International poetry and art festival “Poetry days”

September, Latvia


International poetry and art festival “Poetry days” is one of the most important Latvian literature-related festivals and one of the most memorable phenomena of the Latvian culture scene. This festival has been celebrating poetry ever since the centennial of Latvian poet Rainis in 1965. The aim of the festival was and still is to increase peoples’ interest in literature, poetry in particular, and to introduce society to various forms, current trends and new iterations of poetry. Poetry days take place in September, when all across Latvia poets and poetry are celebrated in various events. However, the core of the festival is a 10-day long series of over 30 events that reflect the current trends in Latvian poetry. All of these events in the 10-day span take place in various parts of Riga.


The program includes poetry readings, both indoor and open-air, synergetic events including poetry, music and other forms of art, program for literature science and education, as well as readings of experimental poetry. During Poetry days you will hear poetry in Latvian, Russian, English, and other mother-tongues of authors from around the world. During poetry days there are also workshops where poetry of foreign authors will be rendered in verse to Latvian. Every year Poetry days welcome over 10 international guests, who perform in cooperation with local artists.


Another tradition that has become an essential part of Poetry days is the biannual release of poetry audio CDs, in cooperation with radio NABA. Radio NABA provides the poets with another way of distributing their art, and also supports the creation of original complementary music for poetry records of significant Latvian poets. In 2017, as part of celebrating the 150th birthday of late 19th, early 20th century Latvian poet Eduards Veidenbaums, an electronic/IDM music album, combined with Veidenbaums’ poetry is being developed by 15 of the best Latvian electronic music artists.

International guest can apply, suggest and show interest until the 15th of October. For Poetry days 2018, we plan to open an Artist-in-residence program.