As a result of the international festival for literature in Kenya (Kistrech) in 2018, Sytse Jansma established contacts with several Norwegian and Swedish poets.
In April 2019, a weekend was organized in Oslo, where six poets from these countries gathered. Gigs were organized, discussions were held with magazine publishers, discussion evenings were held, and further networks were expanded. All in all an interesting cultural exchange that will be continued, probably in Gothenburg, Sweden.
In Oslo there was also a performance in Cappelens Forslag, a bookshop in the city centre. On the photo the Dutch poet Frank Keizer reading his poetry.
From March 11-17, the RIXT-poets Cornelis van der Wal, Elmar Kuiper, Syds Wiersma, and Geart Tigchelaar stayed in the Danish city of Aarhus. They wrote a series of poems there, had a few performances, and participated in a translation session with Danish poets. Besides Aarhus, the Frisian poets had also a performance in the Poesiens Hus in Copenhagen. In 2020 a bilingual collection of Danish and Frisian poems will be presented at the LiteratureXchange Festival in Aarhus. It will be published by Hispel, the Frisian publishing house to which these poets are connected.
The Frisian poets, for this occasion calling themselves The Red Runes (Reade Runen; after a famous Frisian poetry book by Ella Wassenaer published in 1959), were invited to Aarhus by the Danish prose poet Carsten René Nielsen. He visited the Frisian capital Leeuwarden in 2018 and decided together with Geart Tigchelaar that it might be interesting to initiate an exchange project between Danish and Frisian poets. The stay in Aarhus was a first step, the collection of Danish and Frisian poems and the presence of the Frisian poets at the LiteratureXchange Festival next year, is an important next event.
Janneke Spoelstra was RIXT-poet of the month January 2019.
You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here.
One of them – Fantastic Plastic – will be published here in translation soon.
De krêft fan plestik learde ik al jong kennen:
sa wie ik in kear mei ús mem
by pake en beppe te teedrinken
en beppe joech ús in koekje by de tee.
It wie gesellich sa mei-inoar, oant
pake it plestik bakje, dêr’t de koekjes
út kamen, en dat leech op ’e tafel
stie, byinoar frommelje woe.
Syn âlde wrottershannen krigen it bakje
wol wat yninoar, mar sagau’t se los lieten,
sprong it, mei heechút wat falske tearen,
wer yn ’e oarspronklike foarm
op it plusen taffelskleed werom.
Pake seach der mispriizgjend nei
en besocht it op ’e nij. Wer griepen
de ronfelige hannen nei it glinsterjende bakje.
Hy kniep en kniep, de readblauwige ieren
op ’e hannen setten derfan op. Beppe en mem
en ik holden de siken yn. Oant op ’t lêst
ús mem sei: ‘No, dat slagget echt net, hear.’
Hoe’t pake doe nei har seach…
en hoewol’t it noch mar om ende by 1970
wie en pake goed mei syn skoandochter koe,
it lei, as ik der no oan weromtink,
der allegear al yn besletten: ús wrakseljen mei
plastic soup/sop yn ’e oseänen, it wurkstik
fan Boyan Slat, MSC Zoe har konteners yn
ús seeën, de fersen op www.rixt.frl
en sels de tema-edysje fan Iepen Up,
sa’t Obe Postma al sei: ‘alles is yn alles’
… mar ús mem hie gelyk. Loslitten wie it bakje
noch hieltyd in bakje. It gniisde ús fan
de tafel ûnferwoestber oan.
‘Ik bin Fantastic Plastic,’ rôp it,
‘en net stikken te krijen!’
Hein Jaap Hilarides was RIXT-poet of the month January 2019.
You can read his poems of that month, written in the Bildts language, here.
An English translation of one of these poems will be available soon.
The Other Words Literature project was put forward by Donostia Kultura and San Sebastian in 2016. It is a partnership programme between cultural organisations in European regions, which aims to establish a network of creative placements for European writers in small and minority languages. Participating regions from 2015-2019 were: The Basque Country, Friesland, Slovenia, North Macedonia, and Ireland.
During the project the RIXT-poets André Looijenga, Gerard Marcel de Jong, and Hein Jaap Hilarides were selected by a Frisian jury to write a creation work abroad. André was in Bitola in 2016 (North Macedonia), Gerard in Donostia/San Sebastian in 2017 (The Basque Country), and Hein Jaap in Maribor (Slovenia) in 2017. None of the three worked on poetry during their stay.
‘In 2018, Leeuwarden and Valletta (the capital city of Malta) were the European City of Culture. Leeuwarden and the Bildt region have had ties with Malta since as far back as around 1850. Every year, the first potatoes are shipped from the Bildt to Malta around the end of September and the new potatoes – grown from the seedlings – find their way back the same way the following March. Malta and Friesland are also officially dual language and have a wealth of modern and classic poetry, all of which has resulted in a literary poetry project: an exchange of Frisian and Maltese poems.’ (http://www.bildtseaardappelweken.nl/english)
During a period of four years, poems were shipped with potato bags from Friesland to Malta, and vice versa. Finally the poems written for the project were included in a quadrilingual publication of poems from Friesland and Malta (Frisian, Maltese, Dutch, and English): Poetic potatoes. Poetry in potato bags (2018). Frisian and Maltese poets had exchange meetings in Friesland and Malta, and performed together at different occasions. Several RIXT-poets contributed to the project.
Read here the potato poem written by Yva Hokwerda.
Poetic Potatoes project was part of the Bildt Potato Weeks 2018, which was included in the Leeuwarden/Fryslân European City of Culture 2018 programme under the name ‘Potatoes go Wild’. The idea behind the programme was, that the city meets the countryside and the countryside goes to the city.
Cornelis van der Wal was RIXT-poet of the month November 2018
You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here.
One of them – hout en snie / wood and snow – will be published here in translation soon.
Hout en Snie
Yn it Frysk te skriuwen liket op ‘e hjerst,
it hier fan slûgjende skoalmasters rûgelet
op blêden griis papier, de houtene pinne
fermôget stadich. It is dus de natoer.
Yn it Frysk te skriuwen liket op stjerren.
Dichter draaft as wite rôt yn it winterrêd
om en kin net fuort. Hy skriuwt mei snie.
De literêre Maitiid komt net mear, seit Pyt.