Anna Lewis

Gwyn, Richard

Richard Gwyn was supported to participate in the Poetry Festival of Medellin in Colombia and to work with Colombian poets in Bogata. Upon the completion of the project, Richard reported:

"During this trip I participated in the International Poetry Festival of Medellín (the world’s largest festival of poetry). In the days before the festival (2nd - 6th July), I was able to spend four nights in Bogotá, where I met with some of the leading writers and critics in the Colombian capital. On the day following my arrival I gave a poetry reading at the Biblioteca de los Fundadores of the Gimnasio Moderno. This was followed by a dinner and meeting with several of the city’s leading poets and critics. I was accompanied by Jorge Fondebrider, the Argentinian translator of my poetry into Spanish, who had brought copies of the book ‘Abrir una caja’ (Opening a Box), recently published by Gog y Magog, Buenos Aires. Following this event, we spent two days in meetings with other Colombian writers (Ramón Cote Baraibar, Federico Díaz-Granados, Darío Jaramillo and Juan Gabriel Vásquez) along with journalists and academics, prior to flying to Medellín.

In Medellín, my programme of events involved a reading or roundtable discussion every day: at the Casa de Cultura de Caldas on Sunday 7th July; the Casa de Encuentro in Medellín on Monday 8th; the Pablo Tobón Uribe Theatre on 9th (see accompanying video extract,; the Casa de Cultura of La Barquereña on Thursday 11th, the MAMM museum of Ciudad del Río on the 12th, and on Saturday 12th a midday reading in the city of Tarso, returning to Medellín for the festival finale in the Amphitheatre Carlos Vieco. This was a full programme that involved three trips into outlying towns in the province of Antioquia. I met with journalists and gave an interview with the newspaper El Mundo, from which a brief summary is contained:

These activities significantly broadened my experience by introducing me to the literary culture of Colombia, a country with which I was unfamiliar prior to this trip.

The support of WAI has also enabled my practice to develop further in clear ways from this trip, which I enumerate below."

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