'From What I've Read So Far Of Yours, It Sounds Like Every Man In Macedonia Hit On You.'
Take a walk on the wildside at the Macedonian Poetry Festival.
First published in 2015 on one of my favourite Australian online journals, Verity La.
Don’t get me started about the Macedonian Poetry Festival.
Put it this way. If it’s a sex fest that you want, and you look like you might be a woman, then go to the Macedonian Poetry Festival. Put it in your calendars. It’s in August every year.
Then again, if it’s actually poetry that you want, also go to the Macedonian Poetry Festival, which, as I discovered, and to my surprise, is not just a local affair but an event international in scope and focus. It’s been attended by such laureates as Pablo, Ted, Allen, Seamus, W. H.; and others from other places that in the English-speaking world we may not be so familiar with. Like Eugenio Montale, Joseph Brodsky, both Nobel Prize winners; and Leopold Sédar Senghor who, as well as being a poet, was the President of Senegal. Like Václav Havel from Czech. Poetry and politics. Remember him?
Would you believe it? Even our own Thomas Shapcott from Ipswich was guest-of-honour in 1989 and upon his head was placed the Golden Wreath.
There have also been, in the entire fifty years of the festival’s existence, two women, one white and one black – a Desanka Maksimović of Serbia and a Nancy Morejón of Cuba – who also had golden wreaths placed upon their heads.
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