Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

July 14th to 21st, 2018

Poetry, Shamanism and Original Songs
To Think and Dream From Our America

       There is a music that invades me incessantly,
       it is poetry, the music of the soul

       Rita Mestokosho (Innu Nation , Canada)

With the 28th International Poetry Festival of Medellin, to be held from July 14 to 21, 2018, we will celebrate the advent of the voices and the visions of native peoples, which will enable us to think and dream from Our America. We will celebrate the aboriginal presence alongside with the people that have been at the crossroads of violence; the people wounded by fratricide, but also those human beings that will be healed and transformed by their active hope, secure in their love for poetry. ’   READ

Poetry Should Not Be Defined By Poverty

© Ali Cobby Eckermann
Special to Prometeo

In 1964 the first book of Aboriginal poetry was published in Australia. It featured the writings of Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920 – 1993), selling out in several editions, and ensuring her success as one of Australia’s highest selling poets. For most lovers of poetry around the world this must seem very recent. Aboriginal Australian culture is deemed the oldest cultural continuum in the world. Hence the publication of ‘We Are Going’ by Oodgeroo remains a realistic calendar of the uprising by Aboriginal people, using literature as both expression and protest.    READ

Ancient Syncretic Art In To Multy Medial Unity
The New Is The Forgotten Old

By Sainkho Namtchylak
Translation by A.Rovner
Proposed projects for the new seasons of 2005

What is a song in the original meaning of the word? It is essentially a short story, conveyed within a compact musical form. By means of a song it is possible to discern the epoch, the customs and the ways of the time that the song was created. A song is capable to carry within itself an entire historical cultural domain. It is not in vain that the saying goes: “the song is the soul of the people,” since by means of a song it is possible to convey through the words and the music not only the emotions but the sign of the time when this or that song was created.    READ

The spirit of poetry in the construction of a new life in the world

By Hector Kunene
Special for Prometeo

We live in the society that forever changes. Change on its own is good but not easy. We are not taught how to accept change. More especially when change has to start with us and within us. It is not easy at all. On the broader perspective, every household has its rules and regulations. Whether one grows in Africa or in Europe, the same rule applies, we are all growing under a hand that feeds us what it is exposed to. You can never take someone to where you have never been unless you are a prophet. So growing up is a process that guides us throughout our journey of life. Whether we like it or not, change directly affects us.   READ

‘My work on language and power was an elaboration of a Tagorean sentiment’: Ngugi wa Thiong’o

By Devapriya Roy
Toook from scroll.in

One of Africa’s greatest writers, the Kenyan  Ngugi wa Thiong’o, was recently in Delhi for the ILF-Samanvay Translations Series of talks organised by the India Habitat Centre and Seagull Books. When he agreed to speak to Scroll.in, the besotted fan girl that I am, I went to meet him for our chat clutching my battered college copy of Decolonizing the Mind. Excerpts from the conversation:’   READ

International polemic arises in the literature world
as biggest Poetry Festival loses Government support

By Elizabeth Torres*

Sentiments of indignation and disappointment have been filling the forums and cultural newsfeeds and newspapers in Latin America and the world, upon the announcement from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia that it will not provide economic support this year to the International Poetry Festival in Medellin, an event which was declared National Patrimony of the country in the year 2009, and which was therefore under law supposed to receive 550 million Colombian pesos (approx. 101 million euros) yearly for its development.’   READ

Poetry and the Scaffolds of Hope

By Nnimmo Bassey
Special for Prometeo

Poetry and song capture our understanding of life and provide us with platforms to express ideas that may otherwise be inexpressible. Poetry represents memory as well as vision. It is the chant as well as the wail. It could come as joyous and exuberant calls, it could also come as a dirge marking the crossing of the slim line between here and there, between life on this plane and life across the river. The poet could be a story teller, the griot, or the prophet. With eyes closed she sees worlds that open-eyed folks are unable to comprehend.    READ

Fragmented Soul

By Gabriel Rosenstock

Who knew that Māori poetry has been written in English for over 120 years? Arc Publications are known for their translations and there are many readers who would have welcomed a volume of poems translated from the Māori in preference to this. Then again, as Māori novelist Keri Hulme, informs us: ‘Māori is a word-of-mouth language, it has only recently been turned to print, and a great deal of its mana and strength still lie outside the blackened word…’ The blackened word – how extraordinary!’   READ

The Power of Poetry for Global Transformation

By Carl Ruck
Special for Prometeo

The ancient Romans called a ‘poet’ a vates, which is to say, a ‘priest’ or shaman, as in the Vatican, named originally for the hill of oracular shamans in Rome even before it became the home of the Popes. Its most basic etymology relates the vates to the ‘voice’ or vox of the speaker, traceable back to the Sanskrit vad, ‘go forth’ and vat, ‘arouse spiritually.’   READ

