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Poetry on the Lake


XVI International Poetry Competition 
adjudicators Christopher North - Anne Stewart - Kevin Bailey
Results: see COMPETITION PAGE click the star

Patron of POTL is  Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate UK, 
who described the POTL annual celebration  on 
the South Bank Show, ITV, 6 December 2009 see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZPLIg5tFI8 as:
"...perhaps the smallest but possibly the most perfect poetry festival in the world".
CALL for contributions to 'POTL - backstage' HERE

 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



Pocket guide to the art, history, legend, personalities and curiosities of the island.
120 pages fully illustrated with colour photos. Paperback or pdf. Ebook in preparation
Contact poetry on the lake 

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

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. and in new edition of Rough Guide

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 and 2014 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

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 2015 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 and. according to the Mayor of Orta, 2015, "poetry isn't popular"!.

 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, Robert Minhinnick, Christopher North, Brian Patten, Don Paterson, Jo Shapcott, Penelope Shuttle, Kenneth Steven,  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


updated 22nd June 2016

counter installed 30th June 2010


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