Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

28th International Poetry Festival of Medellin

July 14th to 21st, 2018
Poetry, Shamanism and Native Songs
Thinking and Dreaming from Our America

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

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

July 8th to 15th, 2017


Balance of the 27th Medellin International Poetry Festival

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 that confirmed that we move forward to achieve a genuine collective deployment of peace and coexistence through the strength of the poetic word.   READ

Photo Gallery

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

Poets and War: The Nigerian Example

By Akeem Lasisi

The relationship between poetry and elements of humanity such as love, peace and development is strong. As a result, poets are often committed to propagating the values at personal, communal, national and international levels. They are inclined to tackling any idea, policy or development that can affect these ideals. One of such is the absence of peace - or war in its various forms.

No writer lives in isolation of his society. Well, a creative person needs as much privacy as he can get, but he is ultimately an integral part of the communal space.     READ

Aminur Rahman (Bangladesh, 1966)

Translated by Sudeep Sen

He has published two collections of poems in Bangla --  Bishashikorotole (1989), and Hridoypure Dubshatar (1991); as well as a video compact disc (vcd) titled, Nivriti Nirvarata -- Solitary Dependence (1998), and a cd, Nirbachito Abritti -- Selected Recitations (2000). Forthcoming books, both non-fiction, are: Bangladeshe Shilpacharcha, and, Aabritti Bishayak Probandho (as editor).    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

Poems by Maria Takolander (Australia, 1973)

She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1973 to Finnish parents. She is a fiction writer, poet, scholar, and educator. She is the author of five books and she is currently working on a novel for Text Publishing.

Maria's fiction has received various grants and prizes. The Double (and Other Stories) was supported by Australia Council 'New Work' grant; was a finalist in the 2015 Melbourne Prize for Literature's 'Best Writing Award;' and was named a best book of 2013 by The Australian and other forums. Maria's poetry has been similarly acclaimed.    READ

Hanane Aad (Lebanon/Austria, 1965)

She is a Lebanese poet, journalist (Print media, radio and TV), literary critic and translator. She has lived in Vienna, Austria, since 2009. She has published seven books and won several prizes as: The Prize of the Leban ese Ministry of Culture in 2000, the Award for Excellence in Poetry at Tudor Arghezi Literature Festival and the Award for Excellence in Foreign Poetry at the Poesis Festival of Satu Mare, Romania, in 2011.

We present here biographical information, eight poems and her essay to the 27º Medellin International Poetry Festival: "Lay Down Your Arms"!    READ

War, peace, poetry and reconciliation

By Gerry Loose
Special for Prometeo

Peace is not the opposite of war. Let us begin with fundamentals. War is a virus; one which we will never eradicate by the use of force or by the use of the language of force. What force of arms will overcome war? Clearly there is none. 

Peace has no need of answers, since it is the natural state of us all. It is where we live harmoniously, where a mother feeds a baby without fear, where women walk untroubled paths.     READ

Poetry: Carrier of Light and Insights

By Zingonia Zingone
Special for Prometeo

Poetry is a weapon of the soul, the sharpest one. It aims from the center of Inner Truth to destroy its lethal enemies: injustice and delusion, both derivatives of Hate as well as cause of pain and suffering for mankind, for other living beings, and for the planet as a whole. Poetry is a defense weapon, to hold in place the symmetry of Creation.         READ

The World Will Be Redrawn
After The Way Envisioned By The Poets

By Mai Văn Phấn
Translated by Hồ Liễu
Special for Prometeo

Poetry is space, is the extremely beautiful world envisioned only by the poet who transmits it by means of language. That world has the power to radiate, take hold of the hearts and minds of readers. To awaken their common sense, their conscience, and their innate faculty. Even to transform the public from being cold, bluntly insensitive into people capable of loving and desiring Beauty. Then, they know how to act, and dare sacrificing themselves on behalf of noble things for an equal and charitable society, a world of peace and liberty.        READ

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

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