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Irish poetry readings at Expo

IRISH poets Patrick Cotter and James Harpur will read Irish verse today at M on the Bund and tomorrow at the Ireland Pavilion at the World Expo. Irish poems translated into Chinese will be available.

Tomorrow they will be joined by two Shanghai poets.

Meanwhile, 1,000 copies of the anthology they read from - translated into Chinese - will be handed out at the Expo. The book project was specially designed for the Expo as a gift to China.

Cotter, from Shanghai's Irish sister city of Cork, is curator of the collection of verse by 25 Cork poets all addressing the theme of "places."

This is the third China trip by Cotter, who is artistic director of the Munster Literature Center of Cork, which collected the works.

All but two of the poems were originally in English, while two were in Gaelic, the Irish language. They were translated into Chinese with help of the Shanghai Writers' Association.

"Cork is a small city with only 360,000 people, nothing compared with Shanghai, but we are proud of our art and culture traditions," Cotter tells Shanghai Daily. "We want to present a gift to the people of Shanghai to demonstrate how to use our culture better."


Coter chose the theme of "places" to resonate with the Expo theme of "Better City, Better Life." The Cork poets have traveled widely and will bring to the people of Shanghai a taste of the world, he says.

Thomas McCarthy, one of the 25 poets, wrote about his experience in Shanghai when he visited the Shanghai Literary Festival last year. In his poem "At Fudan University," McCarthy recounts his encounter with two female students whose passion for Irish culture touched him.

Shanghai novelist Su De, one of the translators of the anthology, has created 25 pieces of calligraphy for the poems, combining calligraphy and drawing. She stayed in Cork for two months on an exchange program. Her works will be exhibited in the pavilion.

Following Cotter and Harpur, one Irish poet will hold poetry readings in the pavilion every month. McCarthy will be the final poet for the closing month of the Expo in October.

Poetry reading

Date: Today, 4pm

Venue: 7/F, M on the Bund, 20 Guangdong Rd

Tel: 6350-9988

Date: Tomorrow, 2pm

Venue: Ireland Pavilion, Expo Pudong site


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