Call to participate in the 31st Medellín Poetry Festival

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By Steering Committee International Poetry Festival of Medellín

The Medellin International Poetry Festival launches an international poetry competition aimed to select  10 poets from around the world and five Colombian poets to participate in the 31st Medellin International Poetry Festival (August 1 to August 29).

For years, the Medellin International Poetry Festival has received hundreds of “self-nominations” from poets who wish to participate in the event, and that of course, fills us with satisfaction, although it has also been uncomfortable as it is not always possible to say yes (due to practical, financial, aesthetic reasons, etc.) to all those who wish to participate in the Festival.

In 2019, in response to that “pressure”, we decided to hold an international competition that allowed us, on the one hand, to “democratize” the participation, but also to learn about the many works that, in any country, are often from outside the media or cultural circles of power, giving us the chance to reach those poets whose possibilities to publicize their works are extremely limited. 586 poets from 66 countries responded to the call, which indicated that the mechanism was, at least, relevant. For the year 2020, three poets were chosen, for a 30th Festival that had been conceived wholly on-site when the ill-fated pandemic had not been foreseen, and much less, it had announced its terrible consequences in all areas, or a further curtailing of human rights in our increasingly battered democracies.

Finally, the 30th International Poetry Festival of Medellin ended up being, an entirely virtual Festival, and we have no doubt that it was successful and it reached unsuspected and wonderful levels, and that virtual scenery ended up showing one of the few “strengths” or possibilities related to pandemic:  human and aesthetic use of technology, which can be an enormous ally, even to fight against the perverse use of those same technologies (banality, deceit,  direct stupidity, unbridled consumerism and also and therefore, the futility of life).

This does not imply – far from that- giving up the incomparable taste for the encounters and sharing with people to exercise another inalienable right: that of expressing ourselves freely in the most inalienable of all territories: in poetry. For that reason, the 31st International Poetry Festival of Medellin will be carried out under two modalities: virtually and face-to-face, to continue with the implementations developed along 2020, so to select participants, we have decided to extend the date of calling for 2021. 

Competition Conditions

1. Poets of any age, of any nationality and any language can participate, regardless of their place of residence. Poets that have already participated in the Medellin International Poetry Festival in any of its 30 previous versions are excluded from this call. As it is not possible to know the consequences of the development of pandemic during the dates of the Festival, it is understood that this call is designed for virtual attendance.

2. All poets who send their works in languages ​​other than Spanish must also send their respective versions translated into Spanish and English.

 3. In a single Adobe PDF document, each participant must send no less than 20 poems and a bio-bibliographical note.  When making submissions by e-mail, each author must also send a photo and his/her contact information in separate documents: E-mail, telephone number, WhatsApp (if available), and address of residence. The documentation will be sent to the following address: [email protected]

4. The submitted works may or may not be unpublished, and those interested may submit a selection of their published work or an anthology.

 5. The juries will select 10 poets to participate in the 31st International Poetry Festival of Medellin.

6. Besides, 5 Colombian poets will be selected, and they will participate on much the same basis, except for English versions (which they can send us if they so wish).

6. This call is open from its publication and closes on May 15, 2021.

7. The names of the Jury will be made public the same day of the publication of the ruling, this is, on June 15, 2021.

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