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Radoslaw Jurczak and Danae Sioziou first Versopolis poets at Poetry International

Poetry International joins Versopolis

May 17, 2023

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Radoslaw Jurckzak (© Wieńczysław Dębiński) en Danae Sioziou

As of May 1, 2023, Poetry International is the first and only Dutch partner within the European poetry platform Versopolis. Presenting young international poetry talent is right up Poetry International's alley, and for many years the annual festival has also been the stage for poets about to break through to a large and international audience. "I am extremely happy to join Versopolis with Poetry International. This allows us to make an even greater contribution to the promotion of undiscovered poetic talent and also to increase the visibility of Dutch-language poets abroad," says Poetry director Diana Chin-A-Fat. From the Versopolis network, the 53rd Poetry International Festival Rotterdam, taking place at LantarenVenster from June 9 to 11, presents Greek poet Danae Sioziou and Polish poet Radoslaw Jurczak. Both poets can be seen during the opening show There is a poem for that! on June 9 in LantarenVenster. That same evening, Danae Sioziou will read her full festival selection of poems; on Saturday, June 10, Radosław Jurczak will do so.

Versopolis is an ambitious European poetry project that has already united 31 countries and poetry partners since 2015. Versopolis aims to promote the European exchange of promising poetry talent and develop a digital platform where the general public can get to know poets and poetry festivals from different European countries. Versopolis meanwhile promotes nearly 380 European promising poets and their poetry under the motto "where poetry lives. Currently, the poets Maria Barnas, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Radna Fabias, Maarten van der Graaff, Asha Karami and Nyk de Vries are part of the Dutch Versopolis pool. In the near future, on the recommendation of Poetry International, new poets will be presented within the network and thus to international venues. Versopolis is financially made possible with the support of the European Union.

Radosław Jurczak (Polen, 1995)

and now you are transparent like the Internet
like a search engine you are readable like glass

Radosław Jurczak not only writes poetry, he also works as a machine learning engineer, which means he develops the artificial intelligence of machines. He is also a philosopher and mathematician. As a poet, the still young Jurczak has two multi-award-winning collections to his credit: External Memory and Dutch Books. For these collections he received the Warsaw Literature Prize, the Silesius Poetry Prize and the Bierezin Prize, among others. Even though he works a lot with machines, his poems are mostly actually very green: one review received his debut as "the strongest eco-poetic gesture of the past decade. His work is critical and sharp, but also lighthearted and humorous. 

Performances at the Poetry Internatioal Festival
Radosław Jurczak will participate in the opening program There is a poem for that! and the talk Soft Machines during the Poetry International Festival on Friday, June 9: Poetry and A.I. He has his main performance on Saturday, June 10, at 9 p.m., along with Laura Vazquez (France).  

Danae Sioziou (Greece, 1987) 

I no longer set traps for birds,
each day I head to the river and shoot the waters.

Danae Sioziou writes poetry and translates poems and stories from German and English. She has a keen interest in mythology and imagination, but also writes about "real" issues such as oppression, gender roles in Greece and the pain that language can cause. She has published two collections that have not gone unnoticed in her homeland. In her debut Useful Children's Games, she shapes poems according to the rules of children's games. She received the Yannis Varveris Prize for Young Writers for it. In her second book - Probable landscapes - she uses poems to draw the inner map of people, wondering what the landscape would look like if you opened up a person like that. Sioziou offers other writers a stage with her Purple Medusas Festival, which focuses on literature and gender. 

Performances during the Poetry International Festival
On Friday, June 9, takes part in the festival opening celebration There is a poem for that!, that night at 10 p.m. She reads her complete festival selection of poems, along with Theophilus Kwek (Singapore). On Saturday, June 10, she will participate in the Poet-to-poet discussion with Ester Naomi Perquin, among others.

Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère