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2023 Taipei Poetry Festival - Poetry Begets All

2023 Taipei Poetry Festival - Poetry Begets All

After a three-year hiatus, international poets return after the pandemic 

Organized by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the 2023 Taipei Poetry Festival has the theme “Poetry Begets All”, drawing inspiration from Lao Tzu’s ancient wisdom, “One begets Two, Two begets Three, Three begets all things.” This theme succinctly captures the process of cosmogony: dissecting chaos, arranging its elements, and birthing a new world. The phrase “Three begets all things” embodies the concentrated transformative power inherent in poetry.

As borders reopen, the world once again becomes our canvas. Poets and artists from Taiwan and abroad are converging in Taipei for an event spanning from September 23 to October 7. The festival takes place across various venues, including the Taipei Zhongshan Hall, Kishu An Forest of Literature, SPOT-Taipei, Le Ballon Rouge, Taipei Info Hub, Haruyuki Book Lounge, TouatBooks, Reading Room, and coffee shops on Jinmen Street, guiding the public on a journey of leaps and bounds through Taipei.

“The First Language, Today’s Flowers”, Closing Concert

The closing concert explores the sonic characteristics of bilingual compositions and multicultural aesthetics through two sets of performances. The first half features French poet Aurélia Lassaque, who combines short folk songs from the Occitan tradition with readings, accompanied by Taiwanese jazz musicians Vincent Hsu and Debby Wang. The second half showcases the collaborative efforts of socially engaged literary practitioner and poet Chiao Chung and Japanese avant-garde musician Sakamoto Hiromichi, delivering a symphony of jazz and literature in Hakka and Mandarin.

“Poetry Begets All, All Begets Poetry”: A Free Dialogue Between Poetry and Objects

Under the banner “Poetry Begets All”, this event centers around the “five elements”: plants, animals, food, miscellany, and the enigmatic contents of cups. Poets will station themselves in Jinmen Street coffee shops, engaging in free-flowing dialogues with readers amidst the fragrance of coffee.

In addition to a myriad of interdisciplinary activities, the festival will screen the documentary film Deepest Uprising 《波濤最深處》 directed by Ming-Chuan Huang. Seven lectures will also be presented, exploring themes such as narrative and worldly engagement, everyday life and the senses, and writing and resistance. Esteemed poets and scholarly experts of all ages and nationalities will engage in mutual exchange and intellectual discourse.