A new wave of world singing in Medellín

Between July 1 and July 15, 2023, a new wave of the song of the world will take place among the multitudes, the deep movement of the spirit of the city, the 33rd celebration of the Medellin International Poetry Festival, with the active participation of 104 poets from almost 60 countries, in a new attempt to snatch the city from the hands of death, of crude mercantilism and the pragmatic path that for so many years has led our people astray, for democratic freedoms, social changes and total peace.

In total, the Festival will deploy 93 activities, seven virtual events and 86 on-site events during the two weeks of its passage through the city. Never has a people been so sensitive, deep and aware of the value of poetry as ours during the days of this Festival, considered the largest on the planet.

At the same time, the first Congress of the World Poetry Movement will be held in Medellin and Caracas between July 13 and 18, 2023, with the participation of about 80 delegates, both in person and virtually. The Congress will receive reports from delegates from different continents, will build and draft a strategic plan 2023-2028 and elect a coordinating committee.



The Festival emerged and grew as a great act of resistance against death in a city kidnapped by violence and war for decades, and therefore deserved the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2006 and recognition as cultural heritage of the nation.

Nobel Laureate in Literature Wole Soyinka said of Medellín's world poetry festival:

"I think Medellín is unique for having generated a public that literally eats, drinks and perhaps sleeps inside poetry. I think there is an important distinction to be made, for the fact of having this almost osmotic relationship with poetry, one can see it in the faces of the people. I had already heard about this Festival from other poets in Europe, also from my compatriot Odia Ofeimun, who was here in Medellin. When she came back she told me: "don't miss the next episode".

The English poet Adrian Mitchell said about the Festival:

"You showed us that the people of Colombia yearn for peace, and that they are working, through poetry and non-violent means, to end the terrible conflict tearing their beautiful country apart."

"The Medellin International Poetry Festival is unique in the world and irreplaceable. I was deeply moved by the interest and fervor for poetry shown by thousands of people over the course of ten days," said Kouméalo Anate, Togo's Minister of Culture, in Medellín.



Among the invited poets we highlight the Africans: Mohammed Achaari, from Morocco, poet, lawyer and journalist, Minister of Culture from 1998 to 2002; in 2011 he was awarded the Arab Book Prize. Tarek Eltayeb, from Sudan is also a novelist, short-story writer, playwright, recipient of the Elias Canetti Prize, the Grand Prize of Vienna and the Grand Prize of Poetry of Romania. Nimrod, from Chad, is also a novelist, essayist, editor and philosopher, and has won several prizes such as the Max-Jacob Prize, the Edouard Glissant Prize and the Apollinaire Prize. Siphiwe Nzima, from Lesotho- Zimbabwe, is a poet, film actress, singer and activist, among her recognitions is being FINITE Magazine's Best Female Artist, 2014, and the recognition for Best Rhythm and blues album at the Radio Music Awards, 2014.

From the Americas: Colombian Jotamario Arbeláez, outstanding representative and co-founder of the Nadaist movement, National Award Colombian Institute of Culture (1985); Valera Mora International Poetry Award, Caracas (2008). Carolyn Forché, from the United States, poet, essayist, journalist, editor, translator and human rights defender, received the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, as well as fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Chilean poet and musician Mauricio Redolés, a symbol of resistance against Pinochet's military coup, for which he was imprisoned, went into exile in 1975. 

Maribel Mora Curriao (Mapuche Nation, Chile), poet, educator and researcher. She was Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the UNESCO Chair in Higher Education and Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean. Freddy Ñáñez, (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), is also a poet, singer and Minister of People's Power for Communication and Information and Sectoral Vice President of Communication, Culture and Tourism of Venezuela.

The Asian Hanan Awwad (Palestine) is a poet, academic, storyteller, researcher and professor. She was Cultural Advisor to President Yasser Arafat at the United Nations. She has received the Merit Award, Medal of Honor, Special Guest and President of the International Peace Congress, Pakistan.

The Europeans: Neşe Yaşın (Cyprus, 1959), poet, journalist and editor. She has received the Anthias Pierides Prize in 1998, the Pierides Prize 2020 and the European Citizens Award. Janette Ayachi (UK) is a poet and performer, has presented her work on BBC radio, won the Saltire Literary Book Award for Poetry, 2019.

