Week after the Hausach LeseLenz festival

This motto of European Union sponsored Versopolis encompasses that of the  20th Leselenz (itself in turn sponsored by Versopolis). These Metropolen' are the spaces & places where humans dwell, the poles that anchor human lives, the inner and outer manifestations of humanity--all these layers of meaning are present in the above descriptions, as well as in the works of the five  writers featured at the two hour, septilingual reading before an audience of some one hundred attendees on July 8 2017 in Hausach's Mediathek.


The biographical or geographical complexities indwelled by Ramuné Brundzaitė, Valentina Colonna , Semier Insayif, Jure Jakob, and Els Moors in their respective linguistic and literary landscapes are but one layer among the various tectonics that comprise their individual work. All of the above-mentioned award-winning authors received many laudatory comments and became integral elements of the 2017 Leselenz festival at prominent and elegantly-appointed venues such as the Town Hall or the Cultural Center. They enjoyed a sincere and cordial welcome thanks to the hospitality of the city of Hausach, a town of 5,800 inhabitants that  can lay claim to a thousand-plus year history (& today, home to some fifty-five different nationalities as well as approximately sixty recently arrived refugees). Organizer and founder José F.A. Oliver is himself a native of Hausach, born there to parents from Malaga. 


The poetry, read and performed in Slovenian, Italian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Dutch, German, and English, embodied the spirit of the European Union in its diverse and polyglot nature. A paraphrase of the penultimate line of Brundzaitė 's poem, bei den Bernhardinern, provides an apt summation of the Sunday morning event: "/...die Schleusen unserer Geschichten {setzen} sich zusammen/" -- roughly translated, the phrase means 'our stories interlock'. The translations (provided in the hardcover five-part slipcase containing poster-sized leaflets printed with 8-10 poems by each author and read by professionally trained student-actors) were anything but rough. Each poem's translation was the result of intensive collaboration by a wide range of members in the multicultural Leselenz literary community, many of them translators in their own right. The quality and reception of the free slipcases with Versopolis logo was summarized by Els Mors in her description of the audience: 'umringt von Poesie-Freunden ' or surrounded by the friends of poetry. Her brief slip of the tongue turned Freunde/ friends temporarily into Freuden/ pleasures -- a fortuitous happenstance that suitably described the gathering of poets made possible by Versopolis. 

Marilya Veteto Reese, Ph.D., Professor of German, Northern Arizona University