Gilad Atzmon on Gunter Grass, poetry and politics.
Wenlock Poetry Festival
Saturday 14th April 1.00 p.m. The Edge Arts Centre free
On 4th April, eminent German writer and Nobel laureate, Günter Grass published a poem in the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung. The poem is called What Must Be Said, and deals with Israel's nuclear programme and the threat it poses to world security. Grass's stimulus to write the poem was Germany's recent sale to Israel of submarines that carry nuclear weapons. The poem has sparked a huge amount of media and political attention, and the Israeli government has banned Grass from entering Israel.
This weekend, musician and writer Gilad Atzmon is appearing at the Wenlock Poetry Festival to perform, and to present a composition workshop. In the light of the ongoing storm of debate around Grass's poem, he has been invited to lead a discussion on the role of the artist in contemporary political debate. Atzmon has written widely on Jewish identity politics and has first-hand experience of public reaction to critical opinion about Israel.