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Cannot access this performance because it occurred in the past: 4/20/18 7:30 PM.
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PEN World Voices Festival presents
Kexaptun: Poetry in New York’s Newest and Oldest Languages
Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7:30PM

Deutsches Haus at NYU
42 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003


With speakers of as many as 800 languages, contemporary New York City is the most linguistically diverse place in the history of the world. Kexaptun — “a few words” in Lenape, the endangered indigenous language of New York City — is an ongoing project of the Endangered Language Alliance. Its aim is to collect and create poems about or set in the City, in as many of its languages as possible. Kexaptun contributors from four continents who live in New York will perform and discuss their work, reflecting on their adopted home and the distance they have traveled to reach this “Babel in reverse”, a last-minute outpost for languages and cultures in an age of extinction. Yusra Zaini, from north Sumatra in Indonesia, will sing pantun, or rhyming quatrains, in Acehnese. Kewulay Kamara, a finah (lineage-based oral bard) originally from Sierra Leone and now based in Queens, will perform his work in Kuranko. Nino Provenzano will read and discuss his Sicilian poetry. Zenaida Cantú, a Tlapanec (Me’phaa) speaker from Guerrero, will reflect on the realities of life as an indigenous woman in both Mexico and New York. And Karen Mosko will discuss her work to revitalize Lenape (Lunaape), the native language of New York City.