Poets Take to the Streets in Ktovet Documentary

Jerusalem has always been a city of poets. That tradition is preserved today by the members of the Ktovet group who have formed The Poetry Place, a poetry organization supported by the Jerusalem Foundation.

 

On Thursday, January 12th, a documentary about the group entitled "Poetry Ltd." debuted at the Cinematheque in front of a crowd of about 200 audience members. Director Dorit Weisman, herself a member of the group, was on hand for a question and answer session, and Weisman, with other Ktovet members, read poetry after the screening.

 

The film itself intersperses readings by the poets with archive footage of the then-emerging group discussing its aims and future plans. Interviews with key figures, such as Gilad Meiri, one of Ktovet's main founders, are also included. The Jerusalem landscape is an important motif in the film, with poetry scenes filmed in such lyrical places as the Mahane Yehuda shuk and the city's bustling, colorful center of town.

 

One of the film's major messages is the importance of democratizing poetry, taking it out of the rarified halls of academia and into the streets.

 

"I think we can bring poetry to a much wider audience than just people who read poetry from poetry books," says Weisman in the film. Her poem, "Sestina for a Cashier," featured in the film, gives voice to the inner thoughts of a woman working at a supermarket, showing how the inner monologue of a bored worker is also a kind of poem.  

 

Project Ktovet was established in 2002, in the Lev Ha’ir community center. The One-Square-Meter Festival is the highlight of its calendar and is characterized by high quality art accessible to all. The Foundation helps support the annual event, enabling organic growth and development of the program and a larger attendance. In addition, it helps the group with its other activities: poetry readings, events and the publication of the Ktovet anthology.

 

After the Thursday documentary screening, an older woman in the audience raised her hand and asked to make a comment. She said that she had been active in the Tel Aviv poetry scene of the 1950's and that by attending Ktovet's events, she felt that she was once again enriched by a lively poetry scene.

 

To see a trailer for the film with English subtitles, click here

 

To learn more about the group, see its English info page