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XII International Poetry Festival, Granada, Nicaragua

Thursday, 3 March 2016 at 20:23

Cliff reading at the carnival, XII International Poetry Festival, Granada, Nicaragua.

Cliff was invited to read at the XII International Festival of Poetry in Granada, Nicaragua 14-20 February 2016.

This year the festival, which is the largest event of its type in the world, invited 114 poets from 67 countries. Cliff was one of only two from the UK, the other being Gerrie Fellows from Scotland. Cliff performed his poems in English, with his own Spanish translations, at several events, including the carnival, at a school, and at the final event in the main square. Excellent and generous hospitality from Nicaraguan hosts. Huge and enthusiastic audiences. Great fun and lots of poetry.... but also music, food and dance in a beautiful city on a spectacular lake under the shadow of volcanos.

This year was the centenary of Rubén Darí's "passing into immortality"*. If you look at most bilingual anthologies of Spanish verse, there's a curious hiatus. The Penguin Book, for example, after hitting the heights in 16th/17th century with Góngora and Quevedo, ends its Golden Age with the fabulously quirky (and in some ways Emily Dickenson-like) Mexican nun Sor Juana de la Cruz (1651-1695) and doesn't really get going again until the mid-19th century, with a couple more Mexicans (Salvador Díaz Mirón; Manuel Jose Othón) and the great Nicaraguan modernista Rubén Darío (1867-1916).

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