“2014 China-France Poetry Festival” in Memory of 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations Kicked off in Beijing
“2014 China-France Poetry Festival”, jointly hosted by Chinese Poetry Research Institute of Peking University, Embassy of France in China, Modern Chinese Poetry Research Institute of Peking University, Federation of Literary and Art Circles in Haidian District of Beijing, Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation, The Poetry Institute of China, and co-hosted by Chinese Department of Peking University, The Poem for You under the support of World Poetry Movement and International Poetry Festival of Medellin, kicked off in Beijing on May 7, 2014. As the key content of a series of activities in Memory of 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations, over thirty famous poets and critics from China and France were invited to attend the poetry festival “without borders”.
To fully show the latest achievements of contemporary French poetics as well as promote the dialogues and communications between Chinese and French poetic circles, Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation who maintains long-term contact with French poetic circles wishes to integrate French-style romance and passion with Chinese poetries in returning condition and composes a haunting music for in-depth exchanges of Chinese and French culture through win-win co-operation with Chinese Poetry Research Institute of Peking University, Embassy of France in China, Modern Chinese Poetry Research Institute of Peking University, Federation of Literary and Art Circles in Haidian District of Beijing and The Poetry Institute of China.
The “2014 China-France Poetry Festival” sets up sub-stations in Beijing, Anhui Huangshan and Ningxia Yinchuan, mainly focused on poetry communication combining with other theme activities such as academic contact and cultural discussion and aimed at discussing issues commonly faced and concerned by “Poetry - Literature – Culture” ecology through the contact form of direct dialogs and declamation of poetry among poets. Several most-renowned French poetic masters and eminent publishers including Jacques Darras - famous French poet, translator and owner of Apollinaire Prize for Poetry and French Academy Prize for Poetry, André Velter – famous poet and owner of Goncourt Prize for Poetry and Linda Maria Baros - young poet, translator, critic and owner of Apollinaire Prize for Poetry were invited to attend the festival. Chinese guests present at the festival are some outstanding delegates in the circle of poetry review and famous poets including Xie Mian, Zhang Tongwu, Gao Hongbo, Xie Youshun, He Shaojun, Wang Jiaxin, Xichuan, Shucai, Ren Hongyuan, Zang Di, Yang Ke, Jiang Tao, Wang Mingyun and Yang Zi who has brought a different “Chinese Poetry Impression” for the China-France Poetry Festival.
The first thematic and interactive seminar “Poetry Process and Field” of Beijing station was held in Moonlight Hall, Yingjie Exchange Center, Peking University on the morning of May 7. Representatives on behalf of their own field of poetry respectively made great speeches, and Bai Liang - Minister of French Embassy in China and Yi Jie- cultural commissioner were present. On the afternoon of the day, a poetry reading gave a public performance at Centennial Memorial Hall which stroke a poetic chord of poets from both countries. The Principal of Peking University Wang Enge addressed at the activity and felt the charming beauty of Chinese-French poets along with guests. It is noteworthy that, as the highlighting part of Beijing Station activity, guests attended the dedication of Memorial for Saint-John Perse, the famous French poet and Nobel Prize for Literature Winner and jointly witnessed the grand unveiling ceremony of monument. In addition, poets of both countries read an excerpt from his masterpiece Anabase aloud with expression, which reappeared this passionate masterpiece associated with China as well as manifested the developing achievements as a result of cultural exchanges between China and France. This historic “poetry relay” further embodied inseparably profound friendship between China and France.
It is learned that Mr. Saint-John Perse once served in Embassy of France in Beijing from 1916-1921, and during this time he composed poets in Jingxi and left a precious photo with his friend taken at Jinxianan Pavilion southwest to Jinshan Temple. Out of respect for French culture and Mr. Saint-John Perse, Zhongkun Group contributed funds and rebuilt Jinxianan Pavilion where Mr. Saint-John Perse once visited based on its original appearance. The rebuilt pavilion was named as “Saint-John Perse Pavilion” mutually agreed by related personnel in China and France.
The contact between Zhongkun Group and France started in 1997, and in the following 17 years of consecutive contact, Zhongkun Group made several contributions to Sino-French cultural connection. Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation under the Group once helped French painter “Fangsuo” to hold an exhibition of his paintings in Beijing and organized a “Cross-Cultural Arts Seminar”. In 2008, Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation hosted the cultural activity called “Writing Routes: Salute to Ella Maillart” in alliance with French Embassy in China and Swiss Embassy in China. In the field of communication with French poetry, Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation actively attended and organized several exchange activities: On April, 2007, Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation attended a seminar 2007 France “Poets”Spring in China” in Beijing, and on the November of the same year, the first “Zhongkun International Poetry Prize” award ceremony was held in Beijing Zhongshan Concert Hall and International Poet Award was won by French poet Yves Bonnefoy.
“2014 China-France Poetry Festival” provides a poetic communication platform for further understanding and information sharing among China-France poetic circles, and it showed true literature spirit of “Poetry without Borders” through heated and rigorous discussion, free and sentimental recitation which passed listeners a spiritual force of the poem. After attending this activity, more and more Chinese and French poets, critics and poetry lovers are full of confidence and expectation towards the exchanges and interaction among China-France poetic cycles and imperceptibly form the sustainable power of promoting inheritance. As an extremely important part of a series of activities in Memory of 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations, the successful hosting of the poetry festival builds a brand new bridge for poetry and cultural exchanges among two countries.