30 April 2010

ce 12: photos from Kragujevac

A week afterward, I've received photos for my host, Radmila, and from the American Corner, for the reading–talks given there on World Book day, 23 April 2010.

Joe at the podium. I never even noticed the men on the walls when there. Wonder if they're University of Kragujevac presidents or ...? Wonder if there were any significant women represented there?

Some of the student audience, all sitting several rows back, at the U of Kragujevac.

Getting ready for my talk/reading at the American Corner Kragujevac.

Reading from my handmade mock up of the forthcoming book, Casemate Poems (Collected) (Ottawa: Chauriere).

With the USA flag to the west of me, just as the State of Maine is to the west of me when I'm in Fredericton.

27 April 2010

ce 11: more Senta

Joe back in Club Mojo.

Jelena's boldly painted house.

Balton, the dog, a mix of Hungarian Puli and something else (with colouring closer to that of a German Shepherd rather than pure black).

Wedding Saturday in the park opposite Senta's City Hall.

Poster for Dust 'n' Bones, a Guns and Roses cover band from Budapest.

Hanging out by/over the swollen Reka Tisa.

Several river boats on the Tisa.

25 April 2010

ce 10: Kragujevac, Srbjia

World Book Day 2010, Friday, 23 April: I travelled south by bus to Beograd and then by car to Kragujevac, the 4th largest city in Srbjia. Pop. 200,000. An ex-industrial city (not post-industrial) since the NATO bombing of the Zastava automobile manufacturer (founded 1853) during the Milosovic uncivil war: 10,000 workers immediately incomeless in "the valley of hunger". Fiat is going to, or is do(ing) something automotive-related on a far smaller scale with 1,000 workers ...

Some Kragujevac suvenirnice turisticki of a pottery sort--hot pot or mug plates, cups and brandy flasks with images of the first theatre and gramar school in Srbjia on them. Kragugevac was the first capital of liberated-from-the-Turks Srbjia in 1818.

Radmila Nastic, my host, and me in front of the coat of arms of the University of Kragujevac where I gave an "Accidental Canadianist" talk.

I also gave a mostly poetry reading at the Americki kutak/American Corner in Narodna biblioteka "Vuk Karadzic". Was interviewed beforehand for the local TV KANAL 9.

Outdoor tables at a cafe.

Some of the eye-catching hot pink and green transit busz.

The 21 Oktobar Museum. A memorial to the over 2,700 citizens of Kragujevac---many of them workers at or because of the autoworks, and many of them Jewish---who were rounded up, imprisoned and then executed 19--21 October 1941 by the Nazi occupiers and then buried in unmarked mass graves.

Radmila photographing a wall of messages from those imprisoned.

Half of a "History of Kragujevac" panel.

Overhead skylight transparecy image of lined-up citizens in the museum.

Sculpture of Nazi helmets and rifles and a representation of the citizens in front of one of the painting masterpieces by Petar Lubarda (1907--1974) from his cycle "Kragujevac in 1941".

21 April 2010

ce 9: Senta, Srbjia

Gone arty just like the photographer I am, this photo taken through a glass brick.

reka tisa is higher today
a gravel barge pushes upriver
under the cream of mushroom
coloured train and roadway bridge
suddenly lilac almost in bloom
a cordon bleu lunch special
and i am out of jail again

Guernica-like murals in the Hotel Royal, done in the 1960s by artists Jozsef Acs (1914-1990) and Joszef Benes (1930- ). Depicts the 11 Sept 1697 Battle of Senta where the Austrian army defeated the invading Turks.

The same artists did this artwork now in the hotel's Reception area. It depicts an environmental art phenomenon that's unique: the flower of the Tisa. In Senta, in mid June, thousands of yellow—green butterflies curiously rise out of the water simultaneously—like a patch of flower blossoms opening to the sun—to mate and then die, all in a span of hours. It has been the subject of poems, and I believe that there is poetry in Hungarian incorporated in the artwork.

One of the hotel staff in reception showed me a slide show of photos of his of a recent year's (last year's?) "flower of the Tisa". It would be an amazing thing to experience ... sometime.

ce 8: Budapest

En route to Romania, I picked up a handbill, in Hungarian, for my Budapest reading debut. Returned 11 April to Budapest for the reading Monday, 12 April, @ 17:00 h @ Országos Idegennyelvu Könyvtár / National Library of Foreign Literature.

I read poetry for an hour, because that was what they requested. Poetry from River Suites, from the book that doesn't close and from the forthcoming Casemate Poems (Collected) and Prison Songs and Storefront Poetry.

