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The Poetry Book Society were honoured to represent the UK with the forward prize-winning poet Fiona Benson in Beijing at "Tribute to Giants, Celebrating Centuries of Poetry" last week. The event commemorated the centenary of the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore meeting the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo at the Fayuan Temple's Lilac Poetry Fair, a historic cultural tradition that has been passed down since the Ming Dynasty. This momentous global poetry festival began with an incredible Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, broadcast live on Chinese TV, featuring performances from descendants of Tagore and Zhimo, distinguished Chinese poets and guest poets from India, Egypt, Russia, US and UK at the temple where these poetry legends met a century ago. This was followed by the "Lilac Poetry Salon" on Thursday, an international exchange of eastern and western poetry, including renowned poets Shu Ting, Fiona Benson, Rati Saxena, Shiva Prakash, Jing Jing Yang (Poet Laureate of Cupertino), Anastasia Podorova, Nageh Mohamed, plus leading editors from the October Literary Journal, the Chinese Poetry Society and more. As the opening ceremony said “poetry transcends differences and celebrates what we have in common” and these global poetry exchanges feel more important than ever.

If you're interested in world poetry check out our World Poetry Membership

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