Dear fellow Poets and Poetry Festival directors,
Poets Circle in Athens is organizing a world event under the title A POEM FOR REFUGEES. I am writing to you to inquire if you would like to organize a public reading on that subject on March 21, 2016, which is International Poetry Day. The purpose is to make the public vitally aware of the refugee crisis and a clear message against racism. PEN International will co-sponsor this Greek event thus it will become a world event. We are very pleased that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Athens is on board. World Poetry Movement is also part of it.
Poets Circle is a non-profit literary organization with 99 Greek and 99 foreign members. In the last four years it has organized two International Poetry Festivals in Athens and more than 120 poetry events throughout Greece. On January 14, 2016, together with the Greek Authors Society, we were happy to join PEN International in a reading defending the Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh.
In Greece the event is scheduled in 28 cities and islands. Twenty countries are participating
I would appreciate an early reply,
Very truly yours,
Ένα ποίημα για τους πρόσφυγες / A poem for the refugees
What: Poetry reading on the refugee issue, with live music, a refugee – themed photography exhibition, in view of March 21st, World Poetry Day, and World Day Against Racism with the collaboration of PEN International (http://www.pen-international.org/) and the World Poetry Movement (http://www.wpm2011.org/)
When: Friday March 21th 2016, 19.00,
Where: Stoa tou Vivliou (downtown Athens), plus various other venues (bookstores or perhaps municipal premises) throughout Greece in 24 other cities and the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Kos, Thessaloniki, Patras, Chania, Kalamata, Tripoli, Nafplion, Lehaina, Volos, Larissa, Xanthi, Komotini, Trikala, Ioannina, as well as cities abroad in Cyprus, Turkey, Colombia, Norway, India, France, Spain, Canada, USA, Ireland, Italy, etc.
A joint event of the Poets’ Circle (Greek)
- With the collaboration of UNHCR Greece
- “Refugees Welcome GR”, a relatively new, but rather active and popular Greek volunteer refugee network http://www.facebook.com/RefugeesWelcomeGR
- Greek Refugees Forum (http://www.refugees.gr/en/)
Dinos Siotis and Becky Bloom (Refugees Welcome) shared ideas with UNHCR. Mr Siotis mentioned that the presence of highly respected poets and writers, as Titos Patrikios, Kiki Dimoula, Nanos Valaoritis, Yiannis Dhallas and Katerina – Aggelaki Rouk, could be assured.
A first draft schedule of the event unfolds as follows:
- About 20 to 25 poets will read their poems. Live music will be played. The evening will be curated by well – known writer, journalist and playwright, Minas Vidiadis. During the reading of the poems, photos of the exhibition will be projected on the wall.
The co-organizers of the event will address short greetings, in-between the readings.
As far as the photography exhibition is concerned, the idea is to gather about 15 works –in total- of well – known photographers, framed in 35 by 50 cm ready frames
It was suggested that poets from Syria and perhaps Afghanistan, or Iran join the event, and will be reached perhaps through Greek Refugees Forum.
- Poems will be uploaded to a relevant blog and facebook page which run unofficially for the time being, for easy reference and perhaps, use of them from schools. Uploading them would help spread the event’s message and gain visibility for its stakeholders, since online presence lasts.
- Media sponsor is ERT (Greek National Broadcasting).
- Siotis has arranged for a 30’’ TV Spot which will be prepared for the event and will air for free through Greek National Broadcasting, that can also be shared via the Internet.