Other poets who will be present at the Medellin event include Africans Achour Fenni (Algeria), Ahmed Omar Zaabar (Tunisia), Ashraf Aboul-Yazid (Egypt), Ayo Ayoola-Amale (Ghana), Etenat Awol (Ethiopia, virtual), Ismaël Diadié Haïdara (Mali), Khalid Raissouni (Morocco), Mpesse Géraldin (Cameroon), Oumar Farouk Sesay (Sierra Leone), Paul Liam (Nigeria, virtual), Paul Liam (Nigeria, virtual), Oumar Farouk Sesay (Sierra Leone) and Ismaël Diadié Haïdara (Mali).

Also attending the Festival will be poets from the American continent Alex Pausides (Cuba), Alexandra Cretté (French Guyana), Ana María Oviedo Palomares (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), Edwin Madrid (Ecuador, virtual), Enrique Sánchez Hernani (Peru), Hubert Matiúwaà (Mè'phààà Nation, Mexico), Karel Leyva (Cuba), Leonardo Ruiz (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), María Casiraghi (Argentina), Mario Meléndez (Chile, virtual), Melissa Merlo (Honduras), Mónica Laneri (Paraguay), Nicolás Antonioli (Argentina), Nicole Cage-Florentiny (Martinique), Oscar Saavedra Villarroel (Chile), Pedro Ruiz (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), Rom Freschi (Argentina, virtual), Rosa Chávez (Maya Nation, Guatemala), Takuri Ignacio Tricot Reyes (Chile), Vielsi Arias (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), Yvonne Weekes (Montserrate), the Colombians: Ángela Mavisoy (Kamëntsa Nation), Andrés Uribe, Bárbara Lins, Carlos Satizábal, Carolina Cárdenas, Damaris Román, Diego Andrés Martínez Rúa, Felipe López, Fernando Rendón, Horacio Benavides, Johana Casanova, Jorge Torres Medina, Karla Jazmín Arango, Katherine Wiedemann, Liliana Marentes, Luz Helena Cordero, Luz Mary Giraldo, Mónica Lucía Suárez, Pedro Arturo Estrada, Sebastián Tobón, Tallulah Flores and Viviana Restrepo.

From Asia will also participate: Adel Khozam (United Arab Emirates,virtual), Ali Al Ameri (Jordan/Palestine), Ali Almaazmi (United Arab Emirates), Altynai Temirova (Kyrgyzstan), Ashraf Fayadh (Palestine), Imdad Aakash (Pakistan), Keshab Sigdel (Nepal), Khosiyat Rustamova (Uzbekistan, virtual), Liu Xunfu (People's Republic of China, virtual), Mei Er (People's Republic of China), Rati Saxena (India), Saleh Zamanan (Saudi Arabia), Shirani Rajapakse (Sri Lanka), Shivani Sivagurunathan (Malaysia), Sue Zhu (People's Republic of China), Vadim Terekhin (Russia), Zahir Al-Ghafri (Sultanate of Oman).

For Europe will be in the great meeting: Agneta Falk (Sweden), Alexis Bernaut (France), Anna Lombardo (Italy), Ataol Behramoglu (Türkiye, virtual), Barbara Pogacnik (Slovenia), Claus Ankersen (Denmark), Francis Combes (France), Gerry Loose (Scotland), Koukis Christos (Greece), Luís Filipe Sarmento (Portugal), Luis Luna (Spain), Nigar Hasan Zadeh (Azerbaijan), Nurduran Duman (Türkiye), Nuno Júdice (Portugal), Sandor Halmosi (Hungary), Sanja Baković (Croatia), Sonja Manojlovic (Croatia), Sotirios Pastakas (Greece, virtual), Sylvie Marie (Belgium), and Valerio Magrelli (Italy).



The 33rd International Poetry Festival of Medellín is organized and organized by Revista Prometeo, Corporación de Arte y Poesía Prometeo and the World Poetry Movement (WPM). This event is sponsored by the Mayor's Office of Medellín and the Secretary of Culture.

Among the sponsors, we find in first place the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information of Venezuela, Canal I of Venezuela, Ministry of Culture of Colombia; COMFAMA, Caja de Compensación Familiar de Antioquia.

As allies, we thank the Institute of Culture and Heritage of Antioquia -ICPA-, the Secretary of Education of the Government of Antioquia, Confiar Cooperativa Financiera, among others.

Última actualización: 01/07/2023