Princeton Festival offers video recordings by contemporary international poets

Clockwise from upper left: Xue Di, Toshiko Hirata, Jonathan Wells, Kathryn Nuernberger, Kevin Prufer, Christopher Merrill, Wayne Miller, Mari Kashiwagi, Shuntaro Tanikawa, Miho Nonaka, Randall Mann and Yasuhiro Yotsumoto.PHOTO COURTESY OF PRINCETON FESTIVAL
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Clockwise from upper left: Xue Di, Toshiko Hirata, Jonathan Wells, Kathryn Nuernberger, Kevin Prufer, Christopher Merrill, Wayne Miller, Mari Kashiwagi, Shuntaro Tanikawa, Miho Nonaka, Randall Mann and Yasuhiro Yotsumoto.PHOTO COURTESY OF PRINCETON FESTIVAL

The Princeton Festival is presenting exclusive video readings by 12 distinguished, widely published poets from the U.S., Japan and China on Facebook (www.facebook.com/princetonfest), Instagram (www.instagram.com/princetonfest), and the festival website (www.princetonfestival.org/performance/poetry-reading-series/).

The festival series features a different poet every day, reading a poem on the general topic of women. Each reading will take approximately one minute. All videos are also collected on the website for later viewing.

“We had an enthusiastic response to our poetry readings in 2018 and 2019,” Richard Tang Yuk, executive and artistic director of the Princeton Festival, said in a prepared statement. “The COVID-19 crisis prevents us from having live performances at this time, but we hope that these virtual poetry readings will uplift and inspire us all. These readings are the first of several digital performances we plan to offer in place of our regular season.”

The series kicks off with Yasuhiro Yotsumoto of Japan. Other participants from Japan include Shuntaro Tanikawa, the country’s most renowned contemporary poet; Mari Kashiwagi, who gave the first festival poetry reading two years ago; Miho Nanaka, who lives in the U.S. and writes in English; and Toshiko Hirata, a novelist as well as a poet, according to the statement.

Xue Di, the Chinese poet who drew a large audience at the 2019 festival, also participates in the virtual event.

Chinese and Japanese-language readings will be subtitled in English.

Participating American poets are Randall Mann; Christopher Merrill, who directs the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program; Wayne Miller, editor of the University of Colorado publication “Copper Nickel”; Kathryn Nuernberger; Kevin Prufer; and Jonathan Wells, who read the English versions of Xue Di’s poetry at the 2019 Princeton Festival poetry reading.

The Princeton Festival is a multi-genre festival of the performing arts. Its June 2020 public performance season has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In its place the festival will offer online access to archived performances from past seasons as well as live “at-home” performing arts events. For more information, visit www.princetonfestival.org or call 609-759-1979.