Klara Riddermark’s reflects on Littosfären and contemporary poetry.

Art is considered as cool as always but the poetry parties remain oddly empty. How come words are still something for the few while other arty parties are happily attended by so many? Radar rang up Klara Riddermark, poet and one of the founders of Littosfären, for some answers.

What is Littosfären?
– People call us an ”cultural association that wants to open up the doors to poetry”. But really we mainly arrange events. Littosfären is a project which aims to create a room for poetry where it normally doesn’t exist. At a club for example. We also want to create the possibility to listen to and read poetry at a stage; a room where both poet and audience are present, with poets who might not have been published by some big company. Instead of waiting for that publishing, you might as well read and have a great party with us now.

Sure, listening to poetry is always pretty fun, but the mingle afterwards is so dull

How did you come up with the idea of this concept?
– We got the idea when we started to hang out at literature events in Malmö. We asked ourselves: why is this so lame? Malmö is a super fun city, literature is fun, everyone we hang out with who likes literature is fun, but there was nothing fun about the literature events at all. Sure, listening to poetry is always pretty fun, but the mingle afterwards is so dull. I want to drink beer, hang out with my friends and dance after a reading. Not sit down and talk about my writing project and name-drop poets I like. I mean, I can do that as well, but in that case when I’m outside, smoking, and not inside at one of the best dance floors in the world. Therefore, we created our own events instead.

klara riddermark

How come people still look upon poetry as this old dusty thing?
– That’s because what school teaches us so, at least that’s what my teacher taught me, and because Bonnier, about a week ago, made a reprint of Gustaf Fröding. Maybe because when you google ”poetry” the ugliest typography shows up, and so on. It’s sad because poetry is such a vivid form of art. I was once working at a poetry workshop and I tried to get this really tired 12-year-old to write a poem. I asked him to write down his last text and start building from there. He wrote: ”Mom called at 16.30 on September 6th but left no message. Mom called at 16.30 on September 6th but left no message. Mom called at 16.30 on September 6th but left no message.” It’s like one of the best poems I’ve ever read.

 To see poetry as a ”narrow genre” feels obsolete, I mean, a lot has happened since Fröding

How do you feel about young poetry? Does it get attention, any space in the society?
– There are many places where young poets can get published; poetry magazines, online magazines, smaller or bigger publishing companies, websites etc. These places are extremely important and they all complete one another. One day I’d like to gather all of these platforms and cooperate because we are so many who are passionate about poetry. And to see poetry as a ”narrow genre” feels obsolete, I mean, a lot has happened since Fröding.

Some people are worried about young people’s ability to read and write longer texts, due to digitalisation. Have you read any poetry influenced by typical internet language?
– Tao Lin begins his collection of poetry with ”The happiest moments of my life are from MSN live messenger”.

What would be the perfect location for a poetry party?
– Maybe at an underground club where the guests believe they have arrived just after the poetry reading and then: BAM! They hear the greatest poem in the world!

Who would be the one reading the greatest poem in the world?
– Anyone of Littosfären’s 500 members.

Where do I find Littosfären this autumn?
– In Malmö at gallery FRANK on Ahlmansgatan 3. If you want to meet us in Stockholm then you should come to our party at Cantina Real in Hornstull on October the 24th, in collaboration with Klubb Natten, Facebook-event coming up soon!

 

You can read more about Littosfären here:

littosfaren.tumblr.com

facebook.com/littosfaren

twitter.com/littosfaren