Friday, June 6, 2008

June 7-13, 39th Poetry International Festival

In partnership with the 39th Poetry International Festival, the Poetry International Website will provide in-depth festival coverage from at Rotterdam each day with live broadcasts, interviews with the poets and specially-recorded Poetry Clips. Audio and video footage will be made available on the site after each event.

The theme of this year's festival is CITY AND COUNTRY. In 2008, for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s human population will live in urban areas rather than in the country. By 2030, this is expected to rise to over 60%. This irreversible urbanisation will fundamentally change the relationship between the city and the country, and have implications on both individuals and society.

This Poetry International Festival focuses on poetry from the city and the countryside. Throughout the week there will be programmes, lectures, interviews and debates dedicated to the subject. Naturally, what this turning point could mean for poetry will also be part of the programme.


This year’s festival features an event on Dutch poet Gerard Reve, and related to the theme of the festival – City and Country – a special event on T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. The audience will be able to listen to the integral version of this 434-line poem and Paul Claes (Flemish author, and translator of a yet to be published translation of The Waste Land) will give a talk on his interpretation of the poem and his translation of it.

In different locations in and around the festival, tent installations by Dutch Visual artist, Dre Wapenaar, will be exhibited and made use of.

Confirmed poets are: H.H. ter Balkt (Netherlands), Maria Barnas (Netherlands), Linda Maria Baros (France / Romania), Philippe Beck (France), Remco Campert (Netherlands), William Cliff (Belgium), Mangalesh Dabral (India), Jean-Michel Espitallier (France), James Fenton (United Kingdom), Andrea Gibellini (Italy), Robert Gray (Australia), Shoichiro Iwakiri (Japan), Gerður Kristný (Iceland), Peter van Lier (Netherlands), Roni Margulies (Turkey), Risto Oikarinen (Finland) , Mirta Rosenberg (Argentina), Silke Scheuermann (Germany), Miriam Van hee (Belgium), Szabolcs Várady (Hungary), Henk van der Waal (Netherlands), Natan Zach (Israel / Germany), Adam Zagajewski (Poland), Juan Manuel Roca (Colombia).

Live streaming on PIW:
Log on and tune in each day for live recordings of the poetry readings. English translations of the poems being performed will be shown alongside the film footage.

Festival website:
Visit the festival website regularly for updated information. Extensive programme information in both Dutch and English at

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