PoetryInternational started Saturday. Below a newsletter reporting on the Saturday’s and today’s events:

The 40th Poetry International Festival: 13–20 June in the Rotterdam City Theatre


On the evening of Saturday 13 June the Rotterdam City Theatre was packed with poets, performers, editors, translators and audience members, among them Queen Beatrix, for the opening ceremony of the 40th Poetry International Festival. Words, whether sung, spoken or written, were married with sound and music in a 90-minute extravaganza of poetry and performance, beginning with the hard-hitting DAKOTA, a digital work by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries with text set to percussion, and ending with the evocative music of De Kift, a Dutch band.

To read more about the opening event, visit the Poetry International Festival 2009 diary.

BITS OF POETRY, Monday 15 June

On Monday 15 June, in an introduction covering the origins and development of this genre, from Marinetti to the Ciné-poèmes, poet and translator Jan Baeke will raise questions such as “How new is digital poetry?” and “What differentiates it from other poetry?” The unprecedented possibilities of the genre will be illustrated through a selection of works to be discussed and presented by Yra van Dijk, professor of Dutch literature. From Monday to Friday, the works presented in this programme, as well as others, can be experienced by visitors in the festival’s Digital Poetry Laboratory.

The programme includes a digital interview with Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, as well as a showing of their work DAKOTA and their European premiere of SMASH THE GANG OF FOUR BILLION, which so far has only been shown in China (in Chinese). Other international poets featured include Olia Lialina (Russia), Brian Kim Stefans (USA), Noah Wardrip-Fruin (USA), Aya Karpinska (USA) and Mark Napier (USA). Dutch works featured are part of the Poezie op het scherm (Poetry on the screen) project, an initiative of Fonds voor de Letteren, the Waag Society and Fonds BKVB which gave poets and multimedia designers the opportunity to collaborate on a literary work designed for the screen. The foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature (NLPVF) also contributed to the project, enabling some of the Dutch works to be translated into English.

The Bits of Poetry programme is sponsored by Apple Premium Reseller MacHouse www.machouse.nl.


If you haven’t yet looked at the June issue of PIW, visit www.poetryinternational.org to read poems by all the visiting poets.

For more information about events and programmes at the festival, including the live streaming schedule, visit the festival page of PIW, or www.poetry.nl, where there is also a comprehensive schedule of events.

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