37th Poetry International Festival - Rotterdam, Netherlands

elena petelos

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JUNE 1, 2006
The last few weeks here have been busy with the lead up to the Poetry International festival in Rotterdam which takes place between 17th and 23rd June. Irish Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney will be headlining, and the festival line up includes a special programme to celebrate the Russian poet, Joseph Brodsky, ten years after his death; eight national Poetry Slam champions competing in the 3rd Poetry World Slampionship; Poetry&Art (in which visual artists investigate the border zone between poetry and visual art) and, last but not least, the presentation of the C. Buddingh’ prize for new Dutch-language poetry.



From 17 to 23 June, both days inclusive, the Poetry International Festival will be taking place at the Rotterdam City Theatre for the 37th time. This year, one of the main themes is African poetry, with particular emphasis being given to its diversity and contemporaneity. Throughout the week, various programmes will be taking place featuring African poetry and African poets. When looking for African poets to be invited to the festival, the choice fell on poets from African countries that so far have been sparsely represented, such as Malawi, Ghana and Uganda. African poetry will be presented to the public from a broad perspective, with attention being paid to both modern trends and the special relationships that exist with traditional – often oral – poetry. This year, the Defence of Poetry will be delivered by Taban lo Liyong, who was born in Sudan and raised in Uganda, where he now lives. The diversity and contemporaneity of African poetry will be demonstrated at the festival – not only by allowing poets to present their work but also by means of special programmes, including one on oral poetry as well as various translation programmes. Music at the festival will also have a distinct African flavour. African poets at the festival come from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Angola/Portugal. Poetry International will be organising a special programme to mark the passing ten years ago of the Russian poet and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky that will devote itself to his life and work. The Irish Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney will be a guest poet at the festival. Also featuring for the third time this year is Poetry & Art, in which visual artists offer presentations from the border zone between poetry and visual art. And, as is by now a longstanding tradition, the C. Buddhingh’-prijs for new Dutch-language poetry will be awarded during the Festival.

More information
For a complete overview of the 37th Poetry International Festival, we would suggest you take a good look at this website. At present, the informational is being updated on a highly regular basis. Make sure also to have a look at the website of the Poetry World Slampionship 2006, www.poetryslampionship.nl

(Friday 23 June:
Poetry in the Afternoon
presentation of translation workshops

Presented by: Tsead Bruinja)




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