CULTURE

Poets read against the war

Poetry lovers the world over are playing their part in the burgeoning anti-war movement. Today in Athens, a group of poets is marking the International Day of Poetry Against the War with a special reading at Compendium Books, 28 Nikis Street, from 3 p.m. till 5 p.m., closing time. This evening’s featured poets are Nick Papandreou, Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, A.E. Stallings, Nancy Horton, Adrianne Kalfopoulou, Mark Sargent and Eleni Vainas. They will be followed by the usual Open Mike segment where members of the audience can read poems of their choice, this time with an anti-war theme. The movement began when American poet Sam Hammill received an invitation from Laura Bush to a White House symposium on «Poetry and the American Voice.» Hammill, who is appalled by the Bush administration’s proposed attack on Iraq, responded by sending an open letter to a few friends, soliciting poems against the war. Word spread; more than 12,000 poems or personal statements have been submitted and will be posted today on a new website (www.poetsagainstthewar.org). Laura Bush canceled the symposium, reported the Seattle Times, saying, «Some invited guests wanted to turn what is intended to be a literary event into a political forum.»