HOMECompetition Festival EventsJournal & AnthologiesPoets & LinksPatrons SupportersContact DonateArrivingStaying Remembering...
Poetry on the Lake



the anthology
'Hildegard: visions & inspiration' illustrated in colour
is available now from Poetry on the Lake (see Contact page)

2015 Competition opening 1st December, 2014, closing 31st March 2015. The theme of the the Milan Expo 2015 is Nourish the planet; the competition theme broadly covers: Wining and Dining or Thirsting, Fasting, Starving. Interpret as widely as you wish.
Guidelines HERE

POTL was created and is organised by Gabriel Griffin,
assisted by Kevin Bailey & Robert Morley

 Patron of POTL is Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate UK, who described it on the South Bank Show, ITV, 6 December 2009 as:
"...perhaps the smallest but possibly the most perfect poetry festival in the world".

Poetry on the Lake is the only poetry celebration in a 
guide book to Italy and see 

South Bank Show, 6th December 2009, Channel One, ITV & Guardian (Travel) 9th March 2012.
Other TV transmissions featuring Poetry on the Lake:
MagicaItalia (Rai 1 2011)  and Mixitalia (Rai 1 2012).

Also in The Telegraph, Sunday Times, American Reporter, La Stampa and many other papers and journals  see.

Poetry readings, workshops, discussions, poetry and dance and music take place all over the lake area: on the island, in the square, on Sacro Monte, in the woods, around the chapels, in the historic palaces (see Palazzo Ubertini) on board ship ('una barca di poeti'- una crociera poetica, October 2010), at Omegna, Orta, Varallo, Invorio, Ameno - poetry has become dynamic! And in 2013 we added a lake, Lake Maggiore, centering the event at Villa Carlotta, Belgirate.

Founded in 2001 and organised by
Gabriel Griffin, assisted by
Kevin Bailey and Robert Morley, the seat is on
Isola San Giulio,
the antique island on Lake Orta in the Alpine foothills of northern Italy.
Annual events include the spring international competition and the
autumn celebration. Poetry on the Lake edits anthologies and a journal.

Isola San Giulio seen from Orta main square
Past adjudicators:
Al Alvarez, Kevin Bailey, Gary Bills, Carole Baldock, Massimo Bocchiolo, Gillian Clarke, John F. Deane, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne-Marie Fyfe, James Harpur, John Hartley Williams, Christopher North, Brian Patten, Don Paterson, Jo Shapcott, Penelope Shuttle,Michael Swan, D.M.Thomas.

In preparation the second edition of Reflections on Lake Orta, anthology of poems on Orta by poets who have participated in the annual celebrations, including the poem Orta by Carol Ann Duffy. See


Poetry on the Lake has much prestige but extremely little funding so:
why not sponsor our events? Your logo and news on flyers, posters,
press releases and this website would reach a public of thousands.
Or become a Friend by making a donation. 

 contact or


Culture is at the bottom of the list for funding in 2014 and Poetry on the Lake falls between two stools - British orgs won't fund because we are in Italy, Italians hesitate because the events are mainly (but not only) in English.


updated 19th November 2014

counter installed 30th June 2010



© copyright Gabriel Griffin-Hall