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International Festival of Poetry in Mexico City


Sorry for the long delay between the last update and this one … I don’t really have any excuse except that I’ve just kept procrastinating! After getting back from a trip to the US and Mexico in the middle of 2018 I have to say one of the most amazing experiences of my life in poetry was reading at the International Festival of Poetry in Mexico City.

The generosity of the Mexican poets who organised the festival there was remarkable. And something I will never forget. The audiences were incredibly generous too. And Mexico City is such a monster, it was amazing to walk through its streets and just feel the energy there.

It certainly opened my eyes to the magnificence of Latino society and culture and the beauty of the Spanish language. One of the most memorable readings took place in an underground train station. A mic was set up and a bunch of poets from around the world was set loose! The acoustics were great and the audience was kind and bemused and sort of captive!

To hold the energy of that sort of reading I thought I would perform a mōteatea I wrote a few years back but only recently gave a tune to. I’ve posted a video of the mōteatea being sung here along with an English and Spanish translation. There is a human cry I think at the heart of oral poetry that cuts across language in my experience.

Sorry to inflict my singing on you. But if innocent commuters had no where else to run that day I don’t see why you should get off the hook. If you don’t enjoy it then I hope you can endure it at least!

Written translations available here.

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