The Slovenia Times

Poetry in focus as Slovenia celebrates World Poetry Day


The participant list if a who is who of contemporary Slovenian poetry with names including Boris A. Novak, Feri Lainšček, Andrej Rozman Roza, Tone Škrjanec, Tomislav Vrečar, Saša Pavček, Anja Golob, Veno Taufer, Peter Semolič, Andrej Hočevar and Maja Vidmar.

A poetry reading marathon will be held in the Metelkova alternative arts centre.

Slovenia will also join the Pay with a Verse campaign, with 49 coffee shops around the country offering visitors a coffee or tea in exchange for a verse.

The campaign aiming to inspire people around the world to start looking for their own poetic creativity was initiated by the Austrian coffee manufacturer and retailer Julius Meinl.

Feri Lainšček believes that many people recognise a poetic inspiration in themselves, while not being able or not wanting to express it. He thus understands initiatives like this as a search for things that help us express our emotions.

Peter Semolič, on the other hand, told the STA World Poetry Day is more or less a formalism, an attempt to "pigeon-hole something that is elusive, vibrant and wild, and align it with social rules."

"As I see it, World Poetry Day is foremost a day of poetry as a marketable good. We 'sell' it on stands, on stages and through the media...A few days later nobody even notices it any more."

World Poetry Day, observed on 21 March, was declared by UNESCO in 1999 in a bid to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.

On the occasion, Director-General of UNESCO Irena Bokova said in a statement that poetry was a symbol of creativity of human spirit, adding that poetry contributed to expanding our humanness, solidarity and self-awareness.


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