Third Round Table of European Poetry (September 2001)


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Third Round Table of European Poetry
Sigulda and Riga, Latvia
8 - 12 September 2001


We, poets from 24 countries of Europe, members of member associations of the European Writers‘ Congress, the federation of 50 writers‘ associations in 27 countries, gathered in Sigulda and Riga, Latvia from 8 to 12 September 2001, have carefully analysed and discussed the situation of poetry in our countries.

Our conclusion from these debates is that the situation of poetry has not improved since the investigation carried out by the European Writers‘ Congress in 1995. Though there is a still growing number of poetry festivals and anthologies throughout the continent, though we are convinced that people go on enjoying poetry, the publishing situation of poetry, i.e. the situation of poetry on the market is alarming.

We therefore call upon national and European authorities to help safeguard
poetry as one of the outstanding artistic achievements of European culture, and of our diversity and identity. We urge them in particular

- to promote the creation of poetry at European, national and regional level -
and to end at the same time discrimination against it (in some countries and with certain arts‘ councils you cannot obtain a grant or scholarship if you intend to write poetry),

- to promote the distribution of poetry by financially encouraging publishers to publish poetry,

- to promote the translation of poetry by introducing poetry translation
programmes at European, national and linguistic area / cross-border level,

- to maintain or introduce the fixed retail-price for books at national level and in multi-national linguistic areas.proposed by

Claude Darbellay, Switzerland,
member of the EWC ‘s Watching Group on European Poetry
Jochen Kelter, Switzerland,
President of the European Writers‘ Congress