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Greeting by Thomas Wohlfahrt

With its theme, “All that Poetry,” the 23rd poesiefestival berlin exhibits the breadth of contemporary poetry – and just how far this genre extends in other arts, whether it is dance, film, or digital media. These are international poets who use language to negotiate associations of the utmost complexity. Poetry can comfort, provide security, reveal, let develop, or inspire action.
To be experienced: poetry from Ukraine, poets from Belarus, poetry from “Persian Europe,” poetry and music from African countries that were once German colonies. A reVERSible with poets from four successor states of the former Yugoslavia “smuggling” verses with their colleagues from German-speaking countries. Aras Ören’s long poems in their stage premiere and three poetry/dance performances. In the exhibition “AI Ancestors/KI Vorfahren,” sound art will excavate the future. The festival will open with “Weltklang,” the grand symphony of verse in voices and languages. This year’s poetic education program is more extensive than ever before. Everything is poetry; here and today.
My heartfelt thanks to all collaborators and sponsors. To you and to all of us – a great festival in difficult times.

Dr. Thomas Wohlfahrt
Leiter Haus für Poesie und poesiefestival berlin