Poetry readings have been held every month at the Black Duck and in other venues in Astana for the better part of a year. This one, “Let Me Fly,” featured paper planes with Demeisenova’s poems printed on them and began with a violin performance by Alina Guchshina, who often accompanied the poet as she read.
“I started to make up poems before I learned how to read,” Demeisenova said in her introduction. “By the time I reached the second grade, my mom took me to the Shuchinsk district newspaper editor, Stepan Avdeyuk, who became my first critic and tutor. The newspaper became the first place I could be published. My first poems were about nature. I was born in the beautiful Borovoye area and it was impossible for me not to write. Everything I write is closely related to my life.”
The first part of the event was mostly dedicated to lyrics and violin music. Demeisenova made the event interactive, giving guests papers on which to write questions or wishes. They could also fly paper planes containing poems they wanted to hear read. Some of the poets at the reading made up poems dedicated to Demeisenova on the spot.
“The evening was held in a romantic atmosphere matching Aliya … . When you hear a serious comparison of happiness with a cat, you start to think about what happiness means. It may be loneliness or its absence; it may be the city where one wants to live and love; it may be people whom you change and who change you,” said Liya Tarazi, another young poet from Astana.
Closing the event, Demeisenova revealed the meaning of the event’s name. “It’s not true that some people are born to creep and others to fly. All of us come to this world with wings, but everyday fuss, concerns, problems and limits that we set ourselves throw us back on earth. Don’t let anyone stop your flight. Fly, create and believe in wonder.”
Demeisenova’s benefit evening was the second in a number of upcoming benefit evenings. The benefit evenings are held as part of the monthly series of poetry readings that began in March 2013. In the future, organiser Yelden Sarybay plans to publish poems by contributors and also have them translated into other languages.