Α festival of words, sounds, lyrics, music, movement, video and dance, the 8th Athens World Poetry Festival titled “Time for Poetry” opens its gates from 19 to 23 September, aiming once again to transform the city of Athens into a large poetic canvas with the participation of Greek and foreign poets. Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert once said that “a poet is like a barometer for the soul of a nation. He can't change the weather. But it shows us what the weather is like." It is always time for poetry, because poetry is not a mere art, but the melting pot of human language.

When the Poets’ Circle was founded in 2012, it set as its primary goal the continuous and public communication of poetry with the wider public. Within this framework, the Athens World Poetry Festival was materialized, featuring, ever since, the ‘dream team’ of world poetry, with internationally renowned poets from around the world.

Under the aegis of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Athens, the Festival constitutes a major literary event, which aspires to change the country’s image around the world, making Athens a leading international literary hub, as well as a travel destination for poetry lovers. 

During the festival, numerous public events – such as readings, workshops, music, visual arts and more – are hosted at several venues around the city so that poetry becomes a vital part of everyday life, emphasizing on the importance of poetry in difficult times, while also contributing to the extroversion of the Greek poetry, to dialogue between different traditions and the promotion of Greek cultural traditions abroad.

This year the festival will host 44 Greek and foreign poets from 13 countries (USA, Nigeria, Ukraine, Spain, Canada, France, Poland, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovenia), which will attempt to interpret the world through poetry and read their poems in various venues around the city (Palaio Psychiko, Kokkinia, Exarcheia Square, Karitsi Square, etc). An important moment of the festival will be the “Barbara Fields-Siotis’ award ceremony, in memory of Barbara Fields-Siotis (1939-2019), a woman who has been throughout her life a dedicated reader, advocate and patron of poetry. This year, the award will be given to American Poet Dana Gioia.

Stay tuned and enjoy the festivities!

A.R.