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My first poetry reading in public

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My first poetry reading in public

My first poetry reading on April 15, 2011 at Café Jolesch in Zittau

This evening I read the first five of my poems before an audience in the beautiful Art
Nouveau atmosphere of Café Jolesch under the direction of Karin Kayser and Rolf Monitor in
the context of the "Open Stage" for the 3rd Lusatian Culture Night. I waited for my first
appearance with a good Czech Svijani fresh draft beer. On the small stage were already
loudspeakers,  microphones and musical instruments installed. From 8 pm on the room filled
with visitors. A live band playing rock music and blues and a young woman performed a
belly dance. All the tables were now occupied, and I cleared my place for some students,
listening to the sounds from the bar and watched the dance. There was much applause and
some young people shot photos with their cell phones. Then I was announced by Rolf
Monitor, stepped to the stage and read my five poems for the first time in public. It was
quiet in the room and all listened to me and when I had finished, came rapturous applause.
Rolf Monitor asked me if I could not read more of my poems, but I was only prepared to
read five. I promised to repeat my reading with more poems next time. 

Note: The Lusatian Culture Night is a yearly event in April from 7 pm till midnight with
different performances, exhibits and other events. Café Jolesch is a pub  in the so called
Hiller Villa. 
The villa was built at end of the 19th Century. It was for decades the home of the Jewish
Hiller family. Gustav Hiller, an inventor from Großschönau, using the proceeds from his
first patent, a machine for manufacturing curtain strings, founded Zittau's Phänomenwerke.
They were known in GDR times as VEB Robur Works Zittau, in which bicycles of the brand
Phänomen, the  Phänomobile and later the Robur truck were produced. During the Nazi rule,
Mrs. Hiller, could be bought off for an annual payment of 300,000 Reichsmark from
deportation. After the war the family moved into the West Zone. Today  the Villa Hiller is
home for the Multicultural Center (MUK), a nonprofit organization. In 1993, the
granddaughters of Gustav Hiller, Mrs Anne Frommann and Mrs Claudia Siede-Hiller, now
living in Israel, donated the villa to the MUK. The ground floor houses the Café Jolesch.

Copyright © Gert W. Knop

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  1. Date: 4/22/2011 11:41:00 AM
    a great write, thank you for the information.

  1. Date: 4/17/2011 10:06:00 PM
    Gert-so glad you posted this lovely description/narration of your first experience as a traveling poet! I was wondering how the event went and I applaud you here from the states and wish u many more successful reads! gwendolen

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 11:29:00 PM
    That must have been an amazing night for you-- I was smiling thinking how much of a success you were in your first poetry reading :) congrats for that Gert, I wish I was there to hear you :) -- super yay for you for being a hit, and no wonder at all that they want you to read again-- thanks for sharing the moment with us-- sounds like a magical night of poetry :) enjoy your Sunday :) Ingat lagi & Alles Gute!

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 11:11:00 AM
    Bravo!! I can imagine the inspiration your wonderful poems brought to the audience, Gert.Congratulations and am happy that all went well. I'm not so brave : ) Thanks for sharing a bit of hisotry about the Hillers. One can see how the blessings they received have been passed on to other through their descendants. Have a good weekend,my friend. Always, Annalise

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 8:50:00 AM
    Wish I could have been there to see and hear your reading your poetry at the cafe' on Lusation Culture Night. You left the crowd wanting more, a sure sign you made a wonderful impression. Thanks for sharing the history of the Hiller Villa. I've heard the Nazi's respected talent and I'm so glad the Hillers were able to avoid deportation (probably to a Nazi death camp). Bravo on your successful reading, my friend! Love and blessings, Carolyn

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 7:20:00 AM
    Wow, it sounded like a wonderful evening, Gert. Thank you for sharing : ) Jack

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 6:20:00 AM
    i give you a lot of credit for doing this. I have always wanted to read in public but have found that I think i am ready to do it then freeze when the chance arises. I enjoyed learning about the villa a well.. Glad your first time was a success any tips for me? cory

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 3:20:00 AM
    oh wow, gert. goood for you.. i did my my own poetry reading last year; i was so nervous but all went well... lovely expo of such thrilling experience... mahusay ka talaga! :) huggs, nette