Luis Eduardo Rendón was born in Roque, Antioquia, Colombia, in June 1972. He has published the following poetry books: Harp at the Mercy of Invisible Hands, 1996; The Speed of Stones is Blue, 1997; Universal Gong Night, 1997; After the Spectral She-Wolf, 1998; Mercurio Square, 2000; Book of Presages, 2011; The Oldest and Purest Game Never Ends, 2014. The flame is sweet in its place is his last book (Unpublished yet).
He has belonged since his early years to the organization of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, to the Prometeo Art and Poetry Corporation, and to the Editorial Board of Prometeo Magazine. He is the program coordinator of the Medellin International Poetry Festival.
Milica Milosavljević was born in 1991 in Čačak. Her poems were published in the magazine for poetic research and activity “(sic!)”, “Književni Magazin”, “Beogradski Književni Časopis”, “Sent”, “Libela”, “Ars”, in the online poetry magazine “Enklava”, as well as the literary and cultural web portal “Strane”. In 2014, she won the “Milutin Bojić” library award which enabled her to publish a poetry book titled “Dark Intimacies” (Tamne intimnosti). In the same year, she was the winner of the festival for young poets “Days of Poetry” in Zaječar, which included her book “In the Zone of Temperate Continental Fears” (U zoni umereno–kontinentalnih strahova) in their edition. In 2019, she won second place at the Ratković Poetry Evenings for young poets. She is a student at the Department for Serbian Literature and Language with Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. As well as poetry, she writes prose and literary reviews.
Years Dedicated To Illusions
For long I believed that I was here
to bring joy to others
to freshen their lives with poetry,
although no one felt the need for it,
let alone its possible meanings
all they wanted was to take part in this body and
grasp its lustful reality
by observing others
leaving, their heart would, for a moment,
if they would realize
that from now on they will be
my formal culprits for everything
soon, their heart starts to beat
in its usual rhythm
gradually it starts to forget
and I, since then, up till now,
every moment of our encounters
like a scientist in front of a microscope.
A Girl’s Dream
I don’t want to be put on the horizon of hope
like on a breathing machine
I want to swim in the direction opposite to waiting
one can become a slave even in brief
safety relief encounters
I see you a few years from now lying on a beach
wearing a bikini and drinking a shake, he tells me
you must live fuller, fishier
you cannot simply become a fish, a fish-poet
at the bottom of this low-calorie and no-yeast world
you mustn’t show off your curves so as to surrender to others
the cruelty you have intended for yourself
don’t identify with the role of feeder of innocent horny
they’ll fly just the same
remember – it is your kind
that is most prone to falling.
I grew up in a home
where everything was poetry
from lunch to airing the room
from avoiding responsibility to awaiting a new sunrise
Mariela Cordero (Valencia, Venezuela, 1985) is a lawyer, poet, writer, translator and visual artist.
Her poetry has been published in several international anthologies and she has received some distinctions, including, Third Prize of Poetry Alejandra Pizarnik, Argentina (2014) ; First Prize in the II Liberoamerican Poetry Contest Euler Granda, Ecuador (2015); Second Prize for Poetry, Concorso Letterario Internazionale Bilingüe Tracceperlameta Edizioni,Italy (2015); and First Place in International Poetry Contest AniversarioPoetasHispanos, Spain (2016).
She is the author of the book of poems “ El cuerpo de la duda ” Ediciones Publicarte Caracas, Venezuela (2013). Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Czech, Serbian, Shona, Uzbek, Romanian, Macedonia, Hebrew, and many other languages. She currently coordinates the sections PoesíaVenezolana and PoetasdelMundo in the Revista Abierta de Poesía Poémame ( Spain ).
Interruption of the Light
When the lights went out
Our hearts were inhabited by fateful fables
the night-once beloved-was baptized
by the sowing of panic
We were close to one another
And blood spread in the penumbra
Like an alluring perfume.
Many navigated by scent
And desired to bathe in a convulsing red river
When the lights returned,hours later
We didnt recognize our faces
Splashed with the bestial grins.
