Follow PEN’s Video-poem Marathon 2023 online!


Follow PEN International’s video poem marathon on the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee’s  Facebook page and Youtube channel.

The Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of PEN International is organizing a new video-poem marathon for the International Mother Language Day 2023 (February 21). The poems will be launched for a whole month, starting on February 21st until March 21st (International Poetry Day).

Last year PEN International gathered more than 45 poems from every continent, with humble but very powerful recordings. This is a small activity, but important to make visible linguistic communities and their literatures, often very neglected.

Our proposal to participants, PEN centers and other literary and linguistic associations that might be interested, is to film a short poem (max. two minutes) read by the author in the original indigenous language, without translation. Together with the video file we will also ask a written version of the poem in the original language with a translation in at least one of the official languages of PEN International (English, French or Spanish; much better if it is in all of the 3 languages, of course), so that we can subtitle the video.

The video can be filmed with a cellphone or a webcam (horizontally, please, no vertical filming!), but please check the sound is good: we want to hear the sound of your language, too!

Those willing to participate, please send us an email to BEFORE recording the video, so that we can get in contact and explain the final details.

Please remember that the aim is to make poets, literatures and languages visible, so we just request one poem/poet per language. The deadline to participate in the project is February 1st, 2023.

We look forward to your participation!

Text credit: The Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of PEN International

Image credit: Vectoraart