THE WORLD ACADEMY OF ARTS AND CULTURE 1973-92
I. 1973 – Foundation of the Academy
The World Academy of Arts and Culture was founded by and affiliated with the World Congress of Poets in 1973.
When the Second World Congress of Poets was held in Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China in 1973, about 4oo eminent poets from 43 nations attended. They came from Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, Central and South America representing more than 60 poetry organizations to show their enthusiastic support from all over the world. And at the same time the Charter of the World Congress of Poets was decreed and promulgated to the world for worldwide recognition
According to the Article IV of the WCP Charter, as Academy of Arts and Culture was to be established to award the deserving poets and men of letters literary distinction. The awards include citations, laureateships and honorary degrees.
II. 1974-80 – Preparation for the Academy
Dr. Tin-wen Chung, president of the Second World Congress of Poets, was requested to take up the Academy as his responsibility and duty to fulfill the WCP Charter set up at the 2nd WCP.
Firstly from the Bank of Taiwan, Dr. Chung rented a house located in Yangmingshan National Park as office of the Academy. Since the Academy had neither fund nor staff, Dr. Chung paid all the expenses for the Academy from his own pocket and work. He is neither a rich man nor a businessman but a poet and a writer. He has been supporting the academy with his writing since then. As a Chinese poet he will never allow himself to beg financial support from others.
The four WCP/WAAC founders, Dr. Amado M. Yuzon, Dr. Krishna Srinivas, Dr. Lou LuTour and Dr. Tin-wen Chung jointly tried their best to seek a proper place serving as the Headquarters of the Academy and making Taipei office as its Secretariate. Their efforts failed one after another until Dr. Yuzon died in January 1979.
In the 4th WCP held in Seoul, Korea in July 1979, 8 Trustees of the Academy were appointed to meet the request of the WCP Charter. The eight Trustees were: Tin-wen Chung, Jeno Platthy, Byung-Hwa Cho, Rosemary C. Wilkinson, Krishna Srinivas, Lou LuTour, P. Brian Cox, and Mimmo Morina. They organized the Board of Trustees of the Academy, elected Tin-wen Chung, Lou LuTour, and Krishna Srinivas, the President, the Vice President and the Secretary General of the Academy. The Charter of the Academy was approved by the Presidents of WCP subsequently.
The completion of the Academy was reached in its initial stage.
III. 1981 – The Start of Awards from the Academy
According to the Charters of WCP and WAAC, the Academy is authorized to present the following awards: (1) Poet Laureate, (2) Honorary Doctorate of Literature (Litt.D.) and (3) Honorary Doctor of Humanities (L.H.D.) for the qualified poets and men of letters.
The candidate for awards should obtain recommendations from poetry or literary societies of the member states or areas of WCP, or nominated by the Trustee of WAAC, and the candidate is required to offer her/his works published in book form two copies at least together with biographical data for evaluation. After final approval of the Board, the awardees will be announced officially by the President. A diploma will be presented at the awarding ceremony held in each WCP or mailed to awardees who is absent from the Congress.
In the wake of Seoul Congress 1979, a great number of candidates for laureateship and honorary degree nominated by Trustees and recommended by poetry and literary societies which tripled the works of the Academy.
The screening of candidates was made by the judges in a very careful manner and approved by the Trustees through correspondences. Prior to the 5th WCP held in San Francisco, USA in July 1981, the Academy had completed the work to honor the awardees with their names printed on diplomas respectively. There were 45 leading poets from 42 nations awarded Poet Laureate, 44 eminent poets from 35 nations awarded Honorary Doctor of Literature and 39 prominent persons awarded Honorary Doctors of Humanities. Most of the awardees attended the San Francisco Congress to accept their diplomas in person. The absentees received their diplomas by mail. All of them, including H.E. Leopold Sedar Senghor, former President of Senegal; Prof. Richard Eberhart, Poetry Advisor to the US Library of Congress; Hon. Edmond Vandercammen, President of Biennale Internationale de Poesie of Belgium; were pleased to accept their awards and sent their favorable responses to the Academy.