Our land was filled with bodies,
We listened to moans of pain,
Saw our hands stained with blame
And it was too late when we discovered
That we,too,were fatally wounded.
Translation by Aaron Devine
Love the shadow
Invasions of light are usually corrosive
to what lives in the shadows.
It is easy to love the dark,
the coldness with the smell of torrid vegetation.
Peace and danger amalgamated
in the mouth of the inviolable black horizon.
Swim forever in an ocean woven of gloom,
protected only by the irregular flapping
of birds dressed like the night.
Without hurtful illuminations the meaning can be spilled,
you can embrace languid hopes
and caress the symptoms of a rainy and exquisite love.
In the shadow we are all dark stars.
A dream for the summer
In your hand will dance an unexpected map,
invented to find fountains and water accidents
in the avenues of this city that is melting.
The dawn will know how to hide its dew
when our thirst turns violent.
The night will lie hesitantly on the grass.
Our only instinct will be to seek
under the skirts of the earth
and kiss it until the center of its humidity.
This season will blossom as a prelude to fire.
Summer will be the liberation of the ardor
that always strikes us within.
The unprecedented dance that will go out to heat the street and the bodies.
I am the first
I’m at the beginning
In the middle of the gloom
In the particle
Of this sunset
And to the edge
Of the collapse.
I am all
I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body
over voracious ruins
and breathing the smoke of burnt days.
I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body
stripped of respite
the indelible tremors
of the recently raped.
I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body
flush with bones
that turn cruelly
against whoever dares
a tentative caress
across its devastated surface.
does not recognize all that is not
an unclosable wound,
or an abrupt act of depredation.
I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body
that dances with massacre
and, impregnated by the most wretched
of the rabid pack,
only knows to birth death.
I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a public body
Linda Ibbotson is a poet, artist and photographer from the UK, currently residing in Co. Cork, Ireland. Her poetry, artwork and photography has been published internationally including The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Poethead, Levure Litteraire, California Quarterly, Itaca (featured Irish poet and translated into Romanian), časopis Harmonie (Czech music magazine) Limelight ( Australian classical music and arts magazine) Boyne Berries 27 and Live Encounters.
A photograph was exhibited at RDS Dublin and an artwork print – Lismore Castle Gallery, Co. Waterford.
She was invited to read at the Abroad Writers Conferences in Ireland. Her poetry has been read on radio and performed in France by Davog Rynne.
She writes a poetry and arts blog ‘Contemplating the Muse.’
Whichever medium I work with I rarely have a preconceived idea of the final image. That to me is creative joy, albeit a little daunting!
Art has the power to express silently. It is an emotive and at times a unifying experience, perceived uniquely by both the artist and observer.
My preference is contemporary art and find it meditative. After working with acrylics I chose to work with an unusual mixed media. I submerged layers of tissue paper in water and acrylic paint, maneuvering playfully and intuitively, photographing with absorbing precision. In The Moon I also used a crystal which became illuminated by the sunlight as it played with natural elements of light and shadow, energizing the delicate and exciting images that emerged. The layers depict our vulnerability, sensitivity, strength and energy as in Wave.
Botanical – This innovative, decorative artwork depicts these unprecedented times. It epitomizes our fragility and how swiftly we can become frozen. Stillness, silence, a gradual thaw forms the integral theme. The technique I use is to freeze flowers in a block of ice, including here, the beautiful white lilac Madame Lemoine, and literally paint them with acrylic paint, photographing them simultaneously as they thaw, the oxygen bubbles add life, texture and interest. A print of this artwork was in an exhibition at Lismore Castle Gallery ‘Stories from Lismore and Beyond’ 31/07/20 to 11/10/20.
Looking beyond the obvious. To feel rather than thinkis my intention along with the words of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington “You’re trying to intellectualise something desperately and you’re wasting your time. That’s not a way of understanding…” – Linda Ibbotson.
