Sounds like the first ever International Poetry Festival, organized in Dubai, is off to a fresh start.  From the Khaleej Times:

Globalisation is a threat to Arab culture but also an opportunity to learn from others, poets said in a discussion. Writers at the Dubai International Poetry Festival discussed on Friday whether Arab poetry should close itself off against the “corruption” of the western verse….

“Poetry should be honest to the environment,” he added. The festival is under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and runs from 4-10 March. Poets from around the world will take part in recitals and discussions on issues affecting poetry in the region. One of the attendees, Dr Wolfgang Kubin, a German poet and translator, said he noticed major differences between European and Arab poetry. “When I come to Arab countries, I am always impressed with the performances given by poets,” he told the Khaleej Times. “European poets don’t know how to read out their poems to the public.”  “This is because poetry is still a live and breathing tradition in Arab countries. In Europe or China, normally, poets live on the fringes of society.” 

We’ll be following developments from the conference closely here.


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