16.07.2017 - UNESCO Havana/Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Havana's Week-Long Celebration of Poetry

From 9 to 15 July 2017, the 21st International Poetry Festival of Havana (FIPH), the First “Our America” Traveling Festival and Cuban Poetry Readings were held, activities dedicated to poetry convened by the Association of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and the Organizing Committee of the Poetry Festival, chaired by the poet Alex Pausides, which counted with the auspices of UNESCO through the Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“UNESCO is pleased to sponsor, together with other important national institutions, this celebration of poetry as an expression of diversity in the dialogue between cultures, the free flow of ideas through the word, creativity, innovation and communication on how reality is perceived and interpreted,” expressed the Representative of UNESCO, Katherine Muller-Marin, in her words of welcome to national and international poets.

Muller-Marin asserted that poetry meetings “such as the one that begins today on this island of music and verse remind us of how important the word of a poet may be in any language, in any place, at any historical moment” .

The event’s comprehensive programme included poetry readings, theoretical work sessions and other activities aimed at promoting the exchange and presence of the best Latin American and world poetry.

Of special interest was the week of readings by bards from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Slovenia, the United States, Mexico and Peru, together with outstanding representatives of Cuban poetry, including Roberto Fernández Retamar, Nancy Morejón, Miguel Barnet, Jesús David Curbelo, Pedro de Oraá, Roberto Manzano, Alberto Marrero and Edel Morales.

The two-day Writing Laboratory given by U.S. poet Robert Hass was particularly welcome. Hass also read his works at the emblematic Casa de las Américas, together with Cubans Roberto Fernández Retamar and Nancy Morejón.

The Festival programmed activities in other Cuban cities and events such as the Cucalambeana Fiesta, held every year in the province of Las Tunas, and the Caribbean Festival in Santiago de Cuba.

At the closing of the event, the 22nd International Poetry Festival was announced, to be held in Havana from 27 May to 3 June 2018, dedicated to Oral Poetry and Popular Poetry.

The First “Our America” Traveling Festival took place in 2016, in Medellín, Colombia, and this year it has been simultaneously celebrated in over 20 Latin American cities, promoted by the World Poetry Movement.

More information

Opening remarks by Katherine Muller-Marin, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (SPANISH)

Programme (SPANISH)

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