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The Fourth Evens Foundation Poetry Unites Contest concluding gala in Berlin
In 2011, The Evens Foundation decided to extend the Poetry Unites contest to Germany. With the co-operation of the Literaturwerkstatt, a prestigious Berlin-based institution, which promotes literature and poetry, the contest was launched in Germany and in Poland in November 2011. The contest concluding gala was organized by the Literaturwerkstatt at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, on June 9th. 2012.
The contest for the best essay on a favorite poem was open to all school-students in both countries. We received around 600 entries. The Jury headed by Adam Zagajewski in Poland and by Michael Kruger in Germany have selected 6 winners.
In Germany the winners were:
1. Christan Egert, 11, Saarland (Poem “Leo“ by Gerlinde Faißp),
2. Karen Schmitt, 15, Baden-Wurtenberg (Poem “The Panther“ by Rainer Maria Rilke),
3. Ayleen Chaaban, 17, Bremen (Poem „What is gone when you are around“ by Zoran Dverenkar).
1. Adrian Gnus, 20, Bytom, (Poem “To the Common Man“ by Julian Tuwim),
2. Aleksandra Kozerska, Złotokłosy, (Poem „Night“ by Wisława Szymborska),
3. Alex Overbeeke, 11, Józefosław, (Poem „The Hunt“ by Jacek Kaczmarski).
The winners have been featured in 6 films, which had its world premiere at the gala and will be broadcast by the public TV in Poland and in Germany in the Fall 2012.
The winners and their teachers met at the gala in Berlin, organized by the Literaturwerkstatt, Berlin.
At the gala opening part spoke among others, Corinne Evens, Thomas Wohlfahrt – the Director of Literaturwerkstatt, and the chairman of the EF Board, Luc Luyten.
Luc Luyten quoted a famous German – language poet Paul Celan, who once said that he didn’t see any difference between a handshake and a poem.
Mr. Luyten said: "The Poetry Unites project is rooted in the same reasoning. It introduces people to each other through poetry. (…) When people shake hands they understand each other better, stereotypes are demystified and a real contact is established. As long as we will think through the prism of stereotypes, harmonious living together in Europe won’t be possible."
These words reflect the best the core of the Poetry Unites project.