/ 8 June 2018

Genoa becomes the capital of poetry with the 24th International Poetry Festival Words Wide Open

From 8 to 17 June, the International Poetry Festival "Words wide open" returns to Genoa; the biggest and longest running Italian event dedicated to poetry which, this year, reaches it's 24th edition.

The festival, founded and directed by the poet Claudio Pozzani and organised by the Circolo dei Viaggiatori nel Tempo (Society of Time Travellers) in collaborazione with Genoa City Council, the Palazzo Ducale Foundation for Culture, The County Council of Liguria and the Chamber of Commerce, will offer more than 100 free events, among which are readings, concerts, performances, films, conferences, exhibitions and guided visits.

Among the more than 90 guests this year, there will be: Maddalena Crippa (8 June) with a monologue on the poet Dido; Pasquale Panella accompanied by the philosopher Lucio Saviani (10 June); the great Chilean poet Raul Zurita (11 June); David Riondino (10 June); Sergio Claudio Perroni (13 June); the Spaniard Eloy Sanchez Rosillo (13 June); the Venezuelan Armando Rojas Guardia (13 June); the French-Senegalese poet and rapper Souleymane Diamanka (15 June); and the Italian rapper Murubutu (11 June).

This year, Words wide open launches the Salon for the Resilient, a 2 day event dedicated to the publishing houses and magazines (both printed and on-line) which publish poetry in Italy. Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June, in Palazzo Ducale, there will be books, various other publications, authors, magazines, and blogs, which very often are not given sufficient space at book fares, being over-shadowed by the large publishing houses.

There are also numerous musical guests, such as: the pianist Fabio Vernizzi, who Will interpret songs by Chiquinha Gonzaga (12 June), an icon of Brazillian female emancipation and the first female orchestra director in South America, in the 1920s; the singer-songwriters Jack Jaselli (13 June), and Filippo Graziani (who will pay special homage to his father Ivan, 15 June); the noted harpist Vincenzo Zitello (14 June); the historic progressive rock band Caravan (8 June); and lastly, My Cat Is An Alien (16 June), one of the most important bands in experimental music, known internationally, they have collaborated with Sonic Youth.

A very special event of this edition is, without doubt, the evening of Saturday 9 June, in the lovely Bay of Boccadasse, where, in addition to poetry readings, there will be a collective performance called "Vessels of poetry", in which everyone will be able to entrust their own poems to the waves of the sea, on special, eco-sustainable, little boats, lit with tea-lights, followed by a very special Silent Disco, dedicated to 1968 and, in particular, the period between the Summer of Love in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969.

Everyone will have headphones, with 3 channels to choose from: 1 dedicated to dance, 1 to music for listening to and meditating (ranging from Beat music to Psychadelic Rock, from Progressive rock to rock ballads...), and 1 channel with a mix of dance music and poetry, with the best works from 1967 to 1969.

Important and well-known Italian DJs and radio conductors were called upon to put together the playlists.

Another important date is the presentation of the book "Letter to Bruna" (Lettera a Bruna) by Giuseppe Ungaretti, in the presence of Bruna Bianco (12 June).

In the section Poetic Reconstruction of the Universe, this year, subjects bound to new technology and communication will be tackled by: the noted radio presenter and writer Gianluca Nicoletti (9 June); the German neuro-scientist Manfred Spitzer (15 June), who will talk about "digital dementia"; the journalist Virginia Della Sala (11 June), who will reveal the secrets of the "Dark Web" - the murky part of the Internet; and lastly, the anthropologist Antonio Guerci (13 June), who will analyse the history of man from a very particular perspective.

The guest of honour of the section Poevisions (Poevisioni), dedicated to the relationship between cinema and word, will this year be Silvio Soldini (14 June), who has strong ties to Genoa, having filmed two of his most noted films here: Agatha and the tempest, and, Days and clouds.

Words wide open is a founder member of, and the contact for Italy for, the European platform Versopolis. Founded along with 14 other poetry festivals in continental countries and supported by the European Commission, it has the aim of promoting, translating and publishing the most interesting emerging poets. To this end, this year, there will be the French poet Samantha Barendson, the British poet Kayombo Chingonyi, the German Daniela Seel and the Belgian Charlotte Van Den Broeck.

Together with the Festival Voix Vives di Sete (France), two days (16 & 17 June) will be dedicated to poets from the Mediterranean, with readings and performances in Giardini Luzzati; an urban park, an area which was redeveloped and returned to the City in 2012.

On the same dates (16 & 17 June), Words wide open will also host the National Poetry Slam Finals, in collaboration with LIPS (IPSL - Italian Poetry Slam League).

The Bloomsday event returns (16 June), with the complete reading of Ulysses by James Joyce, in 23 locations in Genoa's historic centre. Also back again are Poetic Journeys, guided theatrical visits following in the footsteps of poets and writers who have lived in or stayed a while in Genoa, and I saw a voice, dedicated to Poetry in Sign Language.

Words wide open will host two evenings in Sarzana (1 & 2 June) and one in Bogliasco (Friday 7 June), in the splendid Villa dei Pini, the home of the Bogliasco Foundation, an residence for international artists and writers.

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