The second Moscow International Festival of Poetry, which took place in a number of the city's museums and art-cafe clubs that included Art Garbage and Proyekt OGI, lasted from Oct. 16 through Oct. 20 and unexpectedly turned out to be, if anything, too successful.
Hosting a "poetry non-stop" night Oct. 20, the Pirogi art cafe/bar was so packed that a group of poets from France, Canada, Switzerland and Madagascar preferred to leave the place in favor of fresh air and a walk around the city. But the audience played it cool about the demarche of the foreign guests and went on avidly listening to recitals by Yevgeny Bunimovich, Yury Arabov, Mark Shatunovsky, Olga Severskaya, Yevgeny Pospelov and American John High.
Organized at the initiative of the Creative Projects Fund, Russian PEN Center and the literary magazines Arion and Znamya, the festival involved two award ceremonies: On opening day, the Moscow-Transit prize of $2,400 was awarded to poetess Svetlana Kekova from Saratov. On closing day, the small Moscow-Transit prize of $1,200 went to Alexei Denisov of Vladivostok.
Among the offerings during the festival were "21st-Century Classics," "Crazy Poets" and "Stars of Russian Provinces." Young poets were also encouraged to participate with a presentation by the festival's organizers for a literary anthology called "Beginning To Live in Poetry," featuring verse written by Moscow teenagers.