On Saturday, April 15, Rust Belt Books is hosting an informal “opening” to raise awareness for poets that are currently banned from entering the US because of the travel ban. The event is part of a three day exhibit of poems written by those affected by the ban. The purpose behind the initiative is varied, but mainly, the organizers are hoping to help people understand and appreciate “the cultures, histories, and especially, the individuals of these countries.”
The material gathered in preparation would be a resource to share with the community–crucially not only among those of like mind, but with all people in a non-threatening and fundamentally human way.
Since the ban was first enacted, many people have been trying to come up with ways to bring disparate cultures together – cultures that are currently forbidden to continue to associate with each other as freely as they once were. The poems, written by poets from the seven countries denied access to the US, will be displayed at Rust Belt Books. Additional copies of the poems will be available for people to take and hand out.
This event is tentatively set aside the weekend of April 14, 15, and 16.
Rust Belt Books is looking for local poets (hailing from those same seven countries) to take part in awareness event. Local residents from those banned countries are encouraged to read aloud the works of those poets who would not be permitted to come and read for themselves.
Rust Belt Books is still putting together the final details per the event. In the meantime, the bookstore is looking for the community to get involved. Therefore, here’s hoping that supporters can contribute:
2) Research: pick a country (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) and find a poet/poem with which you really connect. Then let Rust Belt Book know the poet and country.
3) Spreading the word. Contacting individuals/groups who might be interested and willing to contribute poems or help locate native poets/speakers. This is so absolutely open to all.
5) Anyone free and willing to help set up/lovingly decorate the back room of Rust Belt Books–poetry, color, fabric – before the event.
*Iranian poet, Forugh Farrokhzad, made a 22-minute documentary (1962) about a leper colony: The House Is Black. Subsequently, she adopted one of the children. A screening of this film may also be a part of “Poetry From the Banned Seven”.
Rust Belt Books | 415 Grant Street | Buffalo NY | 716-885-9535