About the Festival

The Other Words International Poetry Festival began in San Francisco in Fall 1999, organized by the consulates and cultural institutes of several European countries operating in San Francisco, working together with two or three locally-based literary and arts institutions.

It allows for the rare chance that a poet writing out of an acutely particular cultural milieu and poetic condition might be heard by an audience from elsewhere. It offers the radical occasion for an audience of poetry to cut through crippling monocultural presumptions and witness a poet’s voice sounding from “the outside.” It builds on the groundwork of literary translators, mostly poets “carrying over” the work of the foreign to affect and sound alongside their own poetic practice.

The Other Words Festival initiates new meetings between distinctive poets and acts of poetry which otherwise, because of geographic circumstance and gaps between languages or, worse, “global-political” divides, tend to be assumed are incommunicado. It introduces difference to difference.


One response to “About the Festival

  1. Greetings,

    I’m writing on behalf of the Center for the Art of Translation (CAT), a non-profit based in San Francisco with a 15-year history of promoting international literature and translation through programs in the arts, education, and community outreach.

    I’m trying to find information about co-sponsoring, or presenting at, the upcoming Other Words Festival. We’re excited about this festival (it’s right up our alley) and feel that their might be possibilities here for cross-promotion of events.

    For example, CAT will feature translator Katherine Silver as part of our ongoing Lit&Lunch reading series on Tuesday, October 7th. The reading is a featured event at this year’s LitQuake festival. We’d be happy to mention Other Words at our event in exchange for the opportunity for cross-promotion. Will there be a table for presenters at the Other Worlds Festival?

    Any information you might have about how CAT could help participate in this year’s event would be greatly appreciated.


    Keith Ekiss
    Acting Artistic Director
    Center for the Art of Translation

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