DEN POEZIE 2023 – POETRY DAY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
- Den poezie is an annual international and multicultural poetry festival held for two weeks every November around the birth anniversary (16.11.1810) of the great Czech Romantic poet, K.H. Mácha. It is the most widespread poetry event in the country with events now taking place in around 60 Czech cities, towns and villages. Almost all the events are free. This year’s Den poezie runs from 6th – 19th November and its theme is Básně v obraze /Poems in the picture
- ENGLISH-LANGUAGE EVENTS
- In the 2023 programme there are 4 events in English: –
- On Friday 10th November at 6.30 pm in the library of Anglo-American University, Letenská 5, Prague 1 there is a reading by authors who are also lecturers at the university, Stephan Delbos, Anthony Marais, and Seth Rogoff.
- On Saturday 11th November at 7 pm in Týnská literary cafe, Týnska 6, Prague 1 there will be a reading by Berlin-based English poet Alistair Noon who will read from his new book of poetry, Paradise Takeaway, introduced by poet Justin Quinn.
- On Wednesday 15th November at 7pm in the Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 11, Praha 1, there will be an international evening. In cooperation with Literature Across Frontiers and the Ulysses Project, poets Tatev Chakhian, Zofia Baldyga, Gareth Evans-Jones, Ivan Antić and Aljaž Primozič discuss the topic of migration, identity and language, and read from their work. In English with Czech translations.
On Thursday 16th November at 6 pm at the American Center, Tržiště 13, Malá strana-Prague 1, there will be a showing of a new documentary about beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti – in English
- Den poezie first took place on just one day in 1999, and marked the launch of a Poezie pro cestujíci (Poetry on the Metro) project initiated by the festival founder, the Literary and Cultural Club 8 (Renata Bulvová and Bernie Higgins). The festival is now coordinated by the Poetry Society (Společnost poezie), a small group of people involved in literature/teaching who work as volunteers to organise events and promote interest in poetry. Year by year, the length of the festival extended, as more and more organisations and towns participated, until it reached its current two-week duration.
- As well as readings by well-known Czech poets, such as Kateřina Rudčenková, Sylva Fischerová, Petr Borkovec etc, thanks to the support of various foreign cultural institutes the festival has also featured leading poets from abroad, e.g. from Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland, the UK and many other countries. The festival also celebrates poetry from the Czech Republic in languages other than Czech, e.g. in Lusatian and Romani. Apart from one or two events in English, all readings are in Czech or in another language with Czech translation.
- Events are organised by schools, libraries, universities, literary groups, clubs, theatres, museums and individuals as well as by the main coordinators of the festival, Společnost poezie, who organise a central programme and coordinate publicity for all the national events. The regional reach of Den poezie is important and the festival aims to inspire the widest possible involvement, encouraging the celebration of poetry in many forms – not only through readings, but through music, theatre, art, film and ‘happenings’. We consider one of the festival’s strengths to be its range of participation, from well-known, published Czech and foreign poets to schoolchildren learning to enjoy and create poetry for the first time.
- In 2016, the festival saw the launch of a new project, Poezie pro čekajíci (Poetry for People Waiting). It involves providing poetry brochures to places where people wait (hospitals, official offices etc.), This complements our long-term project Poezie pro cestující (Poetry for Travellers) that places poems on public transport. The festival also distributes poetry on bookmarks and postcards.
- The Poetry Day festival is mainly supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture, the Czech Literary Fund (CLF), The State Fund and the Prague Town Hall. Foreign cultural institutes in the Czech Republic give support by sponsoring the participation of poets from their countries. A number of smaller organisations support us mainly through providing publicity. The festival also receives good press coverage, in local and national newspapers, radio and television.
Organiser website: www.spolecnostpoezie.cz