Reading in Berlin and Bremen

From the Newsletter of the Embassy of Malta in Berlin | Review 2009/2010

Maltese poet Adrian Grima at the International Poetry Festival in Berlin

In its efforts to regularly promote the literature and poetry of the Maltese Islands in Berlin the Embassy of Malta in Berlin organized, with the support of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, for the Maltese poet Adrian Grima to take part in the International Poetry Festival 2010 in Berlin, which is annually organized by the literaturWERKstatt, a renowned forum for literature readings in Berlin.

This year’s festival focused on the Mediterranean as a cultural region.

Poet Adrian Grima took part in two events on the ‘Islands Day’, which was dedicated to the languages of smaller Mediterranean islands. Adrian Grima read his poems in Maltese and participated in a poetry panel. Under the title ‘Poetry talks: Realms of the unfortunate – the island as a ‘poetic chance’, he and a poet from Cyprus discussed the poetic rooms that an island as a desired destination by many travelers may offer. During the poetry panel called ‘Word islands’ Adrian Grima, together with four other po ets, developed a lyrical panorama between Catalan, Maltese, Turkish, Greek, Armenian and English, locating their home country between the island as a cross point of the cultures and religions and the island as a point of friction in history.

A few days before, the Embassy supported the opening reception, providing information material about Malta and Gozo to the audience, and a contribution to the reception/buffet. The audience, consisting of cultural people from various parts of the world, sampled Maltese galletti, Maltese red and white wine, and homemade ħobż biż-żejt.

A Malta-Day took place as part of the Festival of Languages, organised by the University of Bremen. The festival was initiated by Prof. Thomas Stolz, who was also the initiator of the 2nd International Conference on Maltese Linguistics, which preceded the Malta Day. The Malta Day, inaugurated by the Ambassador of Malta in Germany, included a presentation on Maltese linguistics in German, a recitation of poetry in Maltese by Adrian Grima as well as a folk singing session. The Embassy of Malta in Berlin supported the organization of the Malta-Day in Bremen. [09/2009]

Department of Information – Government of Malta

Press Releases: No. 1686


As part of the ‘Festival of Languages’ organized by the Department of Linguistics of the University of Bremen and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the University of Malta, a ‘Malta Day’ focusing on the Maltese language took place at the Bremen University Guest House on Thursday 24th September 2009.

The ‘Malta Day’ follows a highly successful 2nd edition of the International Conference on Maltese Linguistics which took place last week and which brought together in Bremen a number of experts in linguistics from different parts of the world to discuss, investigate and explore further  the Maltese language.  The 1st edition of the conference took place in Bremen in 2007.  It is intended that the 3rd edition would convene in Malta.

On the initiative of German professor of linguistics Dr. Thomas Stolz, who speaks and corresponds with this Embassy in Maltese, the ‘Malta Day’ included a lecture in German by Dr. Ray Fabri, from the department of linguistics of the University of Malta, on aspects of Maltese linguistics and the dynamics of change influencing its development; poetry reading by Dr. Adrian Grima with parallel translation recited in German and also folk singing in Maltese provided by popular Maltese folk singer and songwriter, Walter Micallef on his guitar.  Ambassador Grech delivered the inaugural address, providing the audience with an explanation about the origins of the Maltese language and its present standing as an essential aspect of nation-building.

The ‘Malta Day’ in Bremen also included a large display of books in Maltese, including children’s books, which raised the desired curiosity within the university campus.  It should be noted that the department of linguistics of the University of Bremen houses over 500 volumes of books in Maltese – reputedly the largest collection of books in Maltese outside Malta.

The Rector of the University of Bremen, Professor Dr. Wilfred Müller was guest of honour of the ‘Malta Day’.  On the margins of the event, Professor Müller and Ambassador Grech discussed the possibility of formally structuring this highly fruitful relationship which has developed between Malta and the University of Bremen on the promotion of the Maltese language with a view to possibly consider setting up a chair of Maltese linguistics in the University of Bremen.  This would create a unique academic platform in a prestigious German university, thereby providing scholars of the Maltese language with the essential international outreach.  It is expected that Professor Müller would be visiting Malta to explore the idea further with his counterpart at the University of Malta.

DOI – 04.10.2009


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