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Genny Lim at Other Words 2008

Genny Lim is a native of San Francisco, a poet, playwright, performer, educator, and lifelong activist. Her live poetry and music collaborations have brought her international recognition in Venezuela and Bosnia-Hercegovina and her play Paper Angels was produced in the U.S. as well as Canada and China. She is the author of two books of poetry, Winter Place and Child of War and coauthor of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island. She frequently collaborates with musician-composer Francis Wong, and has performed with other top artists, including Max Roach, Herbie Lewis, John Santos, and Jon Jang.

Genny Lim will be joined at the Other Words Festival by composer-musician Francis Wong, director and co-founder of Asian Improv Arts, San Francisco’s premier arts organization dedicated to traditional and innovative Asian and American music, dance, and performing arts practices. Francis Wong performs internationally as a musician (saxophones, flutes and other reeds; violin, among other traditional string instruments), and has produced dozens of recordings for Asian Improv Arts and other music labels. Together with the late pianist Glenn Horiuchi and percussionist Elliot Humberto Kavee, Lim and Wong’s recording of Devotee (a work inspired by the life of Francis Wong’s mother, Noela Maria Wong, who grew up in Mauritius, 1000 miles off the coast of South Africa) documents these two artists’ longstanding collaborative practice.


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Michel Abdollahi and Sulaiman Masomi will represent Germany at the Festival

Michel Abdollahi, born in Teheran in 1981, has been living in Hamburg, Germany, for more than 20 years. He studied law, then entered the slam poetry scene in Hamburg where he has been active as an award winning poet and as a political voice fighting aggression in public schools and building bridges between Orient and Occident. He writes and performs in German and Farsi.

Sulaiman Masomi, born in Kabul in 1979, moved to Germany with his parents a year later to escape the war against the Soviet Union. He has been active in Germanys slam and hip hop scene, winning numerous prestigious awards for his politically charged texts and performances that often focus on the plight of foreigners in Germany. He writes and performs in German.

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Ingvild Burkey will attend Other Words in October

Ingvild Burkey was born in Oslo in 1967, of a Norwegian mother and an American father. She holds a degree in political science from Yale University and has worked as a human rights monitor in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1997-2000) and many African countries, including Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Tanzania.

 In the 1990s, she was co-editor of the Norwegian literary journal Vagant. She has published two collections of poetry (Torden i søvne, 1994; Den mest tenkelige av alle verdener, 2008), a novel (Falsk pike, 1997) and a collection of short prose (Intervju med den hjemvendte helten, 2002).

 She lives in Oslo and Borje, Croatia.

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Jean-Michel Espitallier confirmed to attend ’08 Festival

French Poet Jean-Michel Espitallier has confirmed his attendance to the International Poetry Festival.

Incomparable poet Jean-Michel Espitallier (born 1957) plays on various instruments and works along constantly renewed modes of action to keep on playing with the bizarre of language, and test its limits.

Co-founder of the journal Java, coordinator of the issue about « New French Poetry » in the Magazine littéraire (march 2001), he is the author of several books, among which the very controversial Pièces détachées, une anthologie de la poésie française aujourd’hui [Bits and Pieces, An Anthology of French Poertry Today] (Pocket, 2000) and Caisse à outils, un panorama de la poésie française aujour’hui [Tools Box, A Panorama of French Poetry Today] (Pocket, 2006). His Théorème d’Espitallier (Flammarion, 2003), was translated into english by Guy Bennett (Espitallier’s Theorem, Seismicity Editions, L.A., 2005). Fantaisie bouchère (Derrière la salle de bain, 2001) was translated by Sherry Brennan (Butcher’s Fantasy, Duration Press, NYC, 2003).

He curently works on various multimedia projects (sound, video, music, etc., he is also drummer in a punk rock band), and gives readings, performances and lectures in France and abroad. His last book, Army, has just been published by Al Dante. He will publish in 2009 an essay about « Syd Barrett, the rock’n roll and other stuffs ».


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Fabiano Alborghetti will represent Switzerland and Italy at 2008 Festival

Fabiano Alborghetti was born in Milan (Italy) in 1970 and lives in Lugano (Switzerland). He has worked as a photographer and as a playwright. His work is included in several poetry anthologies, and he collaborates closely with magazines as well as with various publishing houses as consultant editor.

Fabiano Alborghetti has published Verso Buda (LietoColle 2004) and L’opposta riva (LietoColle, 2006) whose theme is “clandestine” immigrants in Italy, with whom Alborghetti lived between 2001 and 2004. He recently published two limited edition poetry art-books: lugano paradiso (Edizioni Pulcinoelefante, 2008; with a unique work by Chiara Curti for each of the 25 copies) and Ruota degli esposti (Edizioni Fuoridalcoro, 2008; with unique Indian ink drawing by Italian painter Gianni Bolis for each of the 60 copies).

His new collection of poems, Registro dei fragili, is forthcoming from the Swiss publishing house Casagrande Editore. The main theme of this collection is a news story of infanticide in northern Italy.

In 2008, Alborghetti was awarded one of the four literary aid grants allocated by Pro Helvetia (the Swiss Foundation for Culture) for the Canton Ticino.

His poetry – in some ways comparable to the earliest Elio Pagliarani and the latest Giampiero Neri, Tony Harrison and the German Durs Grünbein – has gained the attention, among others, of eminent poets and critics like Gianni D’Elia (Italy), Fabio Pusterla, Giovanni Orelli, and Gilberto Isella (Switzerland).

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Swedish-Chinese Poet Li Li will attend Other Words 2008

Swedish-Chinese Poet Li Li Born in 1961, in Shanghai, China, Li Li now lives in Sweden. He studied Swedish at Beijing University, and moved to Sweden in 1988, where he studied Swedish literature at the Stockholm University. He debuted with Sight in water (1989), written in Swedish, and was rewarded with the literature prize De nio.


Li Li is the author of six volumes of poetry in Swedish, the latest Origin (2007), whish focuses on the life of his mother and his cultural background. His work has also been published in China and translated into several languages in anthologies and magazines. He has been awarded prizes for his poetry and translations, among them Beidouxing (2004) and he is currently working with a 10 year writing award from the Swedish Authors Foundation.


Apart from his own work Li Li has translated several Scandinavian poets into Chinese, including the complete works of Tomas Tranströmer, selected work of Edith Södergran (Finland), Harry Martinsson and Gunnar Ekelöf. He has also produced a series of short films, five of which have been broadcasted by the National Swedish Television.

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Other Words Festival announced

The 6th Other Words poetry festival will take place October 10-12, 2008 in San Francisco and will draw poets from the U.S. and from European countries (Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, France…) to a variety of local venues, co-sponsored by the San Francisco offices of several international consulates and cultural institutes along with local literary art organizations and universities.

The Other Words festival offers a rare opportunity to step out of the mono-lingual fixation, to experience some of the world’s extraordinary poetry in its original music, and encounter the crucial act of translation. The actual fact of multi-national diversity and other voices will be singularly present more than ever in San Francisco over the three days of the festival. Poets in the festival are internationally acclaimed and in several cases the poets will be reading their poetry in the US for the first time.

For a glimpse at last year’s festival, please visit:


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