International Poetry Festival of Medell'n

Poetry Festival of Medell’n, International

June-July
One of the largest poetry events in the world, the International Poetry Festival of Medellín is more than a typical gathering of poets and critics. Since its inception in 1991, the festival has been a politically charged platform for artists and intellectuals to demand more peaceful government policies for Medellín and the rest of Colombia, which has been long ravaged by political violence. Because of the festival's dissident stance, the Colombian government has refused to offer financial support, although outside funding has come from several European countries.
The International Poetry Festival in Medellín was founded as a means to promote creativity and artistic consciousness amidst the brutality of the country's long-running drug wars. The festival's organizers, The Prometeo Art and Poetry Corporation, formed that group after launching a poetry publication called Prometeo. Their aim was to use poetry to restore and renew their country's social fabric and to mobilize people to improve society..
The festival was an immediate success and grew quickly, now taking place over eight days. Poets from South America and around the world give free recitals in public parks, university theatres, prisons, schools, and libraries. The events attracting the largest audiences are the opening reading and the closing ceremony, which typically draw several thousand people. Residents of the city and visitors from far and wide flock to the festival to join in the intense enthusiasm and creative energy that are hallmarks of the event.
Between 1991 and 2007, the festival featured a cumulative total of 820 poets from 142 countries and indigenous nations. Among the festival's major political initiatives were the first Global Conference on Poetry for Peace, held in 2003, and a special 2007 meeting of the newly formed National Congress of Art and Poetry for Peace in Colombia, made up of more than 100 artists, poets, journalists, and intellectuals.
CONTACTS:
Corporation of Art and Poetry Prometeo:
Transversal 39 A
No. 72-52
Medellin Colombia
www.festivaldepoesiademedellin.org
Colombia - Embassy
2118 Leroy Pl. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
202-387-8338; fax: 202-232-8643
www.colombiaemb.org
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