Exiled Argentinian poet marks National Poetry Day in Brighton

Nestor Ponce
Nestor Ponce

Exiled Argentinian poet Néstor Ponce is to appear at a Freedom from Torture event in Brighton, as part of National Poetry Day.

Néstor will be speaking at the Chapel Royal, 164 North Street, Brighton on September 28 from 6.30pm.

Spokesman Ed Gillett confirmed he will be reading from the new English translation of his collection Disappearance without Absence.

“The event is being held in support of Freedom from Torture, the UK’s only charity dedicated to the rehabilitation and protection of torture survivors.

“The 37 poems in Disappearance without Absence are testaments to the voices of those who were kidnapped, tortured and targeted for death and erasure in the concentration camps of Argentina's 1976-1983 military junta. The book has been nationally recognised in Argentina and distributed by the Ministry of Education to all of the nation's schools and libraries, as part of an ongoing process of national and international remembering, mourning and justice-seeking.

“Néstor Ponce was himself forced to go into hiding in 1976 as a result of his political activism, following the kidnapping by the government of several of his friends and neighbours. He fled to Brazil in 1978, arriving in France as a political refugee a year later and subsequently building a successful career as an author and academic. He is currently a lecturer in Latin American literature at the University of Rennes and was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in 2013.

“For this special event organised by the Brighton supporters’ group of Freedom from Torture, Néstor will be presenting the first English translation of Disappearance without Absence alongside Brighton-based poet and editor Naomi Foyle, of Waterloo Press. The bilingual poetry reading will be followed by a discussion and Q&A, looking at this year’s National Poetry Day theme of Freedom.”

Free entry, with suggested donation to Freedom from Torture of £6

“Since its foundation in 1985, Freedom from Torture has been the UK’s only human rights charity dedicated to the treatment and rehabilitation of torture survivors. It offers psychological and physical therapies, creative projects, forensic documentation of torture and practical assistance to survivors seeking refuge in the UK, and campaigns for their rights in the UK and internationally.”