Poetry Parnassus 2012 - Nominations now open

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Posted: 1 June 2011

Nominations open today for Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus - set to be the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK, bringing together a poet from each of the competing Olympic nations. 205 poets will come to Southbank Centre and tour the UK for a week-long celebratory gathering from 26 June - 2 July 2012 as part of the finale of the Cultural Olympiad; the London 2012 Festival. This hugely ambitious Southbank Centre project, led by Artistic Director Jude Kelly and Artist in Residence Simon Armitage, will include readings, workshops and a final gala event with all the poets. Every poet will also contribute a poem in their own language to be published in The World Record, a book which will champion translation and be housed in the Southbank Centre's Saison Poetry Library.

Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre Artistic Director

Poetry Parnassus will be a landmark event in the Cultural Olympiad - a week-long gathering of poets, for poetry's sake, to celebrate language, diversity and a sense of global togetherness. By bringing poets to London from Samoa to Senegal, Tonga to Azerbaijan we go back to the roots of Poetry International, the festival that Ted Hughes and Patrick Garland launched at the Royal Festival Hall in 1967, to address notions of free speech, community and peace through poetry."

Simon Armitage, Southbank Centre Artist in Residence

"Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus draws inspiration from Mount Parnassus in Greece - one of poetry's spiritual and mythical heartlands, the home of the lyricist Orpheus and the dwelling place of the poetic Muses.
My hunch is that this will be the biggest poetry event ever - a truly global coming together of poets and a monumental poetic happening worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics themselves."

From now until 22 July 2011, members of the public can nominate their favourite poet via the web link below. Anyone in the world can recommend up to three poets from any Olympic country, in order of preference: 1st Place: Gold Poet, 2nd Place: Silver Poet, 3rd Place: Bronze Poet. A panel including Simon Armitage will then shortlist and the final selection of poets will be announced in spring 2012.

Click here to read the Poetry Parnassus Q&A


Poetry Parnassus patrons include: Carol Ann Duffy, Sir Andrew Motion, Melvyn Bragg, Michael Billington, Mark Lawson, Seamus Heaney, Joan Bakewell and Antony Gormley.
Poetry Parnassus partners include: The Arts Council, the British Council, the Poetry Society, the Poetry Book Society, the Poetry School and The Reading Agency.

For further press information, contact Katie Toms.

Source: Southbank Centre

Categories: Poetry News

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