Posted on 08/05/2012
As far as poetry festivals go, the Poetry Parnassus is of truly Olympic proportions. The event, which is part of the London 2012 Festival, will feature poets from more than 200 countries around the world.
Professor Jo Shapcott, from the Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London will represent Great Britain, providing readings, workshops and talks during the event from 11 June until 1 July at London’s Southbank Centre.
It will see poets, rappers, storytellers and praise singers reading their work in more than 50 languages.
She said: “All the invited poets, including me, will be taking part in the ‘Rain of Poems’ which will see 100,000 poems by more than 300 contemporary poets from 204 countries fall from a helicopter over Jubilee Garden as part of the festival on June 26. I am sure new work – translated and original – will come out of this.”
Professor Shapcott will also have an original poem she has written for the Winning Words project– which will see temporary and permanent poetry installations in the Olympic Park.
The commission, Wild Swimmer, reflects on the history of the Olympic site and the waterways that run through it. There are over eight kilometres of waterways in and around the Park and the waterways primarily run north to south through the heart of the Park, ultimately connecting with the Thames. The development of the Park for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will establish full navigation on the Bow Back Rivers for the first time in decades.
Professor Shapcott said: “I’m really delighted to be part of an event which is hosting so many poets from all over the world: it’s going to be such a fruitful meeting of writers, a surge of poetry and poets. I can’t wait.”
For more information on the Poetry Parnassus visit the Southbank Centre website.