What does writing poetry have in common with walking in the city? In translating poetry, what lost paths, dark alleys and chance connections are encountered? How do these change the maps by which cities are known and by which new poetries may be discovered?

Metropoetica is a collaboration of women writing and walking in different cities across Europe in response to these questions. Poets and translators Ingmara Balode (Riga, Latvia), Julia Fiedorczuk (Warsaw, Poland), Sanna Karlström (Helsinki, Finland), Ana Pepelnik (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Zoë Skoulding (Bangor, Wales), Sigurbjörg Thrastardottir (Reykjavik, Iceland), and Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese (Kraków, Poland) met in Kraków, Ljubljana, Riga, Wrocław and Athens from 2009 to 2011. Together they walked the cities, took part in collaborative writing and translation  and presented their work to the public in multimedia performances.

Metropoetica explores urban spaces and artistic responses to them from a new angle. Taking their cue from the tradition started by the Parisian ‘flaneurs’, Metropoetica’s participants seek to see their home cities through fresh eyes and to bring strong female voices to the tradition of urban poetry.

For the writers’ accounts of their experiences, as well as poems and filmed performances, go to the project website

Metropetica is a Literature Across Frontiers project, supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union, Bangor University and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK).

Out now: the Metropoetica book

Metropoetica is now a book! You can now find poems, images and essays from each of the poets as well as work made collaboratively in the city streets of Europe. Published by Seren, it can be ordered: here for £9.99 from the Seren website.

Metropoetica book cover