Poetry is a perverse and unhealthy gift because it exposes you and in excess to all the sensibilities of this and the other world. Olga Orozco (Argentina)
Poetry is always something else, that which is ignored by all, till it’s discovered by a true poet. Oliverio Girondo (Argentina)
The International Poetry Festival of Buenos Aires opens for the eight time its doors to welcome poets from Argentina and from other countries which have been represented in past festivals: Canada, Cuba, France, Spain, Chile, Colombia and Turkey.
In the present edition we have invited for the first time poets from Panama, India, Palestine, Switzerland, Denmark and Holland, that this year is also the guest of honor of the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
In this way the organizers of The International Poetry Festival of Buenos Aires continue staging, year after year, readings and other activities, in their wish that Argentine poets and readers can listen to the world’s most distinguished poets.
The poetry festivals in many unsuspected ways fill a city with sound and color. As Argentine poet Amelia Biagioni said: “Poetry, to those who offer her their heart is tenebrous, fulgurant, unsaintly. A she raven that eats and glitters”.
We are committed to poetry and wish it can be found everywhere, in those places where its power surpasses poetic circles and preconceived concepts. We work in the desire that poetry be discovered in places and situations where life happens in all its nakedness.
Our aspiration is that the young, poets and readers, approach the festival to forge bonds with the great tradition of the bards.
Poetry is something live. In recent years some of its formats and forms of presenting it in public have been enriched. Currently, poets can use musical instruments and new technologies and equipment that provides sound and image for their readings, all of these new elements added to the tradition of the poet on stage giving voice to his work, are a renewal of the presence of word in public. Contemporary performance goes back to the sixties, when poetry gained a new audience, in the process readings and festivals have become the space where a new way of listening and understanding the poem takes place.
The rallying cry is ‘to have fun and be part of this experience with the poet. Poetry is that continuous movement of life, that word written from the different points of view of the being. Poetry sees fear in the world. She lets us know about the grief of the world that comes from the lack of shelter, war, hunger, poverty and death.
An unseen meteorite falls, there is fear. But poetry can rewrite every day the sky, the unattainable, in different shades and colors. If we read a poem, although innocent, we will see, and seeing we will understand.
Nothing repeats itself.
In a vast immensity, poetry and language thrive; we must remember that language must always be subversive. Now, today, when the world undergoes a general crisis and wars, hunger and death are the headlines; Spanish poet Antonio Gamoneda reminds us that the poet must be true to his principles which will guide him and society to a poetic and morally subversive language which will strengthen our spirit.
Poetry, as Wislawa Szymborska said, always allows us to get out, to act and not wait, it gives us a choice: ‘write poems, even foolish ones or don’t write at all’.
“Will we change the world?” We don’t know. We can only say that reading poetry will turn your soul inside out like a glove and that in the hands and voice of some poets the glove transforms itself into clay.
We are all language and we can cry with the sound of a word, that word that in water might be a thought, fifty cats, Rimbaud, Adelia Prado or Olga Orozco.
We are what we choose to be and what we don’t. We can be different or not. We can choose the right date or maybe one that isn’t the right one. We can make the choice between silence and sound. We can regain our humanity in poetry and go out and fight the daily battles of life.
Writing might save us or push us into the void, poetry is the zero and the infinite of all numbers. Streets written with poems, cities that are a poem. Poetry is this that is and we don’t know what, but it always awakens our minds.
This year we can proudly say that 280 poets have already attended The International Poetry Festival of Buenos Aires. We thank every one of them for being part of the aesthetic plurality of this festival.
Welcome poets and audience to the VIII International Poetry Festival of Buenos Aires.
Let it be a celebration of pleasure, memory and the encounter of cultures.