UNESCO Cities of Literature Celebrate World Poetry Day with a Global Gathering of Poets

To mark this year’s World Poetry Day, Nottingham City of Literature and our colleagues across the globe are linking up to hold simultaneous literary events in 13 UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Nottingham will be marking the day with Nottingham’s Poet Laureate, Georgina Wilding, joining 60 other poets across Granada. A poet from Ljubljana City of Literature, Anja Golob, will also take part and the event will be attended by the Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO Creative Cities, Italian poet Maria Francesca Merloni.

Celebrated yearly on March 21st, World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets and celebrate one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression. Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for intercultural dialogue and peace. It is an art form that, more than any other, demonstrates the transformative power of words.

The following flagship events celebrating the breadth and diversity of the UNESCO Cities’ poets are taking place across the world on 21 March:

  • Heidelberg have displayed 45 poems written by 22 poets inside public trams. A special poetic tram will travel across the city with regular stops, while every 10 minutes another poet will make the ride a poetic journey, reciting poetry to passengers.
  • Similarly, in Tartu, audiences will be taken on a Poetry Route movement across the city with 15 poetry performances taking place in 7 locations. Additional readings involving poets and high school students will be performed throughout the day.
  • A number of poetry live-stream and television broadcasts will take place in Obidos at the medieval gate of the town, by local poet Armando da Silva Carvalho; in Edinburgh with local poets writing throughout the day and literary podcasts shared on the hour, each one with a different theme and international audience from Edinburgh City of Literature’s Facebook and Twitter channels; a national television broadcast from bookshops, coffee shops and the main cultural streets in Baghdad; and a Facebook Live tour of Krakow’s bookstores by a Krakow-based poet.
  • A wealth of poetry activities will take place in Krakow including a walking Poetry Song Trail, a multi- poetry presentation of new poems projected on the façade of a building on Bracka St, and the programme announcement of this year’s Milosz Poetry Festival.
  • Heidelberg House in Heidelberg’s French twin city Montpellier will present a poetic evening of German poetry and its impact on today’s French poetic artworks.
  • Barcelona will host a visual poetry workshop and events with Maria Isern and Guillem Gavaldà, prize- winners of the Francesc Garriga Poetry Prize.
  • Audiences will enjoy readings from established Norwegian poets in The House of Literature in Lillehammer.
  • A children‘s Poetry Hour at the Reykjavik City Library, a public reading at the University of Iceland and in Hólavallagarður, the largest Icelandic cemetery from the 19th century, will mark World Poetry Day in Reykjavik.
  • Poetry events and artistic performances are taking place in Iowa City and Prague.

Preceding World Poetry Day on 19th March, Dublin will be hosting a Poetry and Spoken Word Trail where audiences will enjoy exceptional performances from an array of emerging and established poets.

“By celebrating poetry today, we celebrate our ability to join together, in a spirit of solidarity and passion to ignite creativity and bring more poetry into the world”  said Sandeep Mahal, Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.
This World Poetry Day, follow the social conversation using #WPD2018 and #CitiesofLitPoetry and experience creative and poetic moments in a City of Literature near you.