Official EAFOL16 blogger Asma Merchant writes about the Festival’s film screenings and a night of poetry

IMG_5133Two more days of fun at the Festival. I attended a modern-day theatrical adaptation of Hamlet and a night of poetry by the Poeticians and Punch. Come to think of it, it doesn’t seem like things one would do at a festival focused on reading and literature!

But, I realised after attending them that theatre is nothing but an adaptation of the written word and performance poetry is adding a voice to the written word.

Shakespeare plays have been adapted by many different artists and the version I watched at the Festival was especially different because it was set in contemporary times and many of the characters were played by women, unlike the actual play where only two characters were women.

My love for poetry started with the literature festival when I heard Imtiaz Dharker and John Agard perform their poetry. I know that had I picked up their books and read the poetry I wouldn’t have been affected as much. When we read something that is written we are open to interpret it any way we like. But when a poet recites their poetry, you understand what they meant by it because it suddenly gets a soul.

Watching the Poeticians perform under the night sky at the beautiful courtyard in Dubai International Writers’ Centre was such a beautiful experience. Different voices, different topics and different nationalities but all of them aimed at touching the corner of our heart which we seldom pay attention to. The cherry on top was the Fayha Choir that made the beautiful even more appealing.

There are many more poetry sessions coming up at the Festival and I would urge those who have never attended a poetry session to do so because there is magic in the spoken word too.