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Report: Tasmanian Poetry Festival 2005 [Australia]:
Ralph Wessman writes, "Both poets refer a good deal to the international poetry festival in Medellin, Columbia, where Williams has twice been a guest. The first experience so impressed her that when she returned to Australia she determined to learn to speak Spanish. On being invited back to the festival seven years later she was able to read in a mix of Spanish and English.

'I'd found the experience of listening to poetry in Spanish, just wonderful - but frustrating too,' says Lauren Williams. 'I couldn't understand the words but could see from the expressions on the faces of other guests that this was something good, that I was in the presence of some great poetry being read - and I couldn't understand a word. It came to a climax for me when I was asked which poem from my work I'd like read to the audience - in Spanish - and, when I pointed to one beginning


Lust comes to visit
knocks on the door

the response was deadpan. I thought, this can't be right! What's happening, what are they hearing? ... It turns out the programme translation mistakenly assumed 'Lust' to be a person's name, and the audience was listening to the equivalent of


Jason comes to visit
knocks on the door

No wonder there was no response. They were thinking, who is this woman? I turned to the translater and demanded to present a poem myself - a rap poem - cos that crosses any language barrier, it's rhythmic - and this saved my ass big time!'"
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