Versopolis - where poetry lives
Versopolis is a European poetry platform that creates new opportunities for emerging European poets and is supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme.
Versopolis was designed as a poetry platform that creates opportunities for emerging European poets by financially and organizationally supporting translations of their poetry into English and other European languages and publishing them in printed booklets, e-books and on the www.versopolis.com website along with full profile descriptions. Versopolis also supports the poets’ mobility by organizing a number of guest appearances at different European literary festivals, which creates countless opportunities for networking with foreign publishers, literary agents, the press and other actors in the field of literature. This helps the excellent poets to breakthrough to the European and global poetry scene.
In its first year the Versopolis project promoted 55 authors and their poetry, united under its motto ‘where poetry lives’, along with 11 festivals, which acted and still act as literature promoters and publishers in the European literary space. In the second year, two new festivals joined the platform, nominating five Versopolis poets each, whereas the already established festivals nominated three each. With the third year the amount of nominated poets summed up to 134.
On 1 December 2017, the already admitted poets that are proposed yearly by the member organisations have been joined by new ones. The poet and poetry database on www.versopolis.com has been expanded to include 179 poets creating in 32 different European languages and over 1800 of their poems have been published on the website. The policy of poets' nomination have been adapted. Each member has nominated 3 poets, one of which is a representative of a marginal language.
Another expansion involves organizations that are platform members: the thirteen existing literary festival organizers from thirteen different European countries has been joined by a fourteenth: Publishers’ Forum NGO from Ukraine.
Versopolis in numbers
The Versopolis platform involves the following literary/poetry festivals
LE PRINTEMPS DES POÈTES, France
HAUSACHER LESELENZ, Germany
ARS POETICA, Slovakia;
GENOA INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL, Italy;
INSTYTUT KULTURY MIEJSKIEJ (CITY CULTURE INSTITUTE), Poland;
LEDBURY POETRY FESTIVAL, Great Britain;
STRUSKI VECERI NA POEZIJATA (STRUGA POETRY EVENINGS), Macedonia;
POETINIS DRUSKININKŲ RUDUO (DRUSKININKAI POETIC FALL), Lithuania;
FELIX POETRY FESTIVAL, Belgium;
GORANOVO PROLJEČE (GORAN’S SPRING), Croatia;
LITERATURE & WINE FESTIVAL, Austria;
DNEVI POEZIJE IN VINA (DAYS OF POETRY AND WINE), Slovenia;
PUBLISHERS' FORUM NGO, Ukraine.
What new features are projected for the coming 2017-2021 period?
Based on their gained experience and detected problems, the Versopolis team has developed new models and products it will be introducing the next four years:
Versopolis education and training model
The Versopolis education and training model is intended for promising students of literature and other programs on poetry. These students will work with mentors (professors from various European universities) to edit weekly contents, writing reviews and critiques (mostly on texts by Versopolis authors) that will be published in the Versopolis review.
Versopolis corporate entrepreneurship model
The second new feature will be presenting the Versopolis platform as an example of good practice in candidate countries for the EU accession and countries that are included in the European Neighbourhood Policy. The presentations will be prepared in collaboration with local literary festivals and Creative Europe centres in Serbia, Albania, Georgia and Iceland. The goal is to empower cultural organizers by sharing knowledge, contacts and business and collaboration opportunities with the Versopolis review.
The experience gathered during the Versopolis project’s entire run will be used to create a comprehensive handbook for cultural organizers, local and national authorities and policy shapers. The handbook will include a presentation of the project, an evaluation of its outcome and recommendations for developing these kinds of projects in the future.
More about Versopolis
Poetry is a highly individualised expression of the human spirit that glorifies diversity and originality; it creates a bridge between individuals and communities. The European idea that is based on respect of individuality and at the same time strives for a quality coexistence of all individuals, should recognise in poetry a metaphor and sum of its efforts.
VERSOPOLIS is a Europe-wide poetry project of renowned literary festivals, exposing, connecting and bringing the finest poetry closer to audiences and through collaboration and mutual enrichment adding value and a sustainable vision of the initial European idea.
We wish to see that not only canonised and widely recognizable poets reach the consciousness of European literature lovers, but that the voices of younger generations that have yet to become established in the European area also gain their place. The selected authors will receive attention through performances and translations of their works on a digital platform.
The project includes renowned European literary festivals with an evident affinity towards poetry. Authors circulate between festivals, presenting themselves to poetry enthusiasts and professionals. Connecting functions in multiple ways: between the festivals, the authors, the authors and the public, and between the authors and publishers and editors.
The project stems from the wish to address as broad as possible a European audience, bringing to its attention the highly individualised language of poetry and the specific national characteristics and backgrounds of guest authors. PR strategies that utilize contemporary and original approaches in communication wish to bring the language of poetry, which so often remains barricaded inside the ivory towers of academia, closer to the general public. The interactive platform will play an important role in this by including existing and new audiences.
We follow opinions, visions and views on the broadest level; we focus on common European values, creating a new, integrated European poetic identity. Collaborations between participating partners jointly create an original perspective for poetry festivals to successfully collaborate in the future.