The 4th 'Poetry Day' gets underway in the Czech Republic

Poet Karel Hynek Macha

November 16th marks 'Poetry Day' in the Czech Republic, held on the anniversary of the birth in 1810 of the great Czech Romantic poet, Karel Hynek Macha. This year, it's the 4th time the 'Poetry Day' is being held, and as we hear from Alena Skodova, it has been expanding with each new year:

The 'Poetry Day' is coordinated by Club 8, which also runs the Poetry for Passengers project which displays poetry on Prague's metro system, and its agenda this year includes a variety of ventures. The main idea is to celebrate poetry in all its forms and in as wide a range of places as possible. I spoke with the main organizer of the event, Bernie Higgins:

"The 'Poetry Day' is not really just a festival of reading poetry. It's often trying to go to new places, this year, some of the main readings will be in schools, because we are launching this year a poetry project for schools, which involves offering teachers posters of poetry on them to use in the classroom and having poets doing workshop, and the British Council are supporting the project by bringing two poets to be involved in this project in schools."

It was two leading British performance poets, Francesca Beard and Anthony Joseph who also appeared at the British Council headquarters in Prague on Thursday. But poets will be celebrating the 'Poetry Day' not only in Czech cities, towns and villages but also as far as in Athens, Nice, Berlin and Kiev - in galleries, woods, pubs, classrooms and on the sea shore. So what events would Bernie recommend us to visit here in Prague?

Well, if you're English-speaking then there are English-language performances on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, on Saturday in the Cafe Montmartre, on Sunday in The Zone and on Monday in the Shakespeare and Sons Bookshop.

And for Czech speakers?

"Oh, there is too much to say, really. Each day there are a number of activities. On Saturday there's a fantastic poetry trip - if you have children, young children, and you'd like to join a poet to go on a poetry trip you can do that, you have to take your own sausages, though. And also on Saturday we have a launch of our exhibition of poetry places, which is an exhibition of photographs of the places suggested by Czech writers, such as Egon Bondy and Eva Kanturkova, as their places for poetry, and it's in the Lucerna kino-bar."

So if you are a poetry buff, the 'Poetry Day' will be a must for the coming weekend.