Sunday, June 22, 2014
Switch off the television
Last April I attended the most important annual literary event in the Spanish speaking world: the Buenos Aires Book Fair. It is a meeting point for authors, editors, teachers, distributors, librarians, scientists and over one million readers from all over the world.
There were also international renowned authors.
Paul Auster was there, and you can read about his visit here.
The crowds of people at the book fair are a celebration of the existence of physical books. It is this passion for books that convinces me that they will not cease to exist. The digital era will not kill physical books.
While I was there I attended a poetry reading. The auditorium was packed. All the seats were taken and I had to sit on the floor.
There were also plans to read poetry on the streets and in the subway stations. What a great idea! I believe poetry should reach people everywhere. You never know how the words will touch others. There are no castles to restrain the free spirit of a poem; there is no elitist house to befit the true nature of this art. For this reason I always choose to submit to journals that are free online. Do journals in print have a better reputation? I don't know and I don't care. I believe in the power of poetry.
Poetry feeds the soul. It is a land where we can find ourselves in somebody else's words. Poetry is a language that embraces longings and dreams. It is the art of telling stories that are afraid of being told in other ways.
At the poetry reading I found a place close to the wall, and my eyes came across an enticing invitation (I took a picture of it to share it with you):
It says, "Switch off the television, turn on your mind and smoke a book."