The 21st poesiefestival berlin is now showing ONLINE

More than 30 events featuring 150 artists, tutorials, live chats, Poetry Market, interviews and everything in the media library


After a record preparation time of two-and-a-half months, here we are with the first ever online edition of the poesiefestival berlin about to go live. On 29 May the opening readings and performances Poets’ Home (Corners) get under way, then on 5 June the 7-day festival kicks off with 150 artists from all over the world who have – with a huge amount of technical patience – put together an impressive programme of audio and video recordings, performances and music, turning their living space within their own four walls into their stage for us. Right up to the last minute the single bits and pieces have been put together in Berlin, subtitled and made into broadcasts that stand out from all previous editions of the festival with their intimacy, improvisation and visuality.

The festival site is going online today!

  • The whole programme of opening performances and readings and of the Festival can be accessed there. This year’s country focus is on Canada, with the Berlin Poetry Lecture being given by Anne Carson and a Canadian-German VERSschmuggel/reVERSible (based on a translation workshop involving 18 poets). The festival opens with nine authors reading in their own languages for Weltklang – Night of Poetry. Another thematic focus is on poetic activism, from for instance the post-colonial perspective of refugee writers in Re:writing the Borders or from the perspective of political activists in Words of Objection: Poetry as Political Activism, which uses the means of poetry to intervene in the negotiation of politics. In all, the festival offers more than 30 events.
  • Admission is free – donations instead of tickets!
  • All live streams will be shown on the festival site and can then be accessed in the media library…
  • … and will be streamed in parallel on Facebook and YouTube.
  • You’ll also be able to find formats in the media library that are not time-sensitive. In the Poetry Market, more than 30 publishers and magazines publishing poetry will be presenting their latest offerings in videos or for reading in text form. Spread over the festival, several Poetry Talks will be posted as text interviews with Mircea Cărtărescu (ROU), Athena Farrokhzad (IRN & SWE) and Koleka Putuma (ZAF), Yanko González (CHL), Luljeta Lleshanaku (ALB), Ariana Reines (USA) and Yi Won (KOR).
  • Poetic Education is offering both public tutorials and non-public workshops for which registration is required. The next-generation poets of the annual talent crucibles young poems and open poems will be reading their texts, putting out an anthology of their work.

FRI 5.6.– THU 11.6.2020
21st poesiefestival berlin: Planet P
Online edition #planetpgoeson

The full programme is available at:

And for download as a pdf in the Media section:


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The poesiefestival berlin has been taking place since 2000 and is the biggest of its kind in Europe. As well as the book, poetry has long sought other forms of presentation and experiments with theatre, performance, music, dance, film and digital media. The festival enables poetry to be experienced in all its diversity of forms and welcomes up to 13,000 visitors each year. For the first time in its 21-year history, it is taking place as a purely online festival.

The 21st poesiefestival berlin is a project by the Haus für Poesie. Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund and with the kind support of the Federal Foreign Office, the Government of Canada, the Embassy of Canada, the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie du Québec, the Vertretung der Regierung von Québec in Deutschland, as well as Federal Agency for Civic Education. Presented by Der Freitag, taz, BÜCHER magazin, tip Berlin, rbb Kultur, ASK HELMUT, iHeartBerlin, EXBERLINER and Deutschlandfunk Kultur.