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Presentation... Yesterday and today

Inauguration of the16th Festival at the
Maison des écrivains of Paris, June 1993.

Translation workshop at the 28th Festival
at the library of the Maison de la poésie
of Paris, June 2005

(photos Bernard Bardinet)

THE FESTIVAL franco-anglais de poésie originates in 1976 at Marly-le-Roy, where resident English poet, Lindy Henny, created an international festival of poetry, "The Festival of French English Spoken Poetry". Orientated towards spoken poetry, this festival presented four very lively annual events from 1976 to 1979, the last session being a translation conference.

Interrupted for two years, the Festival was reborn in 1982, modified under the present direction, and took the name Festival franco-anglais de poésie. Reciprocal translations between the guest poets became the driving force, while painters and sculptors, musicians and actors soon began to collaborate, making it a multi-arts festival, with poetry as the common denominator.

La Traductière was born in the midst of all this, in 1983, because of the need to keep track of the work carried out for the Festival.

So today the Festival has come to its 35th year, and "La Traductière" to its 30th issue, under the auspices of the Association franco-anglaise de poésie created in 1984. They both went to Melbourne in 2008, to hold the new edition of the Festival and to present the 26th issue of "La Traductière", with 21 Australian Poets Today. The 35th session will be held in Paris in June 2012, hosting 7 poets from Singapore, along with the Marché de la Poésie.

Over the years, the Festival, which emphasises presentation, supplies the review with cross-translations and with graphic works created for the "Reverberations" exhibition.

"La Traductière", which emphasises the written word, supplies the Festival with poems for the creation of musical works for the Poetry and Music presentation and for an annual Video-films Projection; it also develops its own research topics and reviews current Anglo-French poetry publications.

Yesterday and today, the same objective: to promote exchanges between poets and artists from different languages and cultures, and to share with the public the poetry and artworks created around the Festival.

Jacques Rancourt