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Poetry on the Lake


patron : Dame Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate UK, 

who described the POTL  celebration  on the South Bank Show, ITV, 6 December 2009 as:  
"...perhaps the smallest but possibly the most perfect poetry festival in the world"  (HERE)

Poetry on the Lake was founded and is organised by poet and author  Gabriel Griffin www.gabrielgriffin.org 
2019 International Competition.
Silver Wyvern - Paul Henry
Kevin Bailey

opens 1st November 2018
early bird reduced entry

 contact or donate

The anthology of contemporary poems inspired by Hildegard of Bingen 
'Hildegard: visions & inspiration' illustrated in colour 
is available from Poetry on the Lake (see Contact page)


Pocket guide to the art, history, legend, personalities and curiosities of the island.
120 pages fully illustrated with colour photos. Paperback ( 
€ 12 + p/p) or pdf.( € 7,99 )

Italian edition also available, same prices
Contact poetry on the lake 


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, Mario Petrucci, Jo Shapcott, Penelope Shuttle, Kenneth Steven, Anne Stewart, Will Stone, Michael Swan, D.M.Thomas. 

 sponsor our events -your logo and news on flyers, posters, press releases, this website would reach a public of thousands. Or become a Friend
by making a donation. 


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, Pella, Varallo, Invorio, Ameno - poetry has become dynamic! And in 2013 and 2014 we added a lake, Lake Maggiore, centering the events 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.

 contact or donate

Culture is at the bottom of the list for funding in 2018 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 27th November  2018
counter installed 30th June 2010


© copyright Gabriel Griffin-Hall