Monika Grütters (c) Christof Rieken
The poet Ralf Rothmann once wrote, “And yet poetry is and remains one of our best chances; it can heighten our receptivity for the fact that every reality is just a makeshift for the wonderful.” At the 19th poesiefestival Berlin is once again offering these “best chances” a stage. Around 150 poets from many countries are presenting their work here and undertaking aesthetic experiments which lead us out of reality, that “makeshift of the wonderful”, to explore the boundless worlds of the imagination. Under the motto Values Verse Art this year’s festival is also exploring how poetry reflects and interrogates values, and how important the freedom of art is for drawing on all the possibilities of poetry.
Traditionally the hub of the festival is Academy of Arts in the Tiergarten – but it is also happening in many other parts of the city with readings and exhibitions unfolding their wonderful magic during these eight days in May. In its almost twenty years of existence the poesiefestival has also created a major international network for artists and their professional environment.
I would like to thank the Haus für Poesie – with Dr. Thomas Wohlfahrt and his team – for the fantastic commitment to which we once again owe an inspiring festival of the art of poetry. I am very pleased that the Capital Cultural Fund, the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, has been able to support the poesiefestival this year even more generously than in previous years. I wish the festival’s visitors an encounter with poetry and its possibilities that will inspire them and leave them with lasting impressions.
Prof. Monika Grütters MdB
Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media