Alberto López Serrano (El Salvador, 1983) is a teacher of English and mathematics. He is a Member of the Alkimia Cultural Foundation and coordinator of the project Wednesday of Poetry since January 2008. Alberto is the Manager of The Writer’s House — Salarrué Museum of the Ministry of Culture of El Salvador. He is the Director of the International Poetry Festival “Amada Libertad” and the Poetry Festival of San Salvador, apart from being a Member of THT. He has participated in festivals, meetings and fairs throughout Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. He has published the poetry books: The ship is missing (2007), A hundred sonnets of Alberto (2009), And how impossible not to call your groin (2009), Mountain and other poems (2010), The horse tamer (2013) and Songs for my boys (2014).
VVLNERANT OMNES, VLTIMA NECAT
Veinticuatro caballos corren sobre tu espalda.
Algunos se desbocan, te rompen las costillas
si aúlla la trompeta que puya sus caderas.
¡Y creíste que el Pienso les calmaría el trote!
Golpean sus ijares, duro, uno contra todos.
Tu piel resiste apenas la bulla de los cascos.
Algunos han piafado canciones suaves, lentas,
y han mordido tus venas y el aire de tu cuello
mientras sueña tu oído un azul sorprendido.
Patean tus costillas de nuevo cada día.
Veinticuatro caballos corren sobre tu espalda.
¿Ninguno quedará después del arrebato!
Uno tras otro, van desgranando tu espina.
Uno tras otro, pesan y caes contra el piso.
Uno tras otro, a diario regresan y te montan,
se asoman a tus hombros y te escupen los ojos
y drenan con sus lenguas los besos que no diste
alguna noche verde. ¡Aquella noche verde!
Los caballos dormían y la ciudad dormía…
Pasan, pesan y pisan, te rompen las costillas
si aúlla la trompeta que troncha sus caderas.
Uno tras otro, irán cayendo sobre el lodo
de besos y costillas. El último caballo,
abajo, te dirá que subas, que estás listo.
VVLNERANT OMNES, VLTIMA NECAT*
Twenty-four horses run on your back.
Some run wild, they break your ribs
if the trumpet howls blowing their hips.
And you thought that the feed would calm their jogging!
They hit their flanks, hard, one against all.
Your skin barely resists the noise of the hooves.
Some have pawed soft, slow songs,
and they have bitten your veins and the air on your neck
while your ear dreams a surprised blue.
They kick your ribs again every day.
Twenty-four horses run on your back.
Will none be left after the outburst?
One after another, they are shelling your spine.
One after another, they weigh and you fall against the floor.
One after another, daily they come back and ride you,
they peek at your shoulders and spit on your eyes
and they drain with their tongues the kisses that you did not give
some green night. That green night!
The horses slept and the city slept …
They pass, weigh and step, they break your ribs
if the trumpet howls cutting their hips.
One after another, they will fall on the mud
of kisses and ribs. The last horse,
Below, will tell you to ride him, that you are ready.
ELIZABETH TORRES (Madam Neverstop) was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1987. She is a Poet, Multimedia Artist, Translator and Speaker. Her work intertwines poetry, visuals and soundscapes, language and performance, combining visions and concepts across various art forms and media. Elizabeth is a prolific author of over 20 poetry books published in various languages, most of them which she also illustrated, who has travelled to 30 countries throughout her career as part of cultural events and projects. Elizabeth now resides in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she directs Red Door Magazine and a gallery under the same name and the art & culture podcast Red Transmissions. She is also project coordinator for other initiatives in Europe and abroad. Learn more at :
María Elena Escudero Ortíz was born in Anserma- Caldas (Colombia) in 1958. She studied plastic arts in the school of arts called Eladio Vélez of Itagüí Antioquia.
She has participated in the following collective expositions:
Circulo de Bellas Artes. (Madrid 1994).
Museum of religious art (Jericó –Antioquia 1996)
Sala Ligia Pimienta. (Itagüí City Council 1998-2001-2009-2011)
Seventh fair for Colombian Services (Florida-USA 2019)
She has been teaching in various private and public sector institutions for 25 years, organising workshops for children in deprived communities. She has been teaching children with disabilities for 3 years.
