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2nd Int'l Poetry Festival to be held in Qinghai
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By Wang Zhiyong & Huang Shan
China.org.cn staff reporter

The Second biennial Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival is scheduled to be held in August 2009 by northwest China's Qinghai Lake, the largest inland saline lake in China.

Qinghai Lake from space (November 1994).
The information was released by Jidi Majia, vice-governor of the sparsely populated Qinghai Province, at a press conference in Beijing on January 15. Jidi Majia, an ethnic Yi native from rural Sichuan Province, is also a famous poet who concurrently holds a post at the Poetry Institute of China.

Organized by the Qinghai provincial government and the Poetry Institute of China, the festival will feature a cultural summit titled "Surpassing the reality and material– the reconstruction of poetry and human spirit", whose theme is a reconnection between poetry and the human spirit.

The festival will also present an evening poetry event where the participants will recite poems paying tribute to Qinghai Lake, as well as poetry-writing tours for visiting poets to nearby Tibetan autonomous prefectures.

The International Poetry Award of the Golden Tibetan Antelope will be chosen by a group of famous poets and litterateurs from China and the rest of the world. The appraisal committee includes Nanni Balestrini from Italy, Jacques Darras from France, Antonio Colinas from Spain, Tomaz Salamun from Slovenia, and Robert Con Davis Undiano from Ameica as well as China's Ye Tingfang, Liu Xianping, Jidi Majia, Zhang Tongwu, Zhang Qinghua, Shu Cai, Zhao Zhenjiang and Gao Xing.

The eight nominees for the award comprise Tomas Tranströmer from Sweden, John Ashbery and Robert Bly from the United States, Zheng Min and Lv Yuan from China, Juan Gelman from Argentina, Philippe Jaccottet from Switzerland and Tadeusz Rozewicz from Poland.

Jidi Majia, vice-governor of the sparsely populated Qinghai Province announced the date for the Second biennial Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival at a press conference in Beijing on January 15, 2009. [Wang Zhiyong/China.org.cn]

The First Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival was held in August 2007 and attracted more than 200 poets from more than 34 countries. "It's a splendid way of extending one's poetic horizons!" said Alex Skovron, an Australian poet who attended the festival.

The plan is to hold the festival on a biennial basis. Another major international event is the Tour de Qinghai Lake, which has been held annually since 2002.

Qinghai Province, abbreviated as "Qing" in Chinese, took its name from the Qinghai Lake. Pilgrims from the nearby regions traditionally trek around the lake. They report that it takes about 18 days on horseback, and one completed the circuit in 23 days on foot.

The province lies on the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in west China, bordering Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Tibet Autonomous Region. As the source of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang rivers, Qinghai has an area of 720,000 square kilometers, the fourth largest in China.

With an average altitude of about 3,000 meters above sea level, the province is home to some fragile plateau ecological reserves. The five million inhabitants comprise 55 percent Han, 21 percent Tibetans, and some Tu, Hui, Salar and Mongolian ethnic people.

(China.org.cn January 16, 2009)

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