Poetic voice

Brenda Porster
May 20, 2010

From June 11 to 23, Florence's extraordinary Oblate library will be the venue for the eighth annual Florence International Poetry Festival, which features world-renowned poets reading their own works (followed by an Italian translation). The Oblate library (via dell'Oriuolo 26) is right behind Piazza Duomo, and those who attend the festival can enjoy spectacular evening views of Brunelleschi's Dome Cupola from the altana (top-floor gallery) of the Oblate.


Florence International Poetry Festival brings poets from around the world to the city where Renaissance literature was born. With the goal of fostering international dialogue through poetry, the festival has featured Palestinian and Israeli poetry, Indian women's poetry, immigrant poets from Germany and Italy, Catalan women, contemporary Korean and Japanese poetry, with a special focus on contemporary Italian poetry.


On June 11, the festival opens with Spanish and Catalan poetry. On June 18, emerging young Italian poets will present their work, and well-known Italian contemporary poets will read on June 19.


The English language will be well represented. On June 12, British poets Kate Clancey and Patrick McGuinness will read, followed by a reading in English in the evening. On June 16, American-born Israeli poet Karen Alkalay Gut and the Indian poet Alka Tyagi will read from their recent collections, and on June 21, it will be Canada's turn, with Janice Kulyk Keefer from Toronto reading selections of her work.


The festival closes with a non-stop reading by local poets on the theme of la notte (‘the night'); those with poetic inclinations can add their voices.


The association that sponsors the Florence International Poetry Festival, Il Laboratorio Nuovo Buonarotti, is one of 20 associations chosen by the city of Florence to be part of the city's lively and varied Firenze Estate initiative, which this year runs from June through September (see http://firenzestate.comune.fi.it and TF 120 for details).

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