The 11th International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival, realized through cooperation between the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's Culture Department and the Poetry Association, started yesterday. The event will host 23 poets and several writers, 12 of whom are foreign.
Under the festival's honorary president, Turkish writer Doğan Hızlan, the event will host Azerbaijan as the guest country this year. In this context, the festival will offer poetry recitations by Ferit Hüseyin, who is among the leading representatives of modern Azerbaijani poetry, Akşin Evren and Selim Babullaoğlu. The poets will also speak with literature enthusiasts in a conference moderated by Mehmet Can Doğan.
Children and academy are considered
As part of the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival's traditional "Academy of Literature" meetings, three leading figures of Turkish literature, İskender Pala, Rüstem Aslan and Seval Şahin, will interact with readers this year. The festival offers two special events titled "Poetry Chair" and "Poetry and Literature with Children." Poetry Chair helps young poets reveal themselves. The Beyazıt Orhan Kemal Public Library will host the children's event today, while the Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu Cultural Center will continue to host the event tomorrow.
The foreign poets of this year's festival are Asmaa Azazieh from Palestine, Meritxell Cucurella-Jorba from Spain, Vladimir Martinovski from Macedonia, Ermir Nika from Albania, Seida Beganovic from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Liudmyla Diadchenko from Ukraine, Krisztina Toth from Hungary, Laima Kota from Latvia and Danyybal Reyes Umbria from Venezuela.
The event venues chosen for this year's festival are the Pera Museum, Para Palace Hotel, the Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar Museum Library, Orhan Kemal Provincial Public Library, Sultanbeyli Mustafa Kutlu Cultural Center, Balaban Dervish Lodge in Üsküdar, İnsan Bookstore in Beyoğlu and Şerefiye Cistern in Sultanahmet.
The festival will end on Saturday, Feb. 16 with a traditional event titled "Şiir Hatları Vapuru" ("Poem Line Ferry").
So far, the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival has hosted 350 poets from 42 countries.