Since it was the first time that the Academy started to award the major poets from the major nations throughout the world, the awardees were many in number.
IV. 1982-85 – The Awards from 6th WCP to 8th WCP
In the wake of the 5th WCP held in San Francisco, USA in 1981, there was a Secretariate organized in Luxemburg by Secretary General Dr. Mimmo Moria who had been in charge of three Congresses which were the 6th WCP held in Madrid, Spain in 1982; the 7th WCP held in Marrakech, Morocco in 1984; and the 8th WCP held in Corfu, Greece in 1985. Each Congress programmed an awarding ceremony for the Academy, the announcement of awardees was made before the presentations of the diplomas as the highlight for the Congress.
In the 6th WCP, the Madrid Congress in 1982, the Academy awarded Honorary Doctor of Literature to 35 eminent poets from 15 nations and Honorary Doctor of Humanities to 14 eminent persons from 7 nations. No Poet Laureate was given this time.
In the 7th WCP, the Marrakech Congress in 1984, the Academy awarded 39 poets with Honorary Doctor of Literature, most of them were leading poets from African nations; and 16 eminent persons from 5 nations, including H.M. King Hassan II of the host Kingdom, with Honorary Doctor of Humanities. No Poet Laureate was awarded.
In the 8th WCP, the Corfu Congress in 1985, the Academy awarded 13 eminent poets from 9 nations with Honorary Doctor of Literature, and 2 eminent persons, including H.E. Rajiv Gandhi of India, with Honorary Doctor of Humanities. No Poet Laureate was awarded.
V. 1986 -91 – The Awards from 9th WCP to 12th WCP
The Headquarter of the Academy was moved from Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China to San Francisco, California, USA and registered in the State of California as nonprofit corporation in 1986. Meanwhile Dr. Mimmo Morina, Secretary General of the WCP Secretariate, resigned from his position. Dr. Rosemary C. Wilkinson, President of San Francisco 5th WCP, was appointed Secretary General of the WAAC, and concurrently of the WCP. According to the bylaws endorsed by the State of California, the World Academy of Arts and Culture became “governing board of the World Congress of Poets” thereafter. After the death of Dr. Lou LuTour, Vice President of the Academy, in 1984, her position was replaced by Dr. Krishna Srinivas and Dr. A. Padmanaban.
In the 9th WCP, the Madras Congress in 1986, the Academy awarded 24 eminent poets from 10 nations with Honorary Doctor of Literature and 8 eminent persons from 4 nations with Honorary Doctor of Humanities. No Poet Laureate was awarded.
In the 10th WCP, the Bangkok Congress in 1988, the Academy awarded 45 eminent poets from 20 nations, including H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej and H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom, with Honorary Doctor of Literature, and 10 eminent persons from 5 nations with Honorary Doctor of Humanities. Five leading poets from 5 nations or state were awarded Poet Laureate.
In the 11th WCP, the Cairo Congress in 1990, the Academy awarded 19 eminent poets from 10 nations with Honorary Doctor of Literature and 3 eminent persons from 3 nations with Honorary Doctor of Humanities. No Poet Laureate was awarded.
In the 12th WCP, the Istanbul Congress in 1991, the Academy awarded 23 eminent poets from 11 nations with Honorary Doctor of Literature. Neither Honorary Doctor of Humanities nor Poet Laureate was awarded.
In the 13th WCP, the Haifa Congress in 1992, the Academy awarded 30 eminent poets from 14 nations, namely, 9 of Israel, 3 of India, each two of Australia, France, Spain, ROC and USA as well as each one of China, Hong Kong, Korea, Qatar, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey, with Honorary Doctor of Literature. The Academy also awarded 7 eminent persons with Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. No Poet Laureate was awarded.