Α festival of words, sounds, lyrics, music, movement and short films, the 9th Athens World Poetry Festival titled “Poetry on the Road” (24-27 September) aims once again to transform the city of Athens into a large poetic canvas with the participation of Greek and foreign poets. Organized by the literary organization Poets’ Circle, 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.
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. 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’s Festival begins on September 24, with the screening of the documentary film “Poetry finds you” at the Αthens Concert Hall. Fifteen Greek and foreign poets, will give readings of the poems they love, actors will recite verses, while the melodies played live will complement the festive atmosphere during an evening full of words, sounds, verses, music, movement, videos. Among the poets that will participate are: Anastassis Vistonitis, Zefi Daraki, Antonis Makrydimitris, Pantelis Boukalas, Konstantinos Bouras, Titos Patrikios, Dimitra C. Christodoulou, Tozan Alkan, Krystyna Dabrowska, Nataliya Dovhopol, Ricardo Duranti, Knut Odegaard, Alicia Stallings, Syam Sudhakar, Mosab Abu Toha.
This year the festival will host 51 Greek and foreign poets from 13 countries, which will attempt to interpret the world through poetry and read their poems in seven venues around Athens and Piraeus (Athens Concert Hall, Benaki Museum, Epi Lexi bookstore, Purple Squirrel bookstore, the House of Cyprus and Mandra Kokkinias). 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 Greek poet Giorgos Blanas.
t’s always time for poetry. Because poetry is not a lesser art, but the melting pot of human language. At the 9th Athens World Poetry Festival, we will hear languages of many nations, listening closely to the planet’s concerns. Stay tuned and enjoy the festivities!