Syria's underground poetry scene

Local poet Luqman Derki's weekly poetry night held in a hotel basement attracts hundreds of locals seeking to present and hear original poetry.

By , Correspondent

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

It is Monday night in the basement bar of the Fardoss Tower Hotel in Damascus and a packed audience is getting restless. Local poet, journalist, and playwright Luqman Derki takes to the podium. Silencing the crowd with a glare, he begins to recite an ode to love and loss.

Welcome to Beit al-Qasid (house of the poet), Mr. Derki’s weekly poetry night. What began informally in 2006 is now a phenomenon attracting hundreds.

Recommended: Default

“The main idea was to take poetry out of its typical setting,” says Derki. “Poetry evenings can be so boring, so I decided create something free and exciting.”

Each week he throws the microphone open to any poet or musician brave enough to accept the challenge in front of a heckling crowd. Language is no barrier. “My aim is to introduce people to the best of other cultures,” Derki says. “And always the best of other cultures is poetry.”

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...