Poetry Beyond Borders

February 2, 2012

Poetry Beyond Borders: Leonard Schwartz’s, Ground-Breaking Program “Cross Cultural Poetics” Introduces Poets and Listeners to One Another from Across the World

Poets from all over the world talk about their work, their language, and poetry – “the language within a language.”

Leonard Schwartz is aiming to engage listeners, and encourage deeper intercultural appreciation by broadcasting international poetry, described on the Cross Cultural Poetics program as “the language within a language.”

And his work is reaching broad audiences. Through his program, he is reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners, and introducing poets, fiction writers, philosophers, composers, theater directors translators, editors and publishers from cultures across the planet to new audiences -- and to one another.

Only 3 percent of the books published in America are in translation (as opposed to say 30% or 40% published in translation in Germany or France), says Schwartz. “This has serious implications for how we hear –or cannot hear – other cultures,” he adds.

Cross Cultural Poetics is distinctive in that it offers listeners the chance to hear from voices across the world, in translation and in their own languages. Episodes have taped the work of poets from every continent outside Antarctica.

“Finding out where language is used in new ways, and figuring out what constitutes the new in a given cultural constellation or milieu, is always a challenge”, says Schwartz. “But if poetry is the enemy of the obvious we have to look for it far and wide.”

Cross Cultural Poetics is produced at KAOS 89.3 FM, on The Evergreen State College campus in Olympia, Washington and is archived and distributed globally at PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania.

More than 230 episodes are available at PennSound. There listeners will find notable poets such as the Chilean poet Raul Zurita, the Caribbean poet Kamau Brathwaite, and the American poet Anne Waldman talking about poetry from multiple perspectives.

The program can also be heard on KAOS 89.3FM on Thursday’s at 8PM.

About the host: Leonard Schwartz is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including his newest 2011 work, At Element (Talisman House), A Message Back And Other Furors (Chax), The Library Of Seven Readings (Ugly Duckling Presse), The Tower Of Diverse Shores (Talisman House), Words Before The Articulate (Talisman House), and Language As Responsibility (Tinfish Editions).

Cross Cultural Poetics is produced at KAOS 89.3FM, Olympia, Washington in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s PennSound.