Fifteen years since the foundation of the
International Poetry School of Medellín
By Jairo Guzmán
Director of the XIV Escuela Internacional de Poesía de Medellín
Five years after the foundation of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín (1991) there is created, in 1996, the Poetry School of Medellín. It arose from the need to project, in a more consistent manner, the knowledge acquired by each guest poet in his or her personal career. This vital (experience-related) way of transmitting knowledge connected to poetry and its multiple forms of expression and listening has opened a new access path towards an authentically open, flexible pedagogy, which acts constructively. This is due to its efficiency, arising from a joyful conjunction between participating poets and an audience increasingly conversant with poetic references and possessed of creative skills, which have enabled the loving exercise of encounters, in order to build a spirit strengthened by the beauty, light and fire of poetry, and the impetus of the poets who deal with the great battles of the spirit against tragic times.
The first Poetry School of Medellín became possible thanks to the sponsorship of and courses taught by poets from the Poetry School of Vienna, whose director, poet and performer Christian Ide Hintze, was very committed to it. That moment ushers in a new stage in the social and pedagogic scope of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, enabling the audience to have a higher level of knowledge about the different trends and forms of expression in contemporary poetry. This experience, new in the Latin American scene, has had a positive impact on the audience it has built, thanks to its creative effort and will, expanding luminous awareness, and determined participation, committed to an increasingly consistent spiritual and cultural transformation.
On the basis of this transformation is a great desire to be a part of the different worldwide proposals acting very constructively in the growth of awareness. Between its foundation and 2010, 14 issues of the Poetry School of Medellín have taken place, in which 91 courses, 76 conferences, 57 workshops and 43 activities between colloquiums and panels have been offered, all for free and benefiting around 5,000 people. All the courses and workshops are planned, designed and developed by renowned poets from different countries, who also take part in the Festival.
Within this context of renewal and coexistence on the basis of the poetic experience, we issue our call to our luminous audience (who are the essence and vital support of this event) to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of the Poetry School of Medellín between July 4 and 8, 2011, within the framework of the XXI International Poetry Festival of Medellín, which this year shall involve more poets from different countries around the world, with dynamic activities for the exchange and transfer of information and knowledge. We will enjoy the company of poet Christian Ide Hintze, who will actively participate in the celebration, regarding which we offer you some advance information on the activities and proposed poets.
The following poets shall be invited to teach courses: Ban'ya Natsuishi (Japan), Christian Ide Hintze (Austria), J. M. Calleja (Spaina), Aitana Alberti (Spain-Cuba), Waldo Leyva, Rogelio Martínez Furé (Cuba), Rodolfo Häsler (Cuba-Spain), Luis Alberto Crespo (Venezuela), Faumelisa Manquepillán (Chile, Mapuche), Triunfo Arciniegas, Eufrasio Guzmán, Alfredo Vanin, Javier Naranjo (Colombia).
The following poets shall be invited to teach poetry workshops: Fernando Valverde (Spain), Alex Pausides, Waldo Leyva (Cuba), Marvin García (Guatemala), Lucy Cristina Chau (Panama), David Juárez (El Salvador), Carmen Ollé (Perú), Rodolfo Dada (Costa Rica).
The following poets shall be invited to give conferences: Derek Walcott (Santa Lucia) –Nobel Price of Literature-, Rati Saxena (India), Marco Antonio Campos (Mexico), José Mármol (Dominican Republic), Graciela Araoz (Argentina), Zhao Zhenjiang (China), Céline Hémon (France), J. M. Calleja (Spain), Patricia Ariza, Fredy Chicangana (Yanacona Nation, Colombia).
And the following guest poets will give poetry readings and engage in conversations with the audience: Tania Tomé; (Mozambique), Were Were Liking (Cameroon), Chiwoniso Maraire (Zimbabwe), Chris Abani (Nigeria), Shailja Patel (Kenya), Lebogang Mashile (South Africa), Antonio Gonçalves (Angola), Derek Walcott (Santa Lucia), Thiago de Mello, Ramón Palomares (Venezuela), Zakaria Mohammed (Palestine), Kamran Mir Hazar (Afganistán), Lello Voce (Italy), Cees Nooteboom (The Netherlands), Philip Hammial (Australia), Oscar Hernández Monsalve, Víctor Gaviria (Colombia).
January 26, 2011