/ 4 November 2019

Words Pulsing With Images

Poetry Festival Ars Poetica 2019

Ars Poetica festival will bring the best and most striking world and Slovak poetry to Bratislava. From 7th to 17th November, the visitors will have a chance to see a rich program full of encounters with international poets and artists who will lead us into a world where a seemingly mundane moments morph into unique, uplifting and sometimes almost mystical experiences. The festival will take place at Café Berlinka, Nedbalka Gallery, the Blue Salon of the Slovak National Theatre and other spots, where poetry will reveal itself in a new light and create unique experiences in symbiosis with music, visual art, theatre and other artistic expressions, 

The Slovak audience will have a chance to see the Palestinian-Syrian-Swedish poet and performer Ghayatha Almadhouna. His voice is one of a lonely prophet wandering in the desert, the voice of a poet from among the best mystics of the Middle East, as well as the voice of a man living in exile but remaining a part of his culture and the fates of the people on the right bank of the Jordan River. The festival will welcome one of the most fascinating sound poetry performers Jaap Blonk, as well as the internationally renowned female poet Susanne Ringell – one of the stars of Nordic poetry and literature. Another night will be devoted to Carolyn Forché – an author whose work is published in the most distinguished American publishing houses and is a poetic embodiment of that which is called the voice of conscience. One of this year’s headliners is Claudio Pozzani from Italy, who only recently received the very prestigious Montale Prize. Ars Poetica will welcome a whole number of unique and suggestive performers: Ian Keteku from Toronto, Dean Bowen from Rotterdam, Eduard Escoffet from Barcelona and many others.

„Ars Poetica is the biggest translation project devoted to international poetry in Slovakia. The festival is open to all those who want to give poetry a chance. It can maybe speak to them in an unexpected way, simply in passing – by something that they didn’t know can happen to them. It’s about experiencing beauty when looking at something that seems to be just mere words. However, it’s not just words, it’s poetry,” says the festival director, poet and translator Martin Solotruk.

The full program of the 17th poetry festival is, as usual, a celebration of amazing world poetry, but it will also be accompanied by wonderful concerts, be it Robert Pospiš & Martin Sillay & the Band with their project Poetry in Music/Music in Poetry, or American artist and author Shannon Sullivan & The Band, who is a living proof that the union of poetry and music brings forward an aesthetic and activist message, which can instill in us a desire for a better world. The dramaturgy of Ars Poetica is made complete by a colorful off program for children, dance and creative workshops interconnecting movement and perception with mindfulness and imagination, as well as special Ars Poetica Film programmed by Martin Palúch. It will be a showcase of films related to poetry and it will take place from 11th to 15thNovember at the Lumière film theatre.

“Every year, it is our goal to put together a high-quality artistic program, which will showcase the power and quality of a wide range of contemporary world poetry to the Slovak audience. At the same time, we want to present poetry as a living and relevant medium; as the creative energy that enables the connection between several forms of art,” adds Ars Poetica director.

More information and the full program of the festival can be found at