2 August 2011
AFRICAN POETS NEEDED FOR SOUTHBANK CENTRE’S POETRY PARNASSUS
Nominations have now closed for Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus – set to be the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK, but although over 1,500 nominations have been received, more African poets are still needed.
There have been no nominations for poets from: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia or Zambia.
There have only been a few nominations for poets from: Angola, Cameroon, Cape Verdi, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast (Cote-d’Ivoire), Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
About Poetry Parnassus
205 poets, one from each competing Olympic nation, will come to Southbank Centre for the 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 said:
‘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 said:
“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.”
Members of the public can nominate African poets via the weblink below, between now and 14 August 2011. A panel including Simon Armitage will then shortlist and the final selection of poets will be announced in spring 2012.
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 on 0207 921 0926 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. The Royal Festival Hall reopened in June 2007 following the major refurbishment of the Hall and redevelopment of the surrounding area and facilities.