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Live Books: A Poet Meets the Public on Marjanishvili Stage

On March 6, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection hosted a meeting with Givi Alkhazishvili on the stage of the Marjanishvili State Theater as part of its Live Books project.

“This is my selected poetry from over 30 different collections. The official presentation will take place on April 11, at the National Library. In recent years, writers visited schools in the regions to popularize reading and literature. It’s been quite a while since the program stopped, but then author Keti Dumbadze thought of a way [to return to this nice tradition],” Alkhazishvili told GEORGIA TODAY.

This is part of the Ministry's unprecedentedly large-scale literary-educational project, which was begun on April 14 2015 to honor the Day of the Georgian Language. Initially, it was carried out in available educational centers and institutions all around Georgia, and 75 writers were involved. The project comprised visits to public schools, libraries, museums and houses of culture, as well as poetry soirees and discussions with local groups. Later, the project grew and included penitentiary and military departments. Nowadays, the project is systematically carried out in public schools and at the Marjanishvili Theater.

“I have an idea to involve our writer-translators in the project in order to make it [bilingual],” Dumbadze, author of the project and the Minister’s counselor in the field of literature, told us. “Then we will invite the representatives of embassies [accredited in Georgia], as I think that they should be aware of not only Georgian friendship but first and foremost, of Georgian poetry. I want them to be able to listen to poetic translations. Therefore, I think it would be good to give translations to poets. I hope that this project will be long-running and that our participants are very fruitful. Today, we have a representative of the older generation. Such tete-a-tete meetings with writers have been really missed”.

Since February 2016, on every third Monday, the ‘Basement’ of Marjanishvili Theater has hosted writers and poets who share their creative works with readers via mono-performances. Normally, the format is free, with participants choosing their form of self-expression, be it a modern performance, or an appearance and reading. This time, a more classical form was chosen, as the poet presented his selected works under lamplight, a symbol of his age and calm character. The poetic interludes were filled with memories from the author’s private life, and were saturated with a sense of humor. Alkhazishvili presented himself as an ordinary person without any masks, a person with weaknesses who does not talk to the public from a pedestal.

In 2015, the literary project Live Books was awarded a prize by the Georgian TV Broadcaster in the category of “Best Literary Event of the Year”.

On March 27, the Georgian-speaking community interested in discovering Georgian poetic pearls will have a possibility to listen to Tariel Chanturia, one of the Last Mohicans of Georgian poetry, distinguished with poetic neologisms, a sense of humor and individual style.

WHERE: 8 Marjanishvili Str.

WHEN: Every third Monday

TICKET: 7 GEL. Entrance is free for students

Maka Lomadze

09 March 2017 18:49