Young Rhymes (Mlade rime) is a monthly series of poetry readings that have been happening at the Menza pri koritu since 2005. The series presents the voices of young, fresh or upcoming poets who are given the opportunity to either read their pieces to an informed and interested audience or be a part of this (predominantly young) audience. As such, Young Rhymes facilitates an open community of those interested in poetry and has probably become one of the cornerstones of the Slovenian poetry scene-in-the-making.
A regular evening usually consists of about 5 or 6 (sometimes more) poets, who are accompanied by a recital from a more established poet. Very often, the evening culminates in a music concert and occasionally the readings themselves are a concert. Sometimes, the organisers invite foreign guests and from time to time, they hold some sort of special edition evenings. With what they call a rock'n'roll approach, Young Rhymes is an organic and organisation-wise frequently improvised series of events that aims to free poetry from the many pre-established notions and connotations it may have. A distinctive quality that sets Young Rhymes apart from other similar events is the series' explicit openness, which means that all applicants get to present their poems on these evenings, regardless of their quality.
Since 2014, Young Rhymes are presented regularly in the Pekarna Cultural Centre.
With the help of DRPPD - Association for Development of Preventative and Volunteer Work and KUD Mreža Arts and Culture Association, the series itself was started in 2005 by two Spanish volunteers and exchange students Carmen Perez and Jacob Amo. Coincidently, a pair of poets – Dejan Koban and Veronika Dintjana – at that same time established KUD Kentaver with the aim to set up a similar enterprise, and in 2006, the series was passed into the care of Koban and Dintjana.
Not long after, the organisers decided to set up a sum-up of the season and invited all the participants of the previous year to attend a rather prolonged evening event. They did the same thing in the years that followed and in 2008, the Young Rhymes Festival officially came to be.
Young Rhymes Festival
While the festival unofficially started as one very long evening, it soon grew to be a two-week-long affair with a huge number of participants and a very strong musical line-up. Although this arrangement worked quite decently, the festival has now been condensed into about a week and Dejan Koban and Veronika Dintjana curate the poets. The festival is structured similarly to the regular Young Rhymes evenings but has a somewhat richer additional programme that features cabaret, improvised music interventions, concerts (sometimes more of them in one evening), video performances and so on.
As Young Rhymes has an explicit DIY and guerilla mentality, the organisers often invite the visitors to help with the preparations and setting up of the festival.
The Young Rhymes crew actively associate themselves with various other nodal actors in the field of poetry. They have collaborated with LUD Literatura and Pranger Festival and have been hosted by the Sanje ('Dreams') Festival, KUD Flokart's Noster nostri Festival in Kostanjevici na Krki and the 3-P – Festival of Future Poetry (Pesniška prihodnost) at KID PINA. Young Rhymes evenings have been held at a number of other venues in Slovenia (Koper, Nova Gorica, Ribnica, Tržiča) as well as in Austria (Klagenfurt) and Italy (Trieste). The organisers also collaborate with Župančičeva frulica, a project that stages a number of young poets and readers of poetry from primary and high schools from all over Slovenia.
The Maribor edition of the series is co-produced with MKC Črka and Liter Jezika.
Naming just a few of the either young or established poets who have performed at a Young Rhymes event would be pointless, as most of them have stood on its stage. In terms of the foreign guests, they have come from Great Britain, Australia, USA, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, etc. Young Rhymes has hosted many musicians as well, from the noise duet Onttervjabbit to the legendary jazz collective Lolita and from the sludge rock trio Grrizli Madams to the curious vocalist and performer Irena Tomažin.