Il me fait vraiment plaisir d’annoncer que je vais participer au 27ème Festival International de la Poésie a Trois Rivières!
This coming October, I’ve been invited to Trois Rivières for one of the world’s largest international poetry festivals. I am thrilled beyond belief, and curious to find out how much French I actually still understand. Apparently the festival draws an audience of over 38,000 people, which I find somewhat mind-bending. We are talking about poetry, right? There are poetry picnics, poetry dinners, poetry statues, poetry walks, poetry installations, poetry in the park events, poetry talks, family poetry events, and a fantastic variety of poetry and art programs for schools.
Apparently every year on Valentine’s day, the mayor of Trois Rivièresgoes out to the statue of the unknown poet outside city hall and leaves a bouquet of flowers. For real. This is a town that loves poetry. And it is my very good fortune to get to spend several days there basking in it.
One of the most exciting bits is that the festival is hiring a translator to translate 15 of my poems into French. For three days I’ll read my poems at events, and then someone else will read out the French translations. I can only barely believe I’m going to get the chance to hear my own words in the only other language I even mildly understand. I think it will be quite a moving experience.
I’m nervous about my French skills, which haven’t been exercised very much in recent years. I speak only enough French to be dangerous, but I’ll try to be dangerous as often as possible.