Posiefestival Berlin 2012

Thursday May 31st, 2012

Poesiefestival Berlin 2012

1st – 8th June, Berlin

LAF returns again this year to Poesiefestival, Berlin’s major annual festival of poetry. LAF are co-operating, alongside a host of other partners both from our network and from further afield, on this year’s exciting project: renshi.eu. renshi.eu is a Renshi, a Europe-wide linked poem with participating poets from every EU member state.

In addition, LAF are also co-operating with Literaturwerkstat to organise the annual meeting of international poetry festivals – a gathering where festival directors from around the world can discuss ideas and best practice as well as spurn ideas for new collaborative projects.


“Europa is in the middle of an existential crisis. The dream of a unified continent is becoming a financial nightmare, with the visions of the founding fathers lying shattered amid neoliberal crisis management. Europe of its citizens is becoming the Europe of the bean counters. Only money matters, values are no longer important. The future of the idea of Europe is at stake.

For the poesiefestival berlin young poets from all 27 EU member states and the accession state Croatia are writing a renshi. In this chain poem they refer and relate to each other in literary terms, sounding out in their own artistic manner the highs and lows of Europe’s many voices. renshi.eu casts a critical eye, unclouded by market and political concerns, on what makes Europe tick now. On 2 June 2012, the poets will be presenting their work in a community poetic-political reading performance.

renshi.eu started in Greece, the epicentre of the current economic crisis but also the birthplace of European culture and democracy. Five groups of five or six poets worked in the various countires in parallel on five different renshi strands, with each strand originating from a poem by Greek poet Yannis Stiggas.

Each part of the renshi was taken up by the next poet in line, varied, commented on. To finish, the chain poem then returned to its source, and Yannis Stiggas wrote a final stanza for the five strands reflecting the traces his lines had left in the writing and thinking of the other poets.”

For further details on the festival, the renshi.eu events, a full list of the poets and partners involved plus the original poem by Stiggas ‘This is the place gentlemen’ visit the Poesiefestival Berlin website.