No, this is not Brew’d Awakening on Market Street on a Thursday night. It’s Syria. The NTimes online today has a lead story on a literary freedom outpost in Damascas, where poets and writers stand up and speak freely at the House of Poetry, where the posters on the wall include Charlie Parker, one of Jack Kerouac’s heroes. The whole scene that is described has a lot in common with the Beat poets of the 50s and 60s. Read the article by Kareem Fahim and Narawa Mahfoud here, and get the NYT if you enjoy these kinds of stories.
Lukman Derky, host of a weekly poetry salon at a Damascus hotel, has been a fixture in Syria’s creative class, and at one time was editor of a satirical weekly. (Web photo courtesy of Bryan Denton for The New York Times)