Filonilo Catalina (Peru) is a Writer and poet residing in Arequipa. He has published several books of poetry, among which the following stand out: Memoirs of a cutthroat (Arequipa, Triángulo Editores, 2000), The song of the cockroach (Arequipa, Triángulo Editores, 2003), Janaí, or to dance under the rain (Arequipa, Grita Ediciones, 2004), Poetry (Arequipa, Ediciones Cascahuesos, 2006), The Monster of the hills (Lima, Ediciones Copé, 2007), Stigmas (Arequipa, Cascahuesos Editores, 2011), Bird architecture ( Arequipa, Cascahuesos editores), First universal accident (Rupestre editions), POP ESÏA (Rupestre editions) and Perpetual Movement (Rupestre editions). His work has been recognized and awarded in different literary competitions.
UNA CABAÑA Y UN PERRO
Antes tenía una cabaña y un perro
luego tuve un cerro
ahora tengo un río
un río que canta mientras duermo
y una mujer
(Su cuerpo combina con el mío
como sus largas piernas con el río)
Al fin / tengo manos / de eso sí estoy seguro
y no porque estén pegados a mis brazos
digo que tengo manos porque escribo
que lo único que podré ahorrar es el calor y el cariño
y me alegro por no tener que matar a nadie
por no ganarme el pan con la pena ni el hambre
Pienso en lo que hay tras una ventana
en lo que esconde un suspiro y
la alegría del agua, el agua
en ese su modo de andar que tiene sin mirar atrás
Es una locura la seriedad
cuando tu sonrisa crea
el más grande parque de diversiones en la ciudad
En todo final está el secreto del principio.
A CABIN AND A DOG
I used to have a cabin and a dog
then I had a hill
now I have a river
a river that sings while I sleep
and a woman
(Her body matches mine
like her long legs with the river)
At last / I have hands / I’m sure of that
and not because they are attached to my arms
I say I have hands because I write
that the only thing I can save is warmth and affection
Piergiorgio Viti lives in Italy, where he is a middle school teacher. His poems are translated into Spanish (Jorge Aulicino and Antonio Nazzaro for Centro Culturale Tina Modotti in Caracas), Greek (Stavros Girgenis) and Romanian (Geo Vasile and George Nina Elian). In 2011 he published the first poetic collection, “Accorgimenti”, while in 2015, for Italic publishing house, “Se le cose stanno così” was released. He also wrote for the theater : “The fable of Virginio and Virgilio”, with famous singer Tosca as protagonist and “Ray’s dreams” (dedicated to Ray Charles) with an important actor as Carlo Di Maio. He went on stage in the theater as author and acting voice for “The voice of man”, a tribute to the songwriter Sergio Endrigo. He also translated “The Preludes” by Alphonse de Lamartine with a reading by Ugo Pagliai and Paola Gassmann for “Armonie della Sera” festival. In 2016 he was part, together with other poets and writers, of the photographic-editorial project “Memory Card” (Hacca Edizioni), created by the photographer Rita Vitali Rosati. In 2019, for Pequod publishing house, he published “Aperto per inventario”, the third poetic book, which is also presented at the Salone del Libro (Turin Book Fair), with the cover by Ilario Fioravanti. In 2020, he was the only Italian to participate in the international project “Infusions poétiques” by the artist Cécile A. Holdban, with 173 other poets from around the world. Viti’s texts are also present and reviewed in blogs, literary sites and magazines (La Lettura, Atelier, Poesia, Zeusi, Segn, Poetarum Silva, Italian Poetry Center, Rai news etc.). He collaborates with Poesia and Atelier magazines and he is the creator of Versus, a festival of poetic comparisons held in Recanati, which was attended by poets of national and international fame. Viti’s fourth poetic book is about to be published. In this Interview with Eleftheria Thanoglu, which was originally published by Grafeion Poiisis and Culturebook.gr, Piergiorgio shares his views on poetry and art.
