at the Poetry International Festival, 16 – 22 June 2007 at the Rotterdam City Theatre.
Now who could possibly resist that???
… This year’s 38th Poetry International Festival explores the links between poetry, lunacy and melancholy. Events at the seven-day festival include poetry presentations, movies, musical performances, lectures and panel discussions inspired by this theme. This year’s regional focus is on poetry from the Caucasus. The festival starts off with an “Ode to the Word”, a grand parade of poets each presenting a poem on the subject of a single word – just a word, a favourite word, or a word lost in time. Poets taking part in the 2007 festival include Yves Bonnefoy (France) Lennart Sjögren (Sweden) and Anneke Brassinga (the Netherlands).
Poetry, lunacy, melancholy
The festival’s theme is the relationship between poetry and lunacy, the often thin dividing line between creativity and insanity, and the role of melancholy in fostering both. Speakers on the subject are poets Menno Wigman, who recently published his chronicle Het Gesticht (The Institution) of his stay as ‘writer in residence’ at a mental home in the village of Den Dolder, and Jan Lauwereyns, who looks at the matter from the viewpoint of neuropsychology. Among poets to be discussed as cases in point are Sylvia Plath, Hans Vlek and Leopoldo María Panero. The closing event of the festival, mottoed “Melancholy Inexplicable”, features a parade of poets exposing the true face of melancholy.