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Central Asia in Poetry

5th June 2011

Dear All
Received from a member

Regards
Ute

The Poetry Cafe, Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9BX, 29
June, 7.30 pm.

Central Asia in Poetry, Prose and Song

1. Yvonne Green will read from her collection THE ASSAY and from her
translations of Semyon Lipkin (forthcoming from Smith/Doorstop).

`Yvonne Green's poems are strange, evoking unfamiliar worlds and seeing
them with their own kind of language. What matters is the voices out
there, and she hears them. There is so much world, so many stories,
included here. It is wonderful to encounter this vivid annex to experience
and understanding.' [Michael Schmidt]
'This is a fine new voice, which deserves to be widely heard.' [Elaine
Feinstein]

2. Hamid Ismailov and Robert Chandler will read from THE RAILWAY (Vintage
Classics).

Hamid Ismailov's scintillating novel is set in Gilas, a fictitious small
town on the ancient Silk Road in his native Uzbekistan. The town owes its
existence to the "iron road" – "a never-ending ladder whose wooden rungs
and iron rails lay stretched across the earth". Gilas has drawn people
from all over – Armenians, Kurds, Persians, Ukrainians, Jews, Chechens,
Koreans, Gypsies, Russians – a "Noah's Ark of humanity", and a "microcosm
of the Soviet Empire". The Railway is a poet's novel, full of memorable
descriptive passages and heart-wrenching asides. [Shusha Guppy in The
Independent]

3. Robert Chandler will read from his co-translation of SOUL by Andrey
Platonov (Harvill Secker & NYRB Classics).
"In Soul, Platonov weaves together Sufi philosophy, Persian travelogue,
socialist realism, and the language of Soviet bureaucracy into a magical
tissue with the luminous, universal quality of myth. Soul is an
unforgettably weird retelling of a familiar story: the struggle of an
educated young man to assimilate his present with his past." [Elif
Batuman]

4. Razia Sultanova, "the acclaimed London-based Islamic singer" (The Irish
Times) will play the dutar and sing. Razia Sultanova is the director of
the Centre for Central Asian music at the University of Cambridge and the
author of From Shamanism to Sufism: Women and Islam in Central Asian
culture.

5. Robert Chandler will read a few poems of his own, also on Central Asian
themes.

Tickets at door £5/£3 conc.

tel. 0207 420 9887/8

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