Litany for the deceased street dwellers of Brussels in 2018
Every year, dozens of men and women die as a result of the harsh conditions they have to endure in the streets of Brussels. The Collective of Deceased Street Dwellers (Collectief Straatdoden / Collectif Morts de la Rue), which since 2005 has sought to provide a worthy farewell to the deceased street dwellers of Brussels, gathers as much information as possible about them, attends their funerals and organizes an annual commemorative ceremony in the Town Hall on the Grand Place.
A recurrent feature of this mournful commemoration is the annual ‘Litany for the deceased street dwellers’, which, commissioned by Passa Porta, is written and read out by members of the Brussels Poetry Collective. The poets compose a short lyrical text for each of the deceased, based on personal information they obtained through the Collective of Deceased Street Dwellers. International house of literature Passa Porta is in charge of coordinating and editing this polyphonic, collective text.
The bilingual ‘Litany’ will be read this year by Frank De Crits and Serge Meurant. It includes poems by Serge Meurant, Maarten Goethals, Geert van Istendael, Manza, Maky, Ramón Neto, Anne Penders and Xavier Queipo. At the request of the poets, their fees will be donated this year to the Collective of Deceased Street Dwellers.
Brussels Poetry Collective
Brussels doesn’t need just one city poet, but several. In 2009 writers David Van Reybrouck and Peter Vermeersch, together with Passa Porta, developed a multicultural and multilingual poetry collective. In 2014, they passed on the project; new members have joined the collective and new projects are being developed. Current members are Taha Adnan, Adolfo Barberá, Frank De Crits, Geert van Istendael, Maky, Manza, Serge Meurant, Ramón Neto, Xavier Queipo, Elke de Rijcke, Kader Sevinç, Silvia Vainberg and Bart Vonck.