A union of feelings and thoughts at the Balkan Poetry Marathon

For poetry there exists neither large countries nor small. Its domain is in the heart of all men” – Giorgos Seferis, one of the most important greek poets of the 20th century and a Nobel laureate (1963).

Today, March 21, we celebrate World Poetry Day. Published poets, amateur poets or simply lovers of poetry, united in thoughts and feelings, celebrating what has the power to unite us all: poetry. We may be different but a poem has the power to bring us closer in the same verse.

One of the most important cultural events in recent years, in the Balkans, will take place at the end of this month, March 31.

17 poets from 12 countries meet in a diverse and complex poetic marathon that promises to be spectacular. Don’t miss it!

I am very happy for today. Five years ago, with my friend Giannis Kossivas, we started the creation of the electronic magazine CULTURE OF BALKANS. We did it spontaneously and with enthusiasm, without knowing how we want to develop it. All this time, however, we realized the acceptance, the need, but also we felt this beautiful journey of creation.

The Balkans, our region, our neighborhood, really misunderstood, where only one side of it is projected: that of sadness, pain, refuge, etc. Polychromy and authenticity, dynamics and durability, strength and stubbornness.

We also forget or ignore our common past and as if we do not want – many times – to accept our common future. We forget that we have so much that unites us and makes us proud. We forget that this multicolor of languages, religions, traditions, the intense alternations of our landscapes, form something special.

So, wanting to contribute – even in the slightest – to the promotion of the above, we planned the creation of this event, the 1st Balkan Poetry Marathon.

16 poets from 11 Balkan countries, plus the participation of our friend Emilio Paz from the distant and beautiful Peru, thus wanting to emphasize that the Balkans are “open” and hospitable.

Through this event, in addition to wanting to contribute to the promotion of Poetry, as stated in the rationale of the UNESCO General Conference for the proclamation of World Poetry Day on March 21, that: “World Poetry Day will strengthen the image of poetry in the media, so that poetry is no longer considered a useless art, but an art that helps society find and strengthen its identity

It is this identity of society that we want to highlight through this event. A society of solidarity, cooperation, peaceful coexistence and prosperity. We need this society.

In this dark period, where individuality, selfishnes, tensions and barbed wire are increasing, the unifying role of art is more important than ever. The union of the feelings and thoughts of the 17 poets, declares this need and this vision for a modern society.

Kalamata, Greece – 21.03.2021
Dimitris Petropoulos
Co-founder of Culture of Balkans magazine

The event will take place online. More details about the Balkan Poetry Marathon, at this link: Balkan Poetry Marathon | 17 poets from 12 countries

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