Granada International Poetry Festival 2014

February 16th through February 23rd is the Granada International Festival of Poetry. This is an event you don’t want to miss. Arguably the biggest event of the year other than the holidays. Our favorites are the Wednesday parade from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM and the many book vendors in a country with few books. This year the parade theme is Machismo and Aggression Against Women. I know they sound like serious themes but the parade is a lot of fun. Grab a chair on Calzada, get a drink or three and enjoy!

This year the festival is dedicated to Nicaragua’s favorite poet,  Rubén Darío.

For the full schedule of events just click below to see Vida Granada’s extensive calendar of events:

For a nice English video that explains the festival click below:

We enjoy the festival each year for many reasons. Granada curbs are painted, the streets are repaired and cleaned, and there is a festive air about the city. Many artisans set up tents to sell their wares, food tents appear and it is a massive book fair. Poets are held in higher esteem here and they pretty much state their opinion on everything from love to war. It would be a good time for you to visit Nicaragua during the Poet Festival.

Granada’s International Poetry Festival is an extraordinary celebration of poetry that takes place across the entire city. For a week, every February, Granada is transformed into a virtual Capital of the World’s Poetry.

During the Festival there are:

-Poetry readings at the atriums of churches, markets, in the streets of the cities, at schools, police headquarters, universities, and educational institutions.

-Poetry readings in small towns near Granada: Nandaime, Diriomo, Diriá, Niquinohomo, Masaya, San Marcos, Diriamba, Jinotepe, Nindirí, Rivas, León y Managua.

-Round tables dealing with the work of the year´s honored poet.

-Book Presentations which include the Memoir of the previous year which samples the work of all the attendees, and an anthology of the honored poet of the year.

-Crafts and book fair

-A reading dedicated to women poets

-Concerts by Nicaragua’s better known musicians

-Poetic funeral-carnival procession with poetry readings in every corner of the city

-Unveiling of a sculpture of the honoree poet of the year at the Poetry Park in Granada, a park designed and financed by the Festival, where statues of many poets have already been set.

Some history on the event:

The city of Granada is mostly known for its tourist interest due to its history and architecture. However, the city has also been characterized by its cultural profile which transformed Granada into the host city for the International Poetry Festival since 2005. This event is a celebration of poetry and culture with poets from all over the world participating, and it is currently the largest poetry event in Nicaragua and Central America. Every year a large number of prestigious poets are invited to the city to recite poems and participate in this cultural event.

The Vanguardia was a literary movement that started in Granada between 1927 and 1929, led by poet and maestro José Coronel Urtecho. One of his objectives, according to literary manifests published in 1931, was to “initiate a struggle to get the public attention through artistic expressions, intellectual scandal, and aggressive criticism”. Nowadays, a lot of the locations where the poetry festival takes place are the same places that were used by some of the poets of the movement to organize their meetings.

One of these locations is the tower of the La Merced Church where members like Joaquín Pasos, Octavio Rocha, Alberto Ordóñez, Luís Alberto Cabrales, Manolo Cuadra and Pablo Antonio Cuadra used to meet. In 2007,the poetry festival was dedicated to this last poet, Pablo Antonio Cuadra. All earlier festivals that have taken place were also dedicated to poets from Granada who formed part of this literary movement. Just like previous celebrations this year’s festival attempts to recuperate and strengthen the national traditions.

This intention is clearly displayed during the celebration of the traditional “Poetic Carnival”, which is a symbolic burial of the ignorance, the intolerance, and the indifference – an event accompanied by parades of almost all of the characters of Nicaraguan folklore. There were even several in the parade wearing masks and costumes of President Ortega and his wife to protest the recent political events that stifle their freedom of speech.

The festival is a celebration that undertakes more activities than just reciting poems, including the presentation of concerts of Nicaraguan and foreign singers, art expositions, carnivals, theatrical shows, and debates to discuss themes related to poetry. Activities took place all over Granada including the forecourts of the La Merced and San Francisco churches, the San Francisco Convent, the Plaza de Independencia, Plaza de los Leones, Casa de los Leones, Parque de la Poesía, and other plazas, markets, schools, and universities in Granada. There were also activities in other municipalities close to the city like Niquinohomo, Diriá, Nandaime, Diriomo, Masaya, Catarina, San Juan de Oriente, Masatepe, San Marcos and Diriamba – all of these towns also offer their culture, gastronomy, and the cordiality of its inhabitants.

One Comment

  1. Rolando Tellez

    December 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    You can get my Nicaraguan books in English and Spanish at the main books stores. Check this out