Joyce Ashuntantang, associate professor of English in Hillyer College, was among 69 poets from 22 countries invited to participate in theFirst Athens World Poetry Festivalin Athens, Greece.
According to festival organizers, poetry is essential in lean years. After all, “exceptional poetry was written during difficult and small-minded times. It was during wartime that Seferis wrote the Last Stationand Engonopoulos wrote Bolivar,” says a statement on the festival website. “Geographically compact, but with a vast historical depth, Greece has been and remains a land of poets. On Homer’s sand shores during the day and in Homer’s shadow at night, Greeks continue to create.”
A multi-lingual and multifaceted event, the festival ran from Sept. 23-29, 2013, and included readings in major museums, public squares, concert halls and cafes in Athens and other selected cities. Ashuntantang, whose six poems were translated into Greek, read in the port city of Piraeus, the historic site of Delphi, and the Benaki Museum in Athens.