Open up a Poetic Spring -- Nanjing celebrated World Poetry Day with Cities of Literature around the Globe

21st March was first announced as World Poetry Day by Unesco in 1999, With the aims to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to increase the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard at local and international levels.

This year, 12 Cities of Literature across the world, brought together by Granada, are running celebrations for World Poetry Day, themed “Poetry for Life”: Dunedin, Durban, Granada, Heidelberg, Lillehammer, Melbourne, Milan, Nanjing, Nottingham, Quebec City, Seattle, Tartu and Wonju. Each City of Literature has its unique activity to celebrate poetry and its power to speak to our common humanity and our shared values.

Organized by Nanjing Literature Centre, co-organized by Nanjing School for Visual Impaired and Nanjing School for Hearing Loss, ‘Open up a Poetic Spring’, a Literary Walk Series event which focused on the disadvantaged group, children, in particular, took place at Nanjing Literature Hall. 10 students from Nanjing School for Visual Impaired and Nanjing School for Hearing Loss, accompanied by the little volunteers from Langya Road Primary School, Jingling Primary School and Software Valley Primary School, and volunteers from Jingling Library, were invited to perform poetry recitation.

The event started with a site tour of Nanjing Literature Hall, which provided the children a good opportunity to learn the literary heritages and traditions of Nanjing. After the opening ceremony, the poetry recitation included many classic poems, as well as those written by the children themselves were performed. Not only the beautiful words carried by their delicate voices that we have heard, but the power of poetry, and the power of literature.

As Ms. Shuang YUAN, focal point of Nanjing City of Literature, mentioned in the opening speech, “We hope this event would enlighten their life with the power of poetry, and raise public awareness of the vulnerable group. The Literary Walk series activities will be held for the children with special needs, on World Poetry Day every year, providing them an opportunity to interact with the nature and the public, and a stage which encourage them to express their own reflections on poetry and literature.”