Ian Boyden Reads from A Forest of Names
Join Ian Boyden for a reading of poems from A Forest of Names: 108 Meditations, a collection of poems translating the names of schoolchildren killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. 5,196 schoolchildren were killed when their schools collapsed on them. Boyden spent a year translating their names and contemplating what these names reveal about who we are and what it is we value. This reading will be structured around the word 文, pronounced wén—an incredibly important word for which we have no exact translation. The word comes up again and again in the names of these children. How did it come to be so important? What is revealed about culture and hopes for the future based on the names the children are asked to carry? Not only is “wen” central to many of these children’s names, but it is also central to the place and geography where they lived, even the name of the earthquake itself. The reading, hosted by the Seattle Poetics Lab, will last about 45 minutes and be followed by a Q&A.
Friday, January 22, 7pm PST
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2064225002