1) Suppose you are face to face with yourself when you were a child and you have to introduce it to others. What would you say? Has something changed since then?
P : This is Piergiorgio, the child who loves poetry, comics, Sampdoria football team and parmigiana di melanzane (a typical Italian dish). He speaks little and is afraid of the washing machine’s spin.
No, not much has changed since then. Maybe I have fewer passions and more fears…
2) How do you listen your poetic voice when you read some verses of yours?
P : It is difficult to read your own texts. When you look for the right diction, the correct pronunciation of the words, the emotion, the experience that led you to write, seem to vanish. Conversely, when you let yourself go to the memory, you are always afraid of mumbling the words as if you had a chewing gum in your mouth.
3) Which poet has influenced you the most?
P : Many poets have influenced me and very different from each other. I mention three: Amelia Rosselli, who opened the doors to the poetry of the twentieth century, Raffello Baldini, dialect poet, probably the one closest to my chords, and Raymond Carver, because it made me understand how, even in poetry, a narrative dimension is possible, a dimension that Italian poets often lack.
4) Poetry is unfair to the poet because it cannot nourish him. How do you face life, professionally speaking?
P : Well, I did several jobs: tour guide, waiter, museum guide, promoter in shopping centers. Then, after university, I became a professor of Italian, history and geo at middle school and this is currently my job for 15 years. I wouldn’t mind living only with poetry, but after all, without school, without real life, perhaps my poetry would sound empty, false. The constraint of having to get up early and being, in some way, productive, reminds me of the beauty and gratuitousness of art.
5) How do the stories you write about visit you?
P : Normally I write early in the morning. Writing is my breakfast. The morning is the ideal time for reckoning with my past, with my present, with who I am, with whom I have been, with whom I have disappointed, with whom I have loved, etc.
6) Where does your art differ from other poets’ art?
P : Alessandro Ceni, who is a great Italian poet I admire, spoke of authenticity about my texts. I think it’s the right word. I don’t like frills, crochet, lace, but I go by sword, by foil. Poetry is a punch in the stomach, not a caress, I tell myself while I’m writing, trying to avoid rhetoric.
Perhaps this is the authenticity that distinguishes me, going as far as possible from the comfort zone, trying to be ironic, because the highest form of brutality is irony.
7) The fields of poetry and literature become often objects of dispute. How do you experience it?
P : I don’t care. I set myself the goal of collaborating with those I respect and with those who respect me, the rest does not concern me.
8) Poetry is characterized of duration and a long route. How have you planned your own poetic route?
P : The only things I plan are bill payments, where I have to be quite precise. I don’t plan anything. “Nothing is sure, but write” Franco Fortini wrote in a beautiful text. The same goes for me.
9) In the future, where do you think you would find the portrait that you have been making?
P : I will find this portrait translated in some specialized poetry magazine in Cambodia or South Africa, because also in Cambodia and South Africa I will be known as the poet who cheers for Sampdoria and loves parmigiana di melanzane.
10) How do you define the poem that is durable in time?
P : The poetry that lasts over time is the poetry that, after reading it, makes you look at the world in a different way, with different eyes. It is poetry that changes your perception of reality and sometimes turns it upside down.
Selection of poets for interviews by Sotirios Pastakas, a prominent Greek ; Preparation of Interview Script by Eleftheria Thanoglu, poet and journalist; and publication by Anthonis D. Skiathas, editor of the column for Grafeion Poiisis and Culturebook.gr
SOTIRIOS PASTAKAS – BIOGRAPHY
Sotirios Pastakas was born in 1954 in Larissa, wherever he returned in 2013. He studied medicine in Rome and Psychiatry at Athens (Mental State Psychiatric Clinic). For thirty years he worked as a Psychiatrist in Athens. He published seventeen collections of poetry, a theatrical monologue, a book of essays and translations of Italian poets. In 2001 he co-founded the World Poetry Academy in the city of Verona, and in September of the same year received a scholarship from Hawthornden Castle, International Retreat for writers, near Edinburgh.
