Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

The XIX International Poetry Festival
of Medellín is upon us


Poetry reading XVIII International Poetry Festival of Medellin

“¡When! ¡When, joy of the season, with all our sovereign hands,
we will take the promised fruits for our hunger, promised to our thirst, and owed to our name!”
(Jacques Rabenamanjara)

With three months remaining before the opening ceremonies of the XIX International Poetry Festival of Medellín, preparations for this grand encounter among poets from around the world advances systematically.

Next July, here, where the air is serene, in the midst of the country's constantly changing political situation, we will present a new wave of contemporary poetic expression by accomplished protagonists who will further the legend of the poetic imaginary begun in Medellín during the last century's final decade, making evident again for the country and the world that another spiritual, cultural, and social reality is possible in our time, nourishing the vocation for dialogue, for peace and justice for a people long-tired of an endless, four-decade-long war.

The International Poetry Festival of Medellín is opposed to the sterile, destructive use of weaponry and also to the (ab)use of war as a means of dissolving the numerous forms of interpretation and construction of being, and it reaffirms its belief  that poetry is the highest instance of the intelligence of plural language among the distinct and the opposed, proofs of which are its very existence over the course of 19 years, its being awarded an Alternative Nobel Prize in 2006, and its recent recognition by the Senate of the Republic as part of  Colombia's cultural patrimony.

For poetry to share its fruits with us here in our land we need a legion of dream collectors so that we might carry in our arms those dreams toward a new life. We need language and poetic action to infiltrate those interstices of daily life throughout the world, curing the infirmities of our societies and breathing life into a new reality capable of abolishing the archetypal act of death and ending at long last the pillage of the garden of beauty.

The Festival is sponsored by the Office of the Mayor of Medellín, the City Council of Medellín, the Hivos Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, the Döen Foundation, Oxfam-Novib, the Caipirinha Foundation, the government of Switzerland and Germany, and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, among other institutions.

It is expected that this year’s Festival, one of the most significant in its history of almost two decades, will contribute to establish an atmosphere of dialogue and reconciliation among Colombians, helping to overcome the hatred and profound differences dividing Colombian society,  in order to at last put an end to the civil conflict that broke out around the middle of the last century.

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