Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

27º Medellin International Poety Festival

July 8th to 15th, 2017

Invited Poets

Poetry and Peace

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

Message For World Fraternity
First World Poetry Meeting of Indigenous Peoples

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

Colombia Peace Deal “great choice” for Nobel Peace Prize, but a long road to lasting peace still lies ahead

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

Report 26 Medellin International Poety Festival

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

Photo Gallery

Memory of Eleusis: to transcend barbarism
Memory of Arthur Rimbaud: to transform life

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


Against War and for Peace on Earth
October 2016, World Poetry Movement Call

In view of the seriousness of the world’s economic, political, social, and environmental situation, leading to danger of extermination due to the greed and obscurantist thought pushing the world towards barbarity and destruction –and, with it, the life, culture and beauty accrued by civilization throughout the history of humankind–, the World Poetry Movement SUMMONS all the world’s poets, writers and artists, and men and women of good will, to a World Poetry Action against Nuclear War and for Peace on Earth.   READ

Message by Hatto Fischer

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


Peace & Reconciliation

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

Poems by Marianela Medrano

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

Poems by Isabel Crooke Ellison (England)

She born in England and came to Colombia where she finished her studies in archeology. During seven years they were dedicated to anthropological investigations, especially among the Murui-Muinane Indians of the lower Putumayo region. Then she studied medicine and after graduating from the School of Medicine, Juan N. Corpas (Bogotá) and specializing in dermatology in England, she continued to work in indigenous and peasant communities throughout Colombia, including Putumayo, Cauca, Sierra Nevada, Boyacá and Cundinamarca.   READ

Akbar Ryskulov (Kyrgyzstan, 1953)

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

Krystyna Dabrowska (Poland, 1979)

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

Poems by Gcina Mhlophe (South Africa, 1959)

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

Poems by Ashur Etwebi (Libya, 1952)

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

Poetry and Music

The Gaia Project:
Restoring Ancient Mysteries

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

Back to Eleusis: An Interview With Carl Ruck


Poems by Judith Crispin

Photo by Jason Blake

She was born in Sydney, Australia in 1970. She is a poet, photographer and composer. She studied Music at the Conservatory of Music in Melbourne and at the School of Music in Canberra before earning a doctorate in Composition and Musicology at the National University of Australia in 2004. Following her doctoral studies with Larry Sitsky, Judith continued to study composition with Emmanuel Nunes in Paris in 2005..   READ


‘I Protest through Songs and Poetry!’
Interview with Mohammed El Deeb

Deeb. Produced by Gen K Official. Music Video

Born in Cairo in 1984, Deeb left Asfalt in 2007 to found Wighit Nazar [‘Point of View/Perspective’] together with Mohamed Yasser. This successful music project, which in the realm of Arab hip-hop took people by surprise with its positive, sarcastic wordplay, lasted until 2010. With its determinedly positive approach, the music project tried to provide a counterpoint to the general mood of society: under Mubarak, the people were governed by a regime of negativity.   READ

Orpheus and Persephone

Keki Nasserwanji Daruwalla was born in 1937 in Lahore in undivided India. In  1945 his father Prof. N.C. Daruwalla retired from Govt. College Lyallpur (now  Shah Faizlabad) and moved to Junagadh as Tutor and Guardian to the Prince.  His latest novel Ancestral Affairs (Harpercollins, 2015) dwells on Junagadh’s  disastrous accession to Pakistan in 1947. From Junagadh the family moved to  Rampur in UP in 1948, where he first studied in Baqar School and later Raza  Inter college.   READ

Open Letter From 22 RLA to the King of Saudi Arabia, for Freedom of Poet Ashraf Fayadh

The poet, art curator and Palestinian refugee Ashraf Fayadh, was sentenced to death by beheading, on November 17, 2015, by decision of the government of Saudi Arabia, due to the critical, political, social and religious content of some of his poems, included in his book Instructions Inside, identified as as blasphemous and instigator of atheism.

Arrested in January 2014, Ashraf Fayadh had been sentenced to 800 lashes and four years in prison, but his case was reviewed and a judge of the General Court later sentenced him to die beheaded.   READ

Poems by Terje Dragseth

He born 1955, live and works in Kristiansand, Norway. He is a celebrated poet and filmdirector, working with the band I Sing My Body Electric. His debut in 1980 with "Offerfesten, tekster og dikt", was followed by a number of books, the latest "Bella Blu, Håndbok for verdensrommet", Sci-fi poetry, "Solen sukker i min sko", short stories, and "Jeg skriver språket", a poem, 2015. Terje Dragseth is awarded the Norwegian State 10 year artist grant   READ

International Poetry
Festival of Medellin
Award 2006

International Poetry Festival of Medellin RightLivelihood Award 2006

This video contains a passage from the acceptance speech of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Right Livelihood Award 2006, received in the Swedish Parliament.    LEER

Additional information

2015 RLA honour courageous and effective solutions

A Pacific island state foreign minister, an indigenous leader, a Ugandan human rights activist and an Italian doctor are this year’s Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award.   LEER

Report of the Seventh General Conference of AAWU

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

International Poetry
Festival of Medellin
Integrant of
World Poetry Movement

Currently they are 121 international poetry festivals, 111 poetry projects and 1.249 poets from 135 countries, participating in World Poetry Movement.  READ MORE

World Poetry School

World Poetry Movement in

2nd World Poetry Summit for Peace and Reconciliation

Towards a Balance

Produced by CICLO

By Jairo Guzmán
Direction Committee

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

2nd World Poetry Summit for Peace and Reconciliation

Chinese Anthology of Poems

Han Zuorong the former chief editor for People’s Literature, is a renowned poet currently serving as an adviser for Wind Poetry...  READ MORE

The Irish Offshore on land
Poetry in Irish Now

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 Irish Language and its Literature: a Brief Overview and some Points to Ponder

Cultures of Resistance

Cultures of Resistance on Vimeo

Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? Director Iara Lee embarked on a two-year, five-continent trek to find out.    READ MORE

The Transformation of a Drug

The Transformation of a Drug Capital
(FromCultures of Resistance on Vimeo)

How the Medellín International Poetry Festival helped transform a troubled city into a world capital of poetry.    READ MORE

The International Poetry Festival of Medellín Declared Cultural Heritage of Colombia

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

Multimedia section
in our Web site

We present the audiovisual memory of participation from invited poets to the International Poetry Festival of Medellin. This anthology is composed for 343 poets from 133 countries of five continents. VIDEOS

Prometeo´s Channel

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.

Included material