Report of World Poetry Movement Russia

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Moscow, February 24th, 2023

National Coordinator: Vadim Terekhin

Hello, dear friends!

The World Poetry Movement “World Without Walls” (WPM) in Russia began its activities relatively recently in 2019.   The period of its formation came at a difficult time of the pandemic and the Special Military Operation in Ukraine. It was a trying time for our country.

Nevertheless, we have elected coordinators in all eight federal districts of the Russian Federation. Also, major literary festivals have expressed their desire to cooperate within the movement:  International Slavic Forum “Golden Knight”, International Forum of poetry and poetic translations “Berega Druzhba” (Rostov-on-Don), International literary festival “White Cranes” named after Rasul Gamzatov (Dagestan, Makhachkala), International literary festival “Grace of Great Snow” (Yakutia, Yakutia), the “Crystal Spring” international literary festival for young writers (Oryol), the “108 Minutes” international festival of space poetry (Kaluga) and the “Slavonic Dozhinki” international literary festival (Belorussia, Gomel).  The movement brings together major literary magazines “Krasnodar Literary” (Krasnodar), “Berega” (Kaliningrad), “North” (Karelia). Den i Noch” (Krasnoyarsk) and the literary foundation “Doroga Zhizni” (St. Petersburg), the newspapers “Slovo”, “Den Literatury” and “Literaturnaya Gazeta”, which have repeatedly published works by poets from all over the world – members of the movement.

Currently, the movement began to cooperate with the All-Russian Public Movement “Cultural Front of Russia”, focused on the protection of moral and cultural values.

WPM actively maintains relations with all regional branches of the Russian Writers’ Union. We’ve realized several printing projects: publication of a modern Columbian anthology “Distant Songs” (Russia) and modern Russian poetry “Call of the Word Universe” (Columbia), international poetry anthology “Earth is Our Common Home” in Russian and Belarusian, including poets from 25 countries and international poetry anthology “108 Minutes”.

Among the topics discussed in Russia, the Coordinating Committee’s proposal for major events was supported:

          1). Poetry readings dedicated to human space flight.

          2). Poetry Readings – Carnation Feast dedicated to the liberation of the Portuguese people from fascism on April 25, 1974.

           3).  Poetry Readings in Memory of Jack Hirschman

         During the meetings, those present observed a minute of silence in memory of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin and all untimely deceased space explorers, and Neklinovsky prose writer Lidia Dubina spoke about her youth and showed photos which are kept in her personal archive for more than half a century. On them is the cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov and the memorial complex at the place of his death in the Orenburg region. An essay with the memories of Lydia Dubina, a living witness of those tragic events, was published in the newspaper Priazovskaya steppe. Another cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Dzhanibekov, who docked in very difficult conditions and together with Viktor Savinykh saved orbital station “Salyut-7” was associated with the speech of Olga Safronova, coordinator of cultural and educational project “Shores of Friendship” named after A. Tretyakov, member of Writers Union of Russia. The fact is that V. Dzhanibekov lived in Taganrog, and the Taganrog Museum of Aviation Technology presents the plane on which he flew. Their poems about the discoverers of space shared by G. Konyukhova, E. Polyansky, V. Trofimenko, V. Romanenko, Irina and Sergey Dzyuba performed several famous songs of the sixties, and the words “And on Mars will blossom apples” and “I am Earth! I say goodbye to my pets…” were sung by all present. 

           Leonid Sever, chairman of the Coordination Council of the Tretyakov Cultural and Educational Project “Shores of Friendship”, member of the Supreme Creative Council of the Russian Writers Union, gave a detailed account of the “Carnations Revolution” that took place in Lisbon on April 25, 1974. An armed uprising organised by the “Movement of the Captains” put an end to the longest-serving and most stable dictatorship in Western Europe. As a result, by the end of 1975 all the colonies of Portugal had gained their independence and in April 1976 a new constitution for the country came into force.

         Poet Olga Safronova read her poetic translations of poems by Latin American poet Fatima Velez, made as part of the World Without Walls project.

Oryol poets have joined the international literary movement World Without Walls.

On April 25, 1974 in the A. S. Pushkin Central City Library was held a poetry evening “Feast of carnations”, dedicated to the liberation of the Portuguese people from fascism on April 25, 1974.

The results of the blitz-competition “Vivat, Portugal!” were summed up.

Participants submitted poems ranging from 8 to 28 lines about Portuguese culture and history for the contest. Sights of cities and nature, lines of Portuguese poets, historical events and legends served as a source of inspiration. The contestants’ works were judged by visitors to the VKontakte page, and the poems were placed by number. The contest entries were also submitted for review by the competition committee. At the “Festival of carnations” the chairman of the jury, Elena Mashukova, presented diplomas to the winners: Irina Malafeeva (poem “Madeira”), Tatiana Melnikova (poem “Sintra. According to the voting results of the “people’s jury” Lyalya Tsypina (Elena Kovaleva) won.

After the presentation of diplomas, the participants of the poetry evening got acquainted with the works of Portuguese poets of the 20th century: the works of Manuel Alegre, Mario Dionisio, José Gómez Ferreiro and others were heard. There were also presentations about the history of Portugal, its sights and traditions. The event concluded with a short discussion on the problems of cultural exchange and literary translation.

The action was prepared jointly by the Orel regional organization of the Union of writers of Russia, the youth literary association of Orel and an independent intellectual club “Kvartira Ya”.

The following international events were held with the direct participation of WPM members from Russia: The Third International Poetry Festival in Vietnam and the International Literary Conference “Introduction and Promotion of Vietnamese Literature” ( Hanoi, February 16-20, 2019), the 29th International Poetry Festival in Medellin (Colombia, June 29 – July 6, 2019), the International Poetry Festival ” The Third Poetry Week in Chengdu” and the WPM Coordinating Council Meeting (PRC, September 4 – 8, 2019), Feministanbul International Poetry Festival (Turkey, November 7 – 9, 2019), and actions (poetry readings) were held in many countries around the world under the slogans “Poetry against extremism and fascism” (June – July, 2019) and “Poetry the way to peace” (October – November 2019). International online readings were organized during the pandemic: “5th Intercontinental young poetry festival Turkey, Istanbul May 16-17), “Imagine the World” (May 31, 2020), World festival of Poetry ( Russia, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Bangladesh, July 17, 2020), 30th international poetry festival in Medellin, which was held online from August 1 to October 10, 2020, international poetry festival Krityi (beginning August 17, 2020). At the invitation of the Ministry of Communication of Venezuela was held the 14th and 15th and 16th international poetry festival in that country. Members of the movement have read their poetry at festivals in India, China, Cuba, New York, The Hague and many other countries.