8th International Poetry Festival of Medellín
The VIII International Poetry Festival of Medellín is held between June 12 and 20, 1998. And death shall have no dominion, the verse of Dylan Thomas, is this year the protecting shield, the spell of the Festival. With this verse we touch the miracle of voice: an essential music, like a swell going through all bodies, making them a single mind.
The dates coincide with the World Football Championship and the presidential elections in Colombia. These events of great impact on daily life do not prevent the Festival from developing with the necessary intensity.
This year the Festival is greatly expanded: 72 poets from 44 countries of the five continents, read their poems before a audience of nearly 120,000 persons. The poets that take part on this occasion are: Joachim Sartorius (Germany), Saúl Yurkievich, Hugo Mujica, Pablo Narral (Argentina), Lionel Fogarty (Aboriginal poet of Australia), Bernard Widder (Austria), Noureni Tidjani Serpos (Benim), Thiago de Mello (Brazil), Chang Soo Ko (South Korea), Tanella Boni (Cote d'Ivory), Alfonso Chase (Costa Rica), Loredana Bogliun (Croatia), Nancy Morejón, Gerardo Fernández Fe (Cuba), Erik Trigger Olessen (Denmark), Abdouhraman Wáberi (Djibouti), Jorge Enrique Adoum (Ecuador), Mohammed Ibrahim Abu-Sinnah (Egypt), Justo Jorge Padrón (Spain), Julie Patton (United States), Nicole Laurent-Catrice, Josée Lapéyrere (France), Tassos de Negris (Greece), Ernest Pépin (Guadaloupe), Carmen Matute, Héctor Rodas (Guatemala), Jaap Blonk (The Netherlands), Juan Ramón Saravia (Honduras), Ferenc Szónyi (Hungary), Ramakanth Rath (India), John Deane (Ireland), Khal Torabully (Mauritius), Edoardo Sanguineti, Claudio Pozzani (Italy), Mutabaruka (Jamaica), Takashi Arima (Japan), Mateja Matevski (Macedonia), Roberto López Moreno (Mexico), Malangatana Gwenya (Mozambique), José Carr (Panama), Mario Casartelli (Paraguay), Arturo Corcuera (Peru), Fernando Echevarría (Portugal), Vahé Godel (Switzerland), Mazisi Kunene (South Africa), Sainkho Namtchylak (Tuva), Clemente Padín (Uruguay), Rafael Cadenas (Venezuela), the Chilian Mapuche poet Elicura Chihuailaf, Yanacona Colombian poet Freddy Chicangana, the Arhuacos indigenous from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Juan Marcos Pérez and Manuel Chaparro, and Colombian poets Álvaro Miranda, Armando Romero, Rogelio Echavarría, Samuel Vásquez, Julián Malatesta, Jairo Guzmán, Jorge Torres, Pablo Montoya, Víctor Raúl Jaramillo, Edgar González, Gustavo Tatis Guerra, Mario Angel Quintero, Edgar Trejos, Carlos Enrique Sierra, Olga Lucía Estrada, Liliana Ladrón de Guevara, Pedro Olivella, Andrés Nanclares, Sabas Mandinga.
In the III School of Poetry of Medellín, the poets Saúl Yurkievich, Josée Lapeyrére, Bernhard Widder, Julie Patton, Sainkho Namtchylak, Oscar González and Clemente Padín, among others, give eight lectures before average audiences of 300 persons. The VIII Festival reaches a high coverage: 73 readings in eleven cities of the country and four in Antioquia take place. The audiences hear poems in 26 languages, and the sky of the city is filled, like a Tower of Babel recovered to facilitate communication betwen human beings. Its essence is reaffirmed in its attitude to condense the spiritual force of all participants.