Bilingual bookmarks will fly from the sky at 9pm Tuesday 26 June, dramatically punctuating the opening of Poetry Parnarsuss, the biggest poetry festival ever held. 100,000 poems (about half a tonne-worth) will cascade down over the Jubilee Gardens courtesy of Chilean arts troupe Casagrande, who have already made words rain over five cities that have witnessed intense war-time bombing, including Berlin and Warsaw. Here's the official video:
An exciting line up of wordsmiths of the world includes Great Britain's own Jo Shapcott, and Seamus Heaney (Ireland). Many of the poets have amazing experiences to share, such as Jang Jin Seong (North Korea), a court poet who fled to the South carrying his poems, and Vénus Khoury-Ghata (Lebanon), a former Miss Beirut, schooled in Arabic by her illiterate mother, now a recognised poet and translator.
You may remember the call for translators a couple of months back. The Southbank Centre is now looking for its 'missing poets' from the following countries:
Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Dominica, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Namibia, Nauru, Niger, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa American, Seychelles, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
So if you know someone, know of someone who knows someone, if your tennis partner's dog walker's son might know of someone — or if you yourself are a poet from any of these countries, get nominating!
Poetry Parnassus takes place at the Southbank Centre for one week 26 June-1 July 2012.