novey.

Rattapallax Poetry Reading in Brazil.

Jerome Rothenberg, Cecilia Vicuña, Jussara Salazar, Robert Minhinnick, Iwan Llwyd, Ricardo Corona, Jussara Salazar, Rodrigo Garcia Lopes & Flávia Rocha. December 2, 2004 at 8pm at Teatro Paiol, Curitiba, Brazil. Sponsored by Rattapallax & Travessa Dos Editores . December 7, 2004 at 8pm at Centro Cultural, São Paulo. Sponsored by Rattapallax, Poetry Wales, Editora34 & Cult. [ more ]

Rattapallax Poetry Reading and Brazilian Party in London.

Sept. 5, 2004 at 7 PM. Blag Club, 1st floor, 68 Notting Hill Gate, London W11. Tube: Notting Hill Gate. Featuring Roger Robinson, Pascale Petit, Jacob Sam La Rose, Todd Swift, and others. Hosted by Rajesh Bhardwaj & Ram Devineni. Film showing by caraballo-farman, and Fernando Severo. DJs and Brazilian music. Proceeds benefit ABC: Action for Brazils Children. Co-sponsored with Jungle Drums magazine [ more ]

Leading International Poets Fight for Social Justice and Arms Control at World Social Forum.

South African activist and writer Breyten Breytenbach was part of the international delegation of poets and writers at the World Social Forum (WSF). The group worked with Oxfam’s Control Arms campaign and participated in several readings. Other participants included Palestine poet Nathalie Handal, Rattapallax editors Ram Devineni & Flávia Rocha. They were joined by Brasilian poets Fabrício Carpinejar, Johnny Lorenz, and Marlon de Almeida. [ more ]

Brit Lit: New Writing from the UK and Ireland.

October 17, 2002 at 7:00 pm. Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College, 150 E. 25th St. at Lexington Ave., New York City. Featuring Paul Muldoon, Simon Armitage, Glyn Maxwell, Pascale Petit, and Mimi Khalvati.

2008 Kolkata Book Fair.

KolkataRattapallax with US Kolkata Literary Exchange (USKLE) organized a delegation of poets and writers to the Kolkata Book Fair. The book fair was supposed to be held from January 30 to February 10, 2008, but was cancelled for political reasons. In the aftermath of the cancellation of the Kolkata Book Fair by the High Court, a number of events were held in the city featuring the 15 American writers including Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Carolyn Forche, Joy Harjo, Bob Holman, Idra Novey,  Christopher Merrill, Nathalie Handal, Catherine Fletcher, Ram Devineni,  Suji Kwock Kim, Goutam Data, Dante Micheaux, Ed Pavlic & Bharati Mukherjee.

A number of the American readings, seminars, and presentations were hosted by the Bangla Akademi with additional events around town including a poetry jam session with Native American poet Joy Harjo and Bob Holman from New York at the Park Hotel on January 31, 2008 and a special presentation on “Give Peace a Chance” at the Bengal Club on February 4, 2008 hosted by Subodh Sarkar and Mallika Sengupta. Yusef Komunyakaa gave a special reading accompanied by a Baul singer on February 8, 2008 also at the Park Hotel. Co-organized with the Consulate General of the United States of America in Kolkata, and supported by the NEA.

DEMO: A demonstration in words.

A poetry reading on the RNC, President Bush and the crisis in Iraq. Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 8pm. St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St. & 2nd Ave., New York City. Free. Featuring Carl Hancock Rux, Sapphire, Katha Pollitt, Mark Doty, Anne Waldman, Cornelius Eady, Vijay Seshadri, Hal Sirowitz, Bob Holman, Eileen Myles, Marie Ponsot, Robert Polito, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Corie Feiner, John Yau, Rodrigo Toscano, Carol Mirakove, Greg Fuchs, Anselm Berrigan, Laura Elrick, Bruce Andrews, Kathy Engel, Zero Boy & Kristin Prevallet.

Innovative & Immersive Literature

The New School, Theresa Lang Center, 55 W. 13th,  Arnhold Hall, New York City (Near 6th Ave.) Free and open to the public.
As technology has become more engaging and interactive; many new tools have opened up to writers and poets to reach their readers. Join us for a two-day symposium on the future of technology and literature.

DECEMBER 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm: Illya Szilak (Huffington Post), Andy Hunter (Electric Literature), Julie Buntin (Council for Literary Magazines and Presses), Flavia Rocha (Rattapallax) and others discuss innovative ways poets and writers are pushing how readers interact and experience literature through technology.

DECEMBER 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm: Rick Moody, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Matthea Harvey, Marcio-André, Ram Devineni & Rene Veron reading and presentation of their new writing using interactive technology from APPs to augmented reality. Hosted by Flavia Rocha.

Co-sponsored by The New School Graduate Writing Program, Rattapallax magazine, Council for Literary Magazines and Presses, New York State Council on the Arts & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Presentation of “Parvati Saves the World” is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. This poetry reading was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.