He read poems in various International Poetic Festival (Sarajevo 2006 and 2011, San Francisco 2007, Rome 2010, Izmir 2012, Cairo 2013, Istanbul 2014, etc.) is a member of the Greek Writers Society from 1994 and has set up various print and electronic journals. Beyond editor but is a radio producer and teacher experiential writing. He has been translated into fifteen languages and the “Trilogy” book (ed. Presence, 2012) was released in the US in 2015, entitled “Food Line”, translated by Jack Hirschman and Angelos Sakis. His first book of short stories “Dr Ψ and his patients,” released in 2015 by publishing Ink. In December 2015 he was awarded the Annibale Ruccello Award for Poetry in the Third Festival of Teatro Stabia.
On February 5, 2016 was declared the winner in the competition Ritratti di Poesia.140 (poesia tweet), the Fondazione Roma. In the spring of 2016 released a personal anthology of poems (1986-2016) in Italian “corpo a corpo” from Multimedia publications “Casa della Poesia”, that win the NordSud International Prize for Poetry/Pescarabbruzzo foundation in 2016. Others books publishing in Italy: Jorge, i Quaderni del Bardo Edizioni (2018), Monte Egaleo (art book), designer Marco Vecchio, Multimedia (2019).
ELEFTERIA THANOGLU – BIOGRAPHY
Eleftheria Thanoglou lives in Thessaloniki. Shehas published two poetic books. Poems of her have been included in Greek and international anthologies. She has written theatrical monologues for musical performances. Her poems have been translated in four languages.
ANTHONIS D. SKIATAS – BIOGRAPHY
Antonis D. Skiathas was born in Athens in 1960 and nowadays he lives in Patra. He studied Chemical Engineering with postgraduate studies in Art Restoration. He is a poet, anthologist of poems and literary critic. Antonis Skiathas has published 12 poetic books. Poems of him have been included in Greek and international anthologies, and have been translated into 15 languages. His articles and essays on poetry and history have been published in journals and newspapers. He is a member of the Greek Society of Writers and the Poets’ Circle. He was co–director of the literary journal Ελί–τροχος during the ’90s. He founded and is the administrator of the cultural action “Grafeíon Poiíseos”, Poetry Awards “Jean Moreas”, https://www.culturebook.gr/ and he is president of Greek Library of London.
In 2020 he was selected depart med of culture in the European Union EUNIC, in order to represent Greece as a poet in the UK. He teaches poetry in the postgraduate program “Creative Writing” ( University of Western Macedonia – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), he also teached poetry in the postgraduate program “Creative Writing” ( University of Western Macedonia – Open University of Greece).
Gili Haimovich is a prizewinning bilingual poet and translator in Hebrew and English. She won the international Italian poetry competition Ossi di Seppia for best foreign poet (2019) and awarded as an outstanding artist by the Ministry of Culture, (Israel, 2015) among other prizes. Both of her last books in Hebrew Landing Lights, (2017) and Baby Girl, (2014) won grants from The Acum Association of Authors and her second book Reflected Like Joy, (2002) won The Pais Grant for Culture. She is the author of three poetry books in English: Promised Lands (2020), Sideways Roots (2017), and Living on a Blank Page (2008), six volumes of poetry in Hebrew and a multilingual book, Note (2019).
Her poems are translated into 30 languages including full length books in French and Serbian. Her poetry is featured in anthologies, festivals and journals worldwide such as World Literature Today, Poetry International, International Poetry Review, LRC – The Literary Review of Canada, Asymptote, Tok – Writing the New Toronto, New Voices – Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust and 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium as well as in major journals and anthologies in Israel such as The Most Beautiful Poems in Hebrew – A Hundred Years of Israeli Poetry and A Naked Queen – An Anthology of Israeli Social Protest Poetry. Gili also a visual artist, writing focuses arts therapist and a teacher of creative writing in Israel and abroad.