20 April 2010

ce blogpost 7

i watch newscasts in senta
srbjia—whether in serbian
or hungarian or german or
whatever (only occasionally
in english on euronews)

i knew nothing about
the volcano erupting
under 200 metres of
iceland glacier out
in the midatlantic

until work complaints
over a friend's pivo
nightmare congestion
and travel rearrangments
for coworkers in poland

the ash cloud that spread
across europe overtop me
also spread southwest
it seems over newfoundland
and the maritime provinces

i am not worrying about
whether a month from now
the glass ash plume will
be clouding transatlantic
airways i am set to fly

18 April 2010

ce blogpost 6: tour of Maramures region.

Last Saturday, 10 April, a number of the conference participants took a guided tour of the Maramures region of northern Romania.

First stop was one of several World Heritage Site visits, the wooden church in Surdesti built in 1721. This pic of the carved oak gate.

Inside Surdesti, still actively in use (the priest was in prayer when we arrived) with the tour guide. Claims to be the tallest old wooden structure in the world.

At a family waterwheel operation with grist mill, sawmill, brandy still and more ... all powered by, or using the mountain stream.

The matriarch gifting shorts of plum brandy.

View of grounds of the newly build Manastirea Barsana, home to 14 nuns. The priest lives in the town in the valley.

A mix of resident and visiting nuns and clergy.

Joe at Barsana.

Having lunch in Casa Irea de Calinesti, Sighet.

Inside the political prison museum in Sighet (20 km from the then Soviet border).

Prisoner clothes and chains, shackles.

Prisoner interrogation box photographed through the slot in the door.

Poetry in the prison display.

Sculpture in the garden featuring John the Baptist. Janet, Oana, John & museum guide in background.

Moving picture of the Ukraine, across the same river Tisa that I know a long way from there in Senta, Srbjia. I hadn't imagined even seeing the Ukraine, or Russian-gauge railway tracks, on this trip.

... fast shep ...

The tour in "Merry" Cemetery, Sapanta, RO.

Tomb of the creator of the "Merry" Cemetery, Stan Ioan Patras.

The wooden church in Desesti.

Inside the Desesti church, painted in 1780 by Radu Munteanu and his assistant Gheorghe.

The artist's signature in the flames of hell.

ce blogpost 5: 4th Unconventional Conference

4ième Conférence internationale nonconventionnelle des jeunes canadianistes
4th International Unconventional Conference of Young Canadianists
North University of Baia Mare, Romania

Le Canada métafictionnel / Metafictional Canada
8-10 avril / April 2010

Opening addresses / Ouverture. Conference Hall, Petre Dulfu Library. (L-R)
Ana Olos, Professor PhD. Coordinator of the Canadian Studies Programme in English, North University.
Petre Dunca, Professor PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Letters, North University / Professeur dr. Doyen de la Faculté des lettres, Université du Nord.
His Excellency / Son excellence Philippe Beaulne, Ambassador of Canada / L’Ambassadeur du Canada, Bucharest.
Dana Puiu, Associate professor PhD. Maitre de conférences dr. Coordonnatrice du Programme d’études canadiennes en français. Université du Nord.
Rodica Ţurcanu, Professor PhD Scientific Secretary of the Faculty of Letters, North University.

Présentation de l’anthologie Le Veilleur sans sommeil. Récital poétique Jacques Rancourt avec Crina Bud et Joe Blades (reading translations into English by John F. Deane from The Distribution of Bodies (Dublin, Dedalus Press, 1995).

Joe Blades and Ana Olos in conversation.

Reception Curtea Veche Restaurant started with a trad welcome of breaking bread, dipping it in salt, eating it, and drinking a shot of plum horina.

Crina Bud and waitress having a 21st century technology moment.

Horea Nascu, University of Nord Romania: "Romanian Roots: Irving Layton"

Michelle Gadpaille, University of Maribor, Slovenia: "Ming, Tang, Mustang, Meaning: A Kroetschian Poetics"

Brendan Edwards, Janet Peterson and Cristina Georgiana Voicu in the Canadian Studies Centre in Baia Mare.

Book about a Canadian very active in Romania during WWI.

Janet Peterson in the painting studio of a Fine Arts student at North University.

Stephen Tower (1446), Baia Mare.

Old men, elders, sculpture outside the Maramures Prefectures and County Council building.

A conference participant posed for a photo in the park being taken by a participant other than me.

Ex-[communist government] Casa de cultura now home of Anthos Night Club.

Spectacle alternatif: Le Visiteur…Canadien de l’air.