Medellin will host its 22nd annual International Poetry Festival from June 23-30, this year honoring aboriginal people.
Beginning at 4PM on Saturday at the Carlos Vieco open air theater, the festival will feature 70 poets from more than 40 different countries, including 12 aboriginal poets.
This year’s event aims “to reclaim the memory and culture [of aboriginal people] through poetic expression.”
While most of the poets attending the festival come from Latin America, writers from European, African, Asian and Indigenous backgrounds will first read in their native languages before reciting a Spanish translation to what can be crowds of thousands, English poet James Fenton wrote for The Guardian in 2005.
“Any poet who ever craved an audience might have dreamed of an event like this,” he said of that year’s event.”In an open air amphitheatre, surrounded by trees, and out, up and beyond, lit by burning torches, hidden in shadows, in the cool of the Colombian evening, [the crowd] sat patiently and good-naturedly for three hours, cheering some poems, applauding others, never less than polite and sometimes verging on the ecstatic.”
The festival was first founded in 1991 as a gesture of peace in the midst of Colombia’s armed struggle, according to the event’s website. “It is in the times of discontent that poetry lifts the human gaze toward the light.”
To see a list of poets and reading schedules, visit the event’s schedule page.