An annual international literature festival taking place in Cologne since January 2015, the Poetica is a one-week event organized by Cologne University with the support of the German Academy for Language and Literature and a number of Cologne cultural institutes. The Poetica shines a light on a marginalized world literature genre – poetry, especially lyric. Author-curated and moderated, under the auspices of a guiding theme, the festival invites up to ten prominent poets and poetesses from around the world. The Poetica emerged from the idea that, just like the sciences, literature shapes knowledge. And what better way to begin understanding foreign cultures and their potentially disparate answers to existential questions than comparing esthetic concepts in an exchange between poetry, science and the public sphere?
Typically, during the Poetica week, all authors attend all events which take place in a variety of venues and with varying formats: Discussions at the university, a writing workshop for students, poetry readings and poetic works enacted at Schauspiel Köln. Authors read their own works in the original language, actors and actresses recite the German translations. As a rule, the Poetica is moderated in German and English. A book publication documenting primary texts and essays is available at the opening event.
Poetica is funded by the University of Cologne, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Kunststiftung NRW. Its main cooperation partner is the German Academy for Language and Literature, in an advising capacity.