Ha Long city hosts international poetry festival

Eighty-two poets from Vietnam and abroad are gathering for the first Asia Pacific Poetry Festival in Ha Long city, the northern province of Quang Ninh.

Nguyen Quang Thieu, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Writers Association (VWA), said that the five-day festival opening on February 2 took place in a beautiful city with a long tradition of poetry.

After the opening ceremony, the participants offered incense to commemorate Emperor-poet Le Thanh Tong at the foot of Bai Tho (Poem) Mountain. They also recited the poem Tien Nhan (Ancestors), chanting the beautiful melody along the bank of Ha Long bay.

The poets attended a bilingual conference, in Vietnamese and English, entitled Poetry for a Peaceful, Co-operative and Developed Asia Pacific.

The festival draws the participation of prominent and globally acclaimed poets including Canada's Susan Blanshard, a member of the International Pen Women Writers' Committee, China's Tian Xiao Hua and Israel's Naim Araidi, a founder of the International Poetry Festival in Maghar.

The famous contemporary poet Ko Un from the Republic of Korea, a candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature last year, is also attending the festival along with 40 Vietnamese poets.

Participants' poems have been translated into English and Vietnamese to help readers understand and enjoy the works.

During the festival, foreign poets will meet and exchange ideas with Vietnamese poets and readers. International poetry nights are scheduled to take place in Ha Long on February 3 and in Hanoi on February 4.

Guests and hosts will celebrate Vietnamese Poetry Day on February 5, and meet Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang.

On February 6, a visit to Tay Phuong Pagoda in Hanoi is planned for a Zen poem recital by Buddhist monks and poets.