July 8th to 15th, 2017
She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1973 to Finnish parents. She is a fiction writer, poet, scholar, and educator. She is the author of five books and she is currently working on a novel for Text Publishing.
Maria's fiction has received various grants and prizes. The Double (and Other Stories) was supported by Australia Council 'New Work' grant; was a finalist in the 2015 Melbourne Prize for Literature's 'Best Writing Award;' and was named a best book of 2013 by The Australian and other forums. Maria's poetry has been similarly acclaimed. READ
She is a Lebanese poet, journalist (Print media, radio and TV), literary critic and translator. She has lived in Vienna, Austria, since 2009. She has published seven books and won several prizes as: The Prize of the Leban ese Ministry of Culture in 2000, the Award for Excellence in Poetry at Tudor Arghezi Literature Festival and the Award for Excellence in Foreign Poetry at the Poesis Festival of Satu Mare, Romania, in 2011.
We present here biographical information, eight poems and her essay to the 27º Medellin International Poetry Festival: "Lay Down Your Arms"! READ
By Firas Sulaiman
Translated by Samantha Kostmayer Sulaiman
Special for Prometeo
What do they do in the war? Some of them grind the bones and the skulls as fast as they can in order to forget they had become killers; from behind the ramparts, from behind the corpses of one another, they open fire on other corpses. Some exploit the storming silences to squeeze their hearts on the cold ground in a cracked night waiting for daytime, which might come to tie what’s left of veins and arteries and the broken breathes of their brothers. READ
By Gerry Loose
Special for Prometeo
Peace is not the opposite of war. Let us begin with fundamentals. War is a virus; one which we will never eradicate by the use of force or by the use of the language of force. What force of arms will overcome war? Clearly there is none.
Peace has no need of answers, since it is the natural state of us all. It is where we live harmoniously, where a mother feeds a baby without fear, where women walk untroubled paths. READ
By Zingonia Zingone
Special for Prometeo
Poetry is a weapon of the soul, the sharpest one. It aims from the center of Inner Truth to destroy its lethal enemies: injustice and delusion, both derivatives of Hate as well as cause of pain and suffering for mankind, for other living beings, and for the planet as a whole. Poetry is a defense weapon, to hold in place the symmetry of Creation.
By Mai Văn Phấn
Translated by Hồ Liễu
Special for Prometeo
Poetry is space, is the extremely beautiful world envisioned only by the poet who transmits it by means of language. That world has the power to radiate, take hold of the hearts and minds of readers. To awaken their common sense, their conscience, and their innate faculty. Even to transform the public from being cold, bluntly insensitive into people capable of loving and desiring Beauty. Then, they know how to act, and dare sacrificing themselves on behalf of noble things for an equal and charitable society, a world of peace and liberty. READ
By Gary Geddes
Special for Prometeo
During my travels abroad, in the Middle East, in war-torn sub-Saharan Africa and in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, I have had many opportunities to meet other poets and to observe the lives of those less fortunate than me. This has made me conscious of the need for a poetry that is engaged with injustice, human rights and the relation of power to powerlessness; also, a poetry that constantly questions its own blinkers and privilege. READ
Náhuatl poet Natalio Hernández in clousure. © Photo Francisco Segura May
Tlatelolco, Mexico City, October 22, 2016
Poetry is, for the indigenous cultures of the world, the word that enlightens and inspires towards the encounter with beauty, towards the understanding between human beings, towards the harmony with Mother Earth.
Facing the failure of the rationalist project, facing the absence of the gods who have been exiled by line productions and alienation, facing the great emptiness that makes its way through human condition and earth, the human being seeks shelter in the place where the sacred is still possible: this place is poetry. READ
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has announced that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will receive this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The news comes just days after Colombian Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, called for a ‘Yes’ vote at the failed referendum on the peace deal held on 2 October. READ
The 26th International Poetry Festival of Medellín manifested itself in the poetic dimension of reconciliation, embrace and renewed friendship. A lucid community was convened in 165 acts, producing a new song that celebrates life in a city full of panic and fractured love; its massive response was a reaffirmation of the advance of the collective deployment of a spirit of peace and coexistence, strengthened by the momentum of poetic word. READ
By Dario Villegas
Europe is, in its core, an offshoot of Greek culture, civilization cradle of art, literature, philosophy, architecture, medicine, astronomy and democracy, on this side of the world. And Greece comes from the spiritual ebullience lived in the ceremonial rites of Eleusis during 2,400 years transforming the barbarian nation of pelasgians, ancient Aegean inhabitants, in the refined Greek community, and a sum of warring city-states in the country Homer, Aeschylus, Aristotle, Herodotus, Asclepius and Phidias. READ
After the reading on Sunday 19th.
Fernando Rendon, Berito Kowarwa, Carl Ruck, Hatto Fischer.
