Poets unite to promote peace, sustainability

September 21, 2011

When Costa Rican poets take the stage at San José’s Casa Cultural Amón on Sept. 24, they will be part of a simultaneous worldwide event to promote environmental, social and political change. The global project, hosted by 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC), has some 600 events scheduled in 450 cities in 95 countries.

U.S. artists and activists Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion co-founded 100TPC. “I have always believed that poets have the power to speak across fences, to transform and heal the world, and I felt if all the poets got together we might be able to make a positive change,” Rothenberg told The Tico Times.

Rothenberg and Carrion contacted prominent Costa Rican poet and essayist Adriano Corrales about organizing an event in Costa Rica. Corrales gladly accepted the task. He expects at least 50 artists to participate in the event, including poets and visual and performing artists. He also hopes to stream the activities live on the Internet.

Although peace and sustainability are the overall themes for the project, each city decides on which issues are important to their community. In San José, the discussion will focus on a change in national and international policy. 

“We ask for a change in the conduct of governments and a national agreement to propose a plan for a more inclusive and democratic country,” Corrales told The Tico Times. “The focus will be to respect differences and use tolerance as a form of peaceful coexistence. The poetry will emphasize creative freedom and poetry as the backbone of the universe.” 

Worldwide, poetry demonstrations are being organized in political hot spots such as Egypt and Nigeria. And there will be a “Walk of Shame” in Washington, D.C., where poets will read outside the embassies of countries that have crushed free speech and dissent.

Poets in each city and community will document their project on a blog page on the 100TPC website, www.100TPC.org (pictured above), posting written material, artwork, photos and videos. 

Following the event, Stanford University in California will preserve all documentation from the website. The university has recognized 100TPC as a historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. 

Rothenberg said he hopes to make 100TPC a yearly global event. 

“I hope that next year there are thousands of events around the world making it clear that we must achieve peace and sustainability worldwide, and we have the power to make that happen,” he said. 

The event in San José will begin at 2 p.m. Sept. 24, at Casa Cultural Amón in the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC) Barrio Amón campus, 250 meters north of the Aurola Holiday Inn. Any national or international poet residing in Costa Rica can participate by simply registering at Casa Cultural Amón on the afternoon of the event. For more information, call Corrales at 2257-0470, ext. 109, or visit casaculturalamon.blogspot.com.

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