The 21th World Congress of Poets was successfully held in Sydney, Australia from 7th to 11th, October, 2001, under the presidency of poet Robyn Ianssen.
This was the first time that the congress was placed in Sydney. Professor Elizabeth Webby, the Congress patron, opened this event at the official reception hosted by the Mayor of South Sydney on Sunday 7th October. The theme of the Congress was: "Poetry for World Peace in the New Millennium."
Following is an abstract from: http://worldpoets.tripod.com/index.htm
The organizing committee of the XXI World Congress of Poets in Sydney, included Indigenous poets, and many Bilingual poets who write not only in English but also in Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Polish, Spanish and Turkish. It was exciting and wide ranging week of readings, workshops and literary events.
Photo of Robyn Iannsen, the Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Congress. The Full Committee (in alphabetical order) wsa as follow:
Ludwika Amber (Editor),
John Bennett (Webmaster),
Ferit Berk (Deputy Chair),
Bill Collis (Editor),
Beatriz Copello (Secretary),
Ann Davis (Deputy Chair),
Penelope Grace (Asst. Secretary),
Robyn Ianssen (Chair),
Marjana Majic (Treasurer),
Ron Pretty (Editor),
Phillip Yoon (Sponsorship).
Program of the 21 WCP
2-3.30pm Government House, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Visiting the Vision. Visit Government House of New South Wales
for a poetry reading in conjunction with Carnivale
Listen to the poetry of Australian poet Ann Davis (Chair)
Cocktails and Light Buffet
Welcome to Country - Allen Madden
Welcome to Congress - Robyn Ianssen
Overview: World Congress of Poets - Rosemary Wilkinson
Welcome to overseas visitors
Mayor of South Sydney - Councillor John Fowler
Launch of Anthology: The Opening of Borders by Professor Elizabeth Webby. Presentation of artist Michael Kefaloukas - surrealist art works on display and performance poet Robert Balas for the accompanying ten metaphysical poems.
Introduction and welcome to Congress - Robyn Ianssen
Keynote Address - Professor Elizabeth Webby
Influence of Poetic Language on Prose/Fiction
Chair - Prof. Elizabeth Webby
Indigenous Readings - Multilingual Readings - Poetry Workshop - Brook Emery - Papers: of Poetry of Peace - Music - Violinist Stan Kornel
Poetry Rules - Chair John Bennett
Brief Encounters – Workshops - Readings – Spanish, Portuguese, Italian - Writing Poetry for Children - Poetry for Young People - Translating Poetry Seminar - Australian Bush Poetry - Poets and Publishers Head to Head - Multicultural Readings
Walk & picnic-outdoor poetry readings - City Tour Bus around City – Opera House, Art Gallery - lunch Botanic Gardens, walk around The Rocks - Readings at the Charles Billich Gallery -
Australian Poetry Anthology in Polish, Edited by Ludwika Amber – Readings – Tapestry - Blossom Season – Love Poems - Refugee Poetry - Plenary Session - Farewell to Congress - Chilean Musicians – Renaciminto Andino
The anthology launched contained brief descriptions of poetic traditions from over thirty countries and the prize poems from the Poetry Competition. John Bennett – Judge commented: …" that three finalists let alone order them, as a result, i have avoided choosing a first, second, third by nominating three joint winners. They are (in the order I read them):
Five Pai verses by Bing Fu - A confession! Having written similar poems about Suzhou I felt immediately drawn to this short suite of poems. However, what makes these poems work so well was their use of new and exciting imagery within traditional modes and themes.
Here I am, Pablo by Ramon Cuelho - This ambitious poem gives a rock solid sense of the passion of poetry and its gravitas situated within a world of poetry and politics but always returning to the poetry again.
Perils of Translation by Danny Gardner - I thought the poem moving and apposite given the themes and intent of the World congress of Poets. Translation takes many forms, and, at various levels, communication is translation, to steal a phrase from the poem, 'dips 'an oar [ear] into literature's ocean'.
Congratulations not only to the winners but to everyone who participated. To quote the last line of Ramon's poem, 'It matters that we sing."
The Committee at the Farewell Dinner,
Paddington Town Hall