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Poetry on the Lake


XVII International Poetry Competition open
deadline extended two days, now 2nd May 2017.       
see Competition page HERE

the poems will be on the website day by day during March
poems for immigrants and refugees
 in the ambit of World Poetry Day 21st March as declared by UNESCO

 patron of POTL  Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate UK, 
 described the POTL  celebration  on the South Bank Show, ITV, 6 December 2009 :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZPLIg5tFI8 as:
"...perhaps the smallest but possibly the most perfect poetry festival in the world".


Poets present in past editions include:

Al Alvarez, Kevin Bailey,Carole Baldock, Gary Bills, Massimo Bocchiolo,Gillian Clarke, John F. Deane, Bruna Dell'Agnese, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne-Marie Fyfe, James Harpur, Dato Magradze, John Hartley Williams,  Christopher North, Brian Patten, Jo Shapcott, Penelope Shuttle, Kenneth Steven, Anne Stewart, Will Stone, Michael Swan, D.M.Thomas. 

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Pocket guide to the art, history, legend, personalities and curiosities of the island.
120 pages fully illustrated with colour photos. Paperback or pdf. 
Contact poetry on the lake 

the Hildegard of Bingen anthology
'Hildegard: visions & inspiration' illustrated in colour 
is available now from Poetry on the Lake (see Contact page)
Poetry on the Lake is the only poetry celebration in a guide book to Italy and see 

South Bank Show, 6th December 2009, Channel One, ITV & Guardian (Travel) 9th March 2012.
Other TV transmissions featuring Poetry on the Lake:
MagicaItalia (Rai 1 2011)  and Mixitalia (Rai 1 2012).

Also in The Telegraph, Sunday Times, American Reporter, La Stampa and many other papers and journals  see. and in new edition of Rough Guide

Poetry readings, workshops, discussions, poetry and dance and music take place all over the lake area: on the island, in the square, on Sacro Monte, in the woods, around the chapels, in the historic palaces (see Palazzo Ubertini) on board ship ('una barca di poeti'- una crociera poetica, October 2010), at Omegna, Orta, Varallo, Invorio, Ameno - poetry has become dynamic! And in 2013 and 2014 we added a lake, Lake Maggiore, centering the event at Villa Carlotta, Belgirate.

Founded in 2001 and organised by
Gabriel Griffin, assisted by
Kevin Bailey, editor of HQ Poetry Magazine, and with M.C.s Robert Morley and Barry Tempest,
the seat is on
Isola San Giulio,
the antique island on Lake Orta in the Alpine foothills of northern Italy.
Annual events include the spring international competition and the

autumn celebration. Poetry on the Lake edits anthologies and a journal.

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Culture is at the bottom of the list for funding in 2017 and Poetry on the Lake falls between two stools - British orgs won't fund because we are in Italy, Italians hesitate because the events are mainly (but not only) in English and. according to the Mayor of Orta, "poetry isn't popular"!

anthology Reflections on Lake Orta    here

updated 29th April 2017

counter installed 30th June 2010


© copyright Gabriel Griffin-Hall