Nov 1, 2011

Michael Horovitz at 19 Princelet Street

Michael Horovitz gave a glowing performance. Photo credit: Veronique Dubois -19 Princelet StreetOn the tenth anniversary of 9/11, a day that is often invoked as having changed the world around us, the museum of immigration at 19 Princelet Street held a special event to remember those who lost their lives on that day, and the tens of thousands who have since died or been cruelly injured in the tragic aftermath.

Michael Horovitz, this country's leading performance poet and torchbearer of the Poetry Olympics festivals, inspired and moved his audience with his account of how his own life experience - From Orthodox to Heterodox in only 75 Years - had caused him to reject the vindictiveness of 'an eye for an eye' and to adopt an anti war, anti fighting and anti bullying stance.

Susie Symes the Museum's chair spoke passionately about the power of place, places such as the historic house at 19 Princelet Street, to connect us as individual human beings to seminal moments such as 9/11.

It was the power of the Museum's work connecting people across cultures, religions and generations that led Michael Horovitz, who came to Britain as a refugee aged 3, from Germany, to offer to perform a fundraiser for 19 Princelet Street. His passionate performance raised nearly £1,000 for the educational work of this small local charity that has built a large global reputation.

Standing room only, at a sell out fundraising poetry event for 19 Princelet Street<br/>Photo credit: Veronique Dubois/19 Princelet StreetHorovitz began his performance with the words of children from Christchurch school on Brick Lane, whose singing forms part of the museum's exhibition, and ended with a bravura solo performance on his 'anglo-saxophone', aptly symbolising the multiple roots of East London and Britain today.

As a student at Oxford Horovitz founded the avant garde New Departures, publishing Samuel Beckett, Stevie Smith and William Burroughs, and he has been a counter-cutural hero ever since, and an active champion of young poets of all ethnicities.

You can listen to Michael's bravura performance - kindly recorded by Mike Head using the player below: