The Maltese Poets Association (Għaqda Poeti Maltin) has issued its second number this year of its popular quarterly Versi.

The front page is dedicated to the association’s triennial general meeting, during which the new committee was elected, seeing in Charles Magro as the new president, after former president Alfred Massa declared he was opting out because of health reasons.

The editorial laments the grim predicament of all the local poets who would like to publish their verses, and comments cynically about the apathy shown by publishers and the lack of funds from the state as regards helpingin publication.

Four poems by foreign poetsfollow: The Master and Margarita of the 21st Century, by Sabahudin Hadzialic (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Through the Noise of Life by Nadia-Cella Pop (Romania), Oltre lo Sguardo, by Giuseppe Napolitano (Italy) and Nature, by Arbind Kumar Choudhary (India).

The Contemporary Maltese Poets corner is dedicated to veteran poet Joesph Sciberras, and included are five of his terse but very moving poems: Ġlieda, Irqad, Tama, Talba and Ir-Rota u l-Ħmara.

Kristina Miggiani’s poem The Physician, which won the National Poetry Contest 2011 (English Section), and is published on page 5, is followed by a fine essay by Isaac Enriquez about Maltese ethnical, social and religious characteristics as treated by local poets during the first and second halves of the 20th century.

Then there is a short critique by Patrick Sammut of Victor Fenech’s short poem, L-Aħħar Polka.

Alfred Massa comments ontwo publications: In-Nisġa tal-Għanja, a collection of Marian poems by Charles Mifsud and Katarsi, contemporary poems, by Andrew Sciberras.

Massa then updates the reader about the latest news from the world of poetry, to be followedby another three interestingphotos from the association’s numerous activities.

Amanda Busuttil’s expansive essay in the Qawsalla series is about the national mettle of our forebears as reflected in poetry.

On page 13 is an obituary about the well-known Italian poet Andrea Zanzotto, who passed away on October 18, 2011. This obituary runs on to the last page, rounded up with a photo and one ofZanzotto’s most touching poems: Per altri venti, fuori rosa.

As usual, Versi is replete with a good number of beautiful poems in various languages, and is a must for all those who have poetry at heart.

Copies, at €1 each, may be obtained from 9, ‘Springdale’, Triq it-Taħħan, Mosta, MST 4215.

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