Recived messages by Hanane Aad

Photo by © Nidia Naranjo
Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

Never late to say thanks to you all for the unique experience we had in Medellin, Colombia - of which it is said it is the land of poets. I would like to add also that it is a land of poets capable of turning the black pages of the history of their country into white ones. Therefore, it is the Colombian poets who embraced first, through the 27th International Poetry Festival of Medellin, the beginning of a new era in the life of Colombia and their own lives and those of all their compatriots as well.   READ

Colombia’s First Poetry Festival in Times of Peace

Photo by © Nayla Azzinnari
RLA laureate Helen Mack among Gulliver's children

By Nayla Azzinnari
Right Livelihood Award Foundation

The 27th  International Poetry Festival of Medellin took place in Colombia from 8-15 July. After 53 years of armed conflict, the peace deal signed by the Colombian Government and FARC, and disarmament of rebels completed in June under UN’s monitoring, this year’s Festival was the first held “in times of peace”. For that very reason, the Festival also extended its activities to new zones: the so-called “transition areas” where ex-guerrilla combatants begin their transition back to civilian life.    READ

Abhay K. (India, 1980)

He is poet-diplomat and the author of two memoirs and five collections of poems. He is also the editor of CAPITALS – an anthology of poems on 185 capital cities of the world (Bloomsbury). He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013 and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013. His poems have appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, Asia Literary Review, The Stony Thursday Book 2015, The Missing Slate, The Long Exposure Magazine, The Galway Review, EastlitGargoyle, The Caravan, Indian Literature among others and have been translated into Irish, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Slovenian, Portuguese, Mandarin and Nepali.   READ

Poems by Peter Laugesen (Denmark, 1942)

He is a poet, playwright, translator and musician of several Cd's and Lp's in the company of other musicians and artists. First published book, “Landskab” (Landscape”), 1967. Since then more than 60 books of poems, essays. Art criticism and essays in catalogues, collaborations with musicians and painters in exhibitions or on stage. Pictorial works in public places. Received many prizes, among them the great prize of the Danish Academy of Literature, 1992. Since 1995 a member of the Academy.     READ

Fahredin Shehu (Kosova, 1972)

He is a poet, writer, essayist and Independent Scientific Researcher in the field of World Spiritual Heritage and Sacral Esthetics. Born in Rahovec, South East of Kosova, in 1972, he graduated at Prishtina University in Oriental Studies. He is the Poet Laureate of Gold Medal for Poetry as bridge to Nations, Axlepin Publishing-Philippines, being selected among many world excellent poets, writers, photographers and painters that contributed for making World a better place, 2014. He is Founder and Director of International Poetry Festival, Poetry and wine in Kosovo.     READ

Ann-Margaret Lim (Jamaica, 1976)

Her critically acclaimed first collection of poems, The Festival of Wild Orchid, which was published by Peepal Tree Press in 2012, was nominated for the UK Guardian First Book prize and received Honorary Mention in the 2013 Bocas Prize. She lives in appreciation of the mentorship from: Wayne Brown, Mervyn Morris, Eddie Baugh, Kwame Dawes, Olive Senior, and the ground breaking examples of greats such as the Caribbean-spawned, Derek Walcott and the now generation of Loretta Colins Koblah and Safiya Sinclair.    READ

Firas Sulaiman (Syria, 1969)

Translated by Samantha Kostmayer Sulaiman

Poet with multiple publications in Arabic including six volumes of poetry and a collection forthcoming in English translation. He has published a collection of short stories, experimental fiction, a book of aphorisms and numerous articles, in addition to appearing in several anthologies. His work has appeared in English in BanipalThe WolfThe Manhattan Review, 22 Magazine and Washington Square. In addition, his work has been translated into French, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish and Croatian. He currently lives with his wife in New York City.    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

Del leopardo de las nieves a Mayakovski
From the Snow Leopard to Mayakovsky

This book is really an anthology of some major poems of the great Chinese poet, Jidi Majia, as well as texts of some of the cultural manifestoes and speeches he has given upon receiving awards himself, or paying homage to others in the realm of planetary culture.   LEER


Coproduction by Producciones El Retrono and Prometeo

Building the dreaming country was the emblem and the essence of the 27th International Poetry Festival of Medellin program which was held from 8 to 15 July 2017.  In certain places where panic had ruled, and love had been fractured during decades of violence, and for the sake of new gestures of life, the whole community came together with a massive response...   READ

Photo Gallery

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