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Tuesday, 10 September 2013 19:54

The City of Living Poets

Written by

E&M has not been to Russia. 

Christian Diemer is not reporting from Chernobyl.

It is not cold here.

Half an hour from the EU's border in Romania, at the foothills of the Karpathians, we are at the heart of Europe. What is now the smallest and remotest regional capital in today's Ukraine, was the Eastern outpost of the Austro-Hungarian empire; home to some of the most important German-speaking poets of the 20th century, and the epitome of multiculturalism and multilingualism for centuries. "A region in which lived humans and books", as Paul Celan put it.

For the fourth time now, region, humans and books have been reanimated. The past weekend, the big names of Ukrainian literature met authors from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Poland, Japan to light a firework of languages and arts. From the 6th to 8th of September, the International Meridian Czernowitz Poetry Festival was held - in the South-Western Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi.

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