‘What is Poetry? A Celebration of Language’ is the second in a series of annual international poetry festivals. The first festival took place last year in Indonesia. Poets from all over the world were welcomed by their Indonesian colleagues to explore different literary scenes, the social landscape and to find out in which way different themes are reflected in poetry. During the festival the Indonesian and African writers discovered that they have a lot in common. They share the experience of multilingualism, a colonial past and the difficulties of transition. We were happy to see that one of our initial ideas has worked out: to establish a South-South dialogue based on poetry and to discuss the function of language and writing against different backgrounds. During our extensive reading tour across Java, which led us to many cities and villages, we enjoyed discussing the question, “What is Poetry?”, among ourselves and in particular with our enthusiastic audiences and poetry fans of all ages.

This year’s festival takes place in South Africa and Zimbabwe and features a smaller group of invited poets. Building on our experiences of 2012, this festival focuses on the idea of language for the individual as well as for the social contexts, nation building and international understanding. We are proud to say that our festival is a low budget grass-roots project based on the enthusiasm and initiative of individuals in the four corners of the world. Without a widespread network of generous partners and supporters projects like ours wouldn’t exist. We are happy that our internet based forum enables us to engage poetry lovers world wide to join our debates and discussions. We love to be bridge builders and we would like you to share the pleasures of our work.

Dudy Anggawi, Michael Augustin, Silke Behl, Indra Wussow

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