Centring on the theme of disruption, Poetry International 2019 explored translation, endangered languages and poetry as a resistance with masterclasses, live readings and films which fused animation with language. We celebrated our eleventh Open Day on the Clore Ballroom Floor on Saturday 19 October which brought in our biggest audience to date, giving more people the opportunity to browse hidden gems from our collection and celebrate the many ways in which modern and contemporary poetry has been an active field for poets to challenge the status quo.
Guests were invited to explore the Toni Morrison Effect, looking at how the late novelist disrupted the western canon, particularly in poetry, and the works we wouldn't have without her. There were displays exploring the AIDs epidemic and those lives that were interrupted, disrupted. We had Finnish visual poetry, revolutionary poetry, poetry that resulted in social disruption, poetry and fairytales – all packed into one day!
There were displays of artists’ books used as an experimental medium for poets and visual artists as well as the National Poetry Library team’s staff picks.
We invited poets Olivia Douglass and Hannah Raymond-Cox to create new work in response to the themed displays which they performed in the space.