Four days in Soria for Expoesía 12

Expoesía is the annual poetry festival of Soria in the province of Castilla y León, Spain – the city I stayed in for a month last year as part of the III Antonio Machado Poetry Residency of Segovia and Soria. It took place this year in August and it was a relief for Lilián and me to escape the summer heat Madrid for a few days. Soria at over 1000m above sea level is much cooler in the evenings.

Setting up for our performance in the theatre Palacio de la Audiencia.

We had a busy schedule presenting our family show Palabra Azul 'poesía del agua'  (Blue Word 'poetry of water'), directed by Daniel Aguirre, in the theatre Palacio de la Audiencia; taking part in a presentation of the recipients of the Antonio Machado Poetry Residency; presenting Lilián's latest collection of poems Bestial (Olifante. Ediciones de poesía); participating in the recital of poetry and music A Son de Versos; as well as being available to sign books.

Reading a poem during the presentation of the Antonio Machado Residency recipients.

Lilián presenting her collection Bestial in the Alameda Park.

There were also many other performances, presentations, and children's activities during the festival and as much of it takes place in the main park – and it being the summer holidays – there is a wonderful relaxed atmosphere with people stopping by to see what's going on.

I did get away one morning to walk down to the River Duero, along one of the paths I'd found last year, with views like this one back to the Shrine of Our Lady of Myron and the Santa Ana peak behind:

Lilián and I also squeezed in the filming of a video clip in the nearby town of Alconaba with musicians Manuel Madrid and Nestor Paz of Poesía Necesaria. It is for a track from their latest album ConVersando con Ellas, in which they have made arrangements of poems by ten women poets including two of Lilián's poems. We filmed Lilián's poem Viento soplao ('The blowing wind') and she asked me to play the Colombian flute or gaita in it, so…

Playing the Colombian gaita to a field of sunflowers.

So I'm currently editing the final touches of the video clip and this Friday 23 August being National Poetry Day in New Zealand, I am also receiving loads of entries for the Given Words poetry competition which I'm looking forward to reading.


Antonio Machado International Poetry Residency

The poetry festival Expoesía 12 in Soria was an opportunity for me to meet the other recipients of the Antonio Machado Poetry Residency Fellowship pictured together here in front of the new Espacio Alameda, Soria.

Clockwise from bottom left: Sara Rosenberg (Argentina), Abdul Hadi Sadoun (Iraq), Marta Eloy Cichocka (Poland), Charles Olsen (New Zealand), Martín Rodriguez-Gaona (Peru) and Subhro Bandopadhyay (India). The other recipient, Mohsen Emadi (Iran), was not in Soria.