The 4th “Athens International Poetry Festival” is organised on October 1 to 7, 2018, by the literary organisation Poets’ Circle, with the support of the organizing committee of the project Athens 2018 World Book Capital. For a week, the city is transformed into a large poetic canvas, with the participation of 53 Greek and 20 foreign poets. China is this year’s honoured country.
Athens holds the title for World Book Capital City of 2018, under the slogan “Books everywhere” – expressing the intention to “bring books to every neighbourhood and every corner of the city”. The World Book Capital project is run and financed by the Municipality of Athens with the support of grand donors like the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Poetry Festival is co-organised by the World Book Capital committee in collaboration with the Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works (OSDEL) and the Urban Rail Transports S.A. (STASY).
From Monday through Sunday, 1-7 October, 53 Greeks and 20 foreign poets from 18 countries will participate in various events in different parts of Athens and its suburbs. These include public readings in Greek, English and other languages, conferences and meeetings, open conversations, music shows and exhibitions. Artistic performances will take palce at selected subway stations like Syntagma, Kerameikos, Acropolis and Syngrou Fix.
On Wednesday, 3 October, a conference will be held at the Book Arcade (Stoa Vivliou) on the theme "China and Greece, two ancient civilisations converse, two continents connect". On the occasion of China being the honoured country of the festival, the speakers will analyse current trends in poetry in Europe and Asia, as well as the role of poetry in the contemporary era of globalisation.
The Municipality of Athens has been collaborating with the International Poetry Festival since the year it was launched. This year in particular, Athens 2018 World Capital of the Book actively supports the project in an effort to bring books and art into the citizens’ everyday life. Erifili Maroniti, project manager of Athens 2018 World Book Capital, claimed in a Press conference that "the collaboration of the Athens 2018 World Book Capital with the Poetry Circle gave us the joy you feel when you work with people with common perceptions and ideas”.
The Poets’ Circle president, Mr. Dinos Siotis, speaking about the programme of the festival at the Press conference, stated that: "The Athens International Poetry Festival is the third largest festival in the world, as far as the number of participants and events is concerned. In times of crisis like our own, poetry interprets the miracle of life, it is a beacon in the abyss that surrounds us, saves us from personal cul-de-sacs, and takes us into an oasis of self-knowledge. "
For a full programme (in Greek) click here