Dear friends and poets,
Dear translators and actors who read our poems,
It was one month ago that the 26th World Poetry Festival had started for all of us with that amazing crowd at the opening.
There followed an intense week with all of us going to different places, thereby getting to know Medellin and other location. Poetry on the move, or rather it reflected what the city has done in terms of culture to bring about a peaceful co-existence. READ
By Juliane Okot Bitek
Perhaps peace is a kind of silence of the heart, a heart silence, like the company of my shadow, ever silent, ever with me. It has been said that your shadow leaves when you die. If peace was like my shadow then it would fly away when I died and then my body would remain outside the boundaries of peace and then what?
Perhaps peace is quiet, not silent, like a sleeping child but that only works as long as the child remains asleep but who wants to have a child that remains asleep all the time? READ
At five I knew all about war / and about strolling in the meadows / under the ochre embrace of the sun / I knew I was a warrior / Only warriors understood el Masacre / flowed one way then the other // Each time we parted the water / my father would smile and say / “This is how we know God” / His words leaping / from one side to the other / my voice tugging at the mountains // . READ
He is poet, novelist, translator, editor, journalist, university professor and diplomat. He was ambassador for his native country in Kazakhstan and Malaysia. He is also the president of the Association of Writers of Kyrgyzstan. He is the author of eight books of poetry. His works have been translated into some of the major world languages. He has translated into his native language works of Byron, Goethe, Ho Chi Minh, L. Levcheva, and other contemporary writers. He has received various awards in his country for its contribution to the development of literature in Kyrgyzstan, including the "Honored Worker of Culture of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan". READ
She is a poet, translator, and essayist. She graduated from the Graphics Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She is the author of poetry books: Biuro podróży (Travel Agency, 2006), Białe krzesła (White Chairs, 2012), Czas i przesłona (Time and Aperture, 2014). For her second book, Białe krzesła, she won Kościelski Award (2013) and the Wisława Szymborska Award (2013). Her poems were translated into English, German, Russian, Swedish, Italian, Greek, French and Portuguese. They were published in various literary magazines in Poland as well as abroad (Akzente, Sinn und Form, Harper’s Magazine) READ
She was born in Hammarsdale, South Africa on October 24, 1959. She is a poet, activist, fighter for freedom, playwright, actress and story teller. She is one of the few woman storytellers in her country. Her action is dedicated to preserve storytelling as a means of keeping history alive and inviting South African children to keep the cultural tradition through the reading. She tells her stories in English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa. READ
He was born in 1952, in Tripoli, Libya. He is a poet, translator and physician. He has published nine books of poetry, seven books of translation and one novel. A selection of his works was translated by Brenda Hillman and Dialla Haidar and published in the USA, 2011.
He organized two international poetry festivals in Libya: The First Tripoli International Poetry Festival in 2012, and Poems and Cities Poetry Festival in 2014, which traveled the Great Sahara and the Nafusa Mountain. READ
By Carl A.P. Ruck
The ancient testimony about the religious experience offered to thousands of pilgrims in the sanctuary of the Goddess in the tiny village of Elefsina (Eleusis) some eleven miles west of the great city of Athens is unanimous. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter declares that it was essential to the art of living: “Whoever among men who walk the earth has seen these Mysteries is blessed, but whoever is uninitiated and has not received his share of the rite, he will not have the same lot as the others, once he is dead and dwells in the moldering tomb beyond where the sun goes down.” READ
This video contains a passage from the acceptance speech of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Right Livelihood Award 2006, received in the Swedish Parliament. LEER
A Pacific island state foreign minister, an indigenous leader, a Ugandan human rights activist and an Italian doctor are this years Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award. LEER
The General Conference of the AAWU opened in El Gouna on the 4th of May 2016 in the presence of his Excellency H.E. Mr. Helmy EL Namnam, Minister of Culture pof Egypt. READ MORE
Currently they are 121 international poetry festivals, 111 poetry projects and 1.249 poets from 135 countries, participating in World Poetry Movement. READ MORE
By Jairo Guzmán
A beautiful constellation of the foundational word in the heaven of the poetry of Medellín for the world has been the conjunction of ninety poets from forty countries in every continent READ MORE
By Liam Ó Muirthile
If being a poet in Irish feels like living offshore on land, that feeling of offshoreness seems to be the undercurrent of a primary call: of journeying there in order to stay here. A paradox of course, but confirmed and sustained by experience. READ MORE
The Constitutional Court of Colombia in a recent ruling declared executable the Law of the Congress of the Republic declaring the International Poetry Festival of Medellín a Cultural Heritage of the Nation. READ MORE
The International Poetry Festival of Medellín actively spreads Colombian poetry in the world. Since 2002, Prometeo has developed the Colombian section of Poetry International of The Netherlands, with information and poems in Spanish (translated into English) of 77 Colombian poets, including three new poets every quarter.