From 9 to 13 June, Poetry International Rotterdam will present for the 46th time the most noteworthy poetry of the groundbreaking great masters, alongside that of new and original poetic talents from around the world. These poets include the Basque Harkaitz Cano, the Aboriginal Australian Lionel Fogarty, Togara Muzanenhamo from Zimbabwe, the Russians Philip Nikolayev and Lev Rubinstein, Kenneth Goldsmith from the United States, Yanko Gonzalez from Chile, Justyna Bargielska from Poland, the Germans Durs Grünbein, Marion Poschmann and Barbara Köhler, Guo Jinniu from China, the English Jen Hadfield, the French Pierre Alfieri, the Norwegian Nils Christian Moe-Repstad, and from the Low Countries Hester Knibbe, Peter Verhelst, Tonnus Oosterhoff and Els Moors. Nineteen ‘Reasons to be Cheerful!’
The festival poets’ readings shape the core of festival. Aside from that, prominent poets, exceptional poetry, and remarkable phenomena are exhibited during the special events. Such as the poets involved in the Rotterdam journal Gard Sivik, and its Amsterdam counterpart, Barbarber, that introduced humour and relativity to poetry at the end of the 1950s. Or Professor Adam Zeman, from Exeter, who will be outlining his research: the effect poetry has on the brain. Does reading poetry make you happy? Entirely in line with the title of his book, Uncreative Writing, Kenneth Goldsmith will passionately plead for the reusing/recycling of writing. And as per usual, the festival will devote considerable attention to the art and craft of poetry translation, at events such as the Translation slam and the poetry translation project, In Other Words. (In order to catch your breath, you can also stop by the daily Poetry Café, which will offer previews to festival events, as well as feature interviews, debates, music and readings, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.)
Art and film
The fourth language & ART Gallery Tour opens on Sunday, 7 June, preceding the festival, with readings by festival poets Els Moors and Marion Poschmann in the Kunsthal. A tour through 17 Rotterdam art galleries, featuring work by artists for whom language, the word and poetry are a source of inspiration. And this year, the Kunsthal will showcase the work of all the artists exhibiting their art along the tour. On Monday, 8 June, Poetry on / as Film, a collaboration with the International Film Festival Rotterdam, is scheduled to show documentaries on poets Rogi Wieg and Nobel Prize-winner Hertha Müller, as well as a series of short films from this year’s festival poets Pierre Alferi, Yanko González and Tonnus Oosterhoff.
Masterclasses, Craft Talks, the VPRO Poetry Academy
The festival asks not just to be listened to and experienced, but also to provoke you into actively engaging with and creating poetry and poetic translations. During the Masterclasses, the festival poets will provide you with tips and tricks for reading and writing poetry. During the Craft Talks, the poets will spend half an hour elaborating on a specific form, or a particular aspect of poetry. And during Saturday’s special, parallel program, the VPRO Poetry Academy, announcer Wim Brands will spend an entire afternoon taking you on an educational and wonder-filled journey through the world of poetry.
Poetry around the city
In addition to the many programs we have planned in the Rotterdam Schouwburg, the festival also will host events throughout the city, revealing Rotterdam’s most beautiful, charismatic and unexpected locations – such as the Trompenburg Gardens and Arboretum and, for the more adventurous, even the city’s rooftops! And again, the language & ART Gallery Tours offer an exceptional footpath through Rotterdam and its thriving cultural scene.
Festival-App and Wake Up in Poetry
The festival-app is now available through the App Store or Google Play. Stay up-to-date on our schedule, learn more about the various programs, and read new and updated profiles and poems from the festival poets.
Still trying to find accommodation for the festival? Why not spend the night in the home of a Rotterdam poet? Check out this novel ‘pop-up’ hotel project: Wake Up in Poetry.