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Rutgers Graduate & Professional School

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Rutgers Day - Thank You!

Dear Core Faculty and Graduate Students and Distinguished Friends of Comp Lit,

Conceived last year by Cesar Braga-Pinto, Comparative Literature was again the proud host of a WORLD POETRY performance event at Rutgers Day! Our wonderful readers read poetry in the original languages and then in translation (sometimes creating a translation on the spot), and also did some quick teaching about the poems. The audience loved hearing the poetic news from the four global corners! As usual they showed their pleasure and fascination whether they were present or in transit. Passers-by heard some Chinese wafting over the breeze, or Russian, or Spanish or French or Italian or Portuguese or German or Yiddish or Quechua or Greek and came forward to listen and stayed to hear more. Some sat happily for hours, some for long minutes, many with babies in strollers, grandparents in tow, and everywhere RU students or ex-students came to the Comp Lit booth near the stage to chat about comparative literature, take copies of free books and Exit 9 (our grad student journal), dig into some great CL swag and, of course, listen to poetry--from 1:00-4:15!

Warmest thanks to Matthew, Mavis, Neil, Jenny, Katrine, Salvatore, Ping, Yvette, and Shirli, our CL grad student readers, as well as to Cristóbal, Mac, Mary, Claudia, grad students from Spanish and Portuguese, and Joseph, Yan and Kristin, undergrads from Comp Lit and Jewish Studies, and to Yolanda and Jorge who held up the poetry banner for the Comp Lit faculty! Our World Poetry event was launched by the angelic harmonies of the fabulous AMANDALA, the renowned a cappella girl's singing group from Highland Park High School, one of whose members, Camila Marcone, served as Comp Lit's liaison. Thanks Camila!! Thanks to Lauren for again pulling strings and getting Penguin and OUP to serve up free books. Thanks to Karen Regis for assembling and designing the program (see attached) and for cutting out letters for Jorge's "Can you Translate 'Cross-Cultural'?" activities board. Thanks to Yolanda for womaning the booth when we needed her! But the biggest thanks goes to the great Marilyn Tankiewicz who kept this event on the calendar, reserved our place in front of Loree, AND OUR STAGE, commanded the troops, ordered the goodies and generally charmed everyone with Comp Lit clips and bottle openers, not to mention free books. Marilyn, you're the best!!

It was great to see Ben and friends, Jackie and son Josh, and Ping's husband, Salvatore's wife, Shirli's family, Marilyn's son and family, Jorge's family, my Rob too and friends and colleagues galore!) It was a beautiful day and Comp Lit made it more beautiful--both linguistically rich and splendidly soulful. Dean Barbara Bender who was monitoring our area all day was full of praise.

Thanks again!
Huzzahs to Comp Lit!!

Elin Diamond
Graduate Director of Comparative Literature

Rutgers Day 2009

ImageApril 25, 2009

"World Poetry Day", Comparative Literature’s contribution to Rutgers Day on 4/25 was a huge success. It started at 1pm, and went on in two installments for an hour-and-a half. People strolled by and stayed to hear poetry read on a makeshift stage at the center of a group of tables. They sat in the heat, or stood on the periphery, with their bikes, strollers, drinks, plants, and listened to verse in original languages followed by translation. It was very moving. Global this and global that, but the real pulse of global connection is in literature and in the sounds of languages one can't understand, followed by a translation that one craves but knows is inadequate. Some of our readers made the translation a lovely teaching moment.

Our readers were faculty, graduate students, undergrads, mostly from Comp Lit but also English, Spanish and Portuguese, and Jewish Studies. Elin acted as impromptu m.c., gathering people to listen to poetry in Dutch (Maria), Russian (Sergey), Quechua (Neil), Romanian (Monica). French (Sandie, Elin), Russian (Sergey), Italian in trans (Lauren), Portuguese (César),  Spanish (Ben, Yolanda, Estela Lamat, Candice Amich, undergrad Ronald Green), Hebrew and Yiddish (undergrads Leah Weiss, Shir Amar and Emily Bernstein), and Sinhalese (Nimanthi Rajasingham) and original poems by many (Estela, Lauren, Sergey, Candice, Michael Leong, and Ronald). With a minute’s rehearsal and wearing caps, Sandie and Elin, were Didi and Gogo, performing a poetic "canter" in French, then English from Waiting For Godot.

It was a great Comp Lit and multiple program team effort. We are indebted to César for his vision, to Marilyn for super decor, and to Lauren for her connections with Penguin. Our table was covered by a striking monogrammed tablecloth that Marilyn spent literally hours and days specifying and ordering. We had free books to give away courtesy of Penguin, red and black balloons, baskets of free candies and chips and very popular red bag clips that say "Rutgers Comparative Literature." These were grabbed by the handsful (who knew?). Marilyn, Elin, César, and Jorge Marcone, handled the booth most of the morning.  [See photos].





Comparative Literature at Rutgers Day

Visit us at Rutgers Day
Outside Loree Building
72 Lipman Driive
Douglass Campus
Image University-Wide

April 24, 2010