Shared Dreams of Freedom

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Shared Dreams of Freedom

The Romanian General Consulate & One Room Theatre invite you to a literary evening and a reception, which will bring together Romanian-Canadian and African-Canadian poets, celebrating Romania’s National Cultural Day and the anniversaries of Mihai Eminescu and Martin Luther King, Jr.

LOCATION: Romanian General Consulate, 555 Richmond Street, Suite 1108, Toronto.
DATE & TIME: 15 January 2014, 6:30 p.m.
• The event will be introduced by Antonella Marinescu, Romanian General Consul in Toronto.
• Eminescu’s poems will be followed by an excerpt from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
• Romanian-Canadian Calin Mihailescu and Diana Manole will join African-Canadian Pamela Mordecai and George Elliott Clarke, Toronto’s Poet Laureate, voicing their own dreams through poems in both English and Romanian.
• A short reception featuring the infamous Dracula wine and tasty traditional snacks will conclude the evening, giving everyone a chance to talk to the writers and the other guests.
*Organized by Dr. Diana Manole, artistic director of the One Room Theatre, with the support of the Romanian General Consulate in Toronto.

Mihai Eminescu, who came to be called the Evening Star of Romanian poetry,
was born on 15 January 1850 in Botosani, in the Northern province of Bucovina.
A Romantic writer and a sharp journalist, his work greatly influenced the subsequent development of the national language and literature. His philosophical and romantic lyrics, including “The Evening Star” (“Luceăfarul”), his masterpiece, are some of the most famous Romanian poems. Eminescu also addressed political and historical subjects, particularly in his epic “Epistles” (“Scrisori”), as well as in “Emperor and Proletarian” (“Imparat si proletar”), but also in his newspaper articles and pamphlets in The Time (Timpul). His scorching political satire is complemented by his passionate plea for freedom and justice, as well as gentle or feisty expression of patriotism.

“What I wish for you, sweet Romania, my country of glory, my country of yearning” remains one of the most touching declarations genuine patriotism.

Martin Luther King, Jr., born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, was an American clergyman, activist, humanitarian, and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Between 1957 and 1968, King traveled millions of miles and gave over twenty-five hundred speeches, while he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. King also helped to organize, in 1963, the peaceful March on Washington, D.C. There, in front of over 250,000 people, he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, considered one of the most passionate and effective political statements of the 20th century. In 1964 King was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to him for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.

He was assassinated on 4 April 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, a martyr whose death testified to the truth that dreams of democratic change do not easily become reality.

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,” King still appeals to us across decades in an increasingly globalized world.


George Elliott Clarke
Hailing from Nova Scotia, George Elliott Clarke is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, in addition to dramatic plays and opera librettos, a verse novel and a prose one, numerous journal articles and a comprehensive study of African-Canadian literature, an academic discipline he pioneered. His numerous awards include the Governor General’s Award for Poetry (2001) but also the Poesis prize for the anthology of poems Poeme incendiare (Oradea: Cogita, 2005), translated by Flavia Cosma. He is currently Toronto’s Poet Laureate and the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Associate Professor of
Canadian Studies at Harvard University.

Diana Manole
Diana Manole is an award-winning Romanian-born Canadian poet, playwright, theatre director, scholar, and professor. She has published eight poetry and drama collections, poems in several national and international anthologies and magazines, as well as nine scholarly articles and book chapters. Her work has been reviewed in The History of Romanian Literature: Drama (2008) and The History of Romanian Contemporary Literature 1941-2000 (2005). She founded and is the artistic director of One Room Theatre, a company specialized in multimedia performance inspired by poetry.

Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu
Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu is a multilingual writer and a professor of Comparative Literature, Critical Theory, and Hispanic Studies at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Among his many authored volumes are Ţară europsită (2002), 16-17~ Renastere, manierism, baroc (2005), and, among the edited volumes, This Craft of Verse by Jorge Luis Borges (2000) and What Was It Like? Something Like That… Memories from the Years of [Romanian] Communism (2006). His most recent book, Happy New
Fear!, came out in Bucharest in 2011.

Pamela Mordecai
Born in Jamaica, educated there and in the USA, Pamela Mordecai earned a PhD in English for a dissertation that proposes a cognitive style called prismatic vision, which she examined in the poetry of Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott. She writes poetry, fiction, and plays for adults and children, as well as occasional critical articles. Her fifth collection of poems, Subversive Sonnets, was published by TSAR Publications in 2012. She lives in Kitchener, ON.

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