martes, 5 de junio de 2007

Poetry is political

On 24 June 2007, politically-committed poets discuss the political dimension of poetry as part of the poesiefestival berlin.

Is poetry effective? When and where? Can it make a difference? In 2006, the Alternative Nobel Prize was awarded to the Columbian poet Fernando Rendón. He received the accolade for his Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín because, for the duration of the festival, he succeeded in bringing about peace in the civil war torn city. On 24 June 2007, alongside poet and colleague Lucía Estrada, he will be talking about his festival and the political dimension of poetry. Also taking part in the event will be the poet and anti-Apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach, the founder of the Poets Against War website Sam Hamill, the feminist poet Ursula Kreche, who, with Stimmen aus dem harten Kern (2005), produced a major anti-war cycle of verse, and the socio-critical author Ann Cotten. All the poets will be reading their own and other texts.

As a result of his political poetry, the anti-Apartheid activist, poet and painter Breyten Breytenbach (South Africa) spent seven years in prison. In 2005, he was a guest at the Medellín festival and, at this year's poesiefestival berlin, he will be giving his views and talking about his own experiences of the impact poetry can have. Sam Hamill (USA) has also been a guest at the Medellín festival. He founded the Poets Against War website himself and has so far united more than 10,000 voices from the world of poetry in joint protest against war. Ursula Krechel (Germany) was a long-term activist in the women's movement. During the course of her writing career, she continued to expand her interest in the condition of women to an interest in the human condition . Ann Cotten (USA/Germany) is right at the start of her poetry-writing career. With language experiments, she has discovered a form of protest against social injustice and ills.

Together with poetry festivals from across Europe and Fernando Rendón's festival, the poesiefestival berlin is preparing a declaration showing solidarity with Columbia and of course with the poetry festival in Medellín, the biggest in the world. The declaration will be launched during this evening event.

Sunday, 24 June 2007, 8pm
When poetry becomes political
Kesselhaus, Kulturabrauerei
With Breyten Breytenbach (South Africa), Ann Cotten (USA/Germany), Lucía Estrada (Columbia), Sam Hamill (USA), Ursula Krechel (Germany), Fernando Rendón (Columbia)

Sponsored by the Capital Cultural Fund.

Boris Kruse

Literaturwerkstatt Berlin

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