Poetry Week returns to Barcelona with “Total Poetry!” as its core concept

The new edition, which will take place from the 12th to the 18th of May, pays tribute the likes of Jaume Vallcorba and Ovidi Montllor and includes numerous events designed to capture both the richness and global nature of poetry as well as its close ties to other artistic disciplines

For yet another year the springtime streets of Barcelona will resonate with verse thanks to the Setmana de la Poesia, or Poetry Week, a festival of street poetry, poetry in civic centres, in museums, beneath monuments and even in cinemas.  Historically Poetry Week has offered a wide-ranging programme of poetic expression that includes recitals, lectures, articles, debates and much more. However, the nature of this year’s Poetry Week, which takes place from the 12th to the 18th of May is even more extensive and will encompass a wider range of activities than usual in a week-long poetic cocktail designed to reveal the vitality, significance and diversity of poetry from home and abroad.

Directed for the third year running by D. Sam Abrams, who will pass on the baton next year to Manuel Forcano, and Teresa Colom, the programme of activities is designed to capture the richness, plurality and diversity that poetry enjoys, be it locally or internationally. With this in mind, the festival will feature some now traditional events, such as the presentation of the Jocs Florals (Floral Games) prize, awarded this year to Miguel de Palou for his book Dos cors per una bèstia, which offers a reflection on the passage of time and proposes poems as alter egos of those who read them, and the Barcelona International Poetry Festival which, this year, features invitees the likes of Charles Simic and Sharon Olds.

The core concept for this year’s edition can be summed up by the expression Total Poetry! or, in other words, absolute poetry, ubiquitous, as an entity that infuses and is simultaneously infused by everything, an essential tool in our ability to communicate and one that is closely related to all other artistic disciplines. As an extension of this idea a number of activities that link poetry with other art forms have been organised. For example, the CCCB will host an Andorran production that combines poetry and circus in a tribute to seven renowned Catalan poets who were strongly influenced by the Pyrenean principality, including Joan Salvat-Papasseit and Joan Vinyoli. Poetry will also enter into dialogue with opera in the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, with the body in the Museu Frederic Marès, with the tango in the Ateneu Barcelonès, and with the performing arts in the Teatre Akadèmia.

In another section, from the 13th to the 15th, the programme will include the film cycle Poetry and film, which will feature three films in which poetry plays an essential role, Rowing with the Wind, The Dead Poet’s Society and Amour Fou, which will feature a post-screening debate on poetry and suicide in the company of Albert Serra.

On another note, contemporary poets the likes of Fernando Beltrán, Gemma Gorga, Miquel Àngel Llauger and Berta Piñan will offer recitals of verses that speak of generations, poetry and the concept of family, while in the section entitled Vèncer el temps a selection of poets will pay homage to numerous memorable Catalan poets. The world of publishing will also be evidenced, in particular in the cycle Finestres: poesia i edició (Windows: poetry and publishing) in which six publishing houses have organised three recitals featuring eighteen poets from their respective catalogues.

Meanwhile Walt Whitman will be acclaimed in the event entitled Whitmaniacs! while, in another act, Julie Christie and Marta Pessarrodona will offer a recital of the cream of English verse. El Planetari, in CosmoCaixa, have programmed Llunàtics: poesia i nit (Lunatics: poetry and the night), in which Màrius Sampere, Enric Casasses, David Castillo and Núria Martínez Vernis will recite a selection of poems relating to night-time.

Along slightly different lines, Jaume Valcorba will receive a tribute in the form of a combination of recitals and conversations featuring a selection of authors from the publishers Acantilado and Quaderns Crema, while Ovidi Montllor will receive a musical tribute at the hands of Toti Soler, Joan Massotkleiner and Gemma Humet.

These and other activities form the bulk of the programme for Barcelona Poetry Week, an entertaining, multi-disciplinary celebration of the power of the poetic word.

Setmana de la Poesia de Barcelona 

When: from the 12th up to the 18th of May

Tickets: different prices

Where: different places

More information here

Publication date: Wednesday, 06 May 2015
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