Poetry On the Lake, based on the Island
at Orta San Giulio, Lake Orta, north Italy
was created and is organised by Gabriel Griffin
Patron is Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy
X Celebration : 1-3 October 2010
a booklet (56 pages) of poems by various authors on the theme of winter, illustrated with colour photos of Lake Orta in winter. € 15 or £12.50+ 2.50 p/p 4 copies or more: postage free
Lake Orta is always delightful but in winter the lake and the little town of Orta San Giulio have a very special charm. Winter at the lake is for connoisseurs, for those who appreciate delicate tints and iridescent hues rather than the brilliant and often blinding lights and colours of summer; those who wish to wander the silent banks and the narrow cobbled streets or sit sunning meditatively in a Piazza Motta almost deserted but for a handful of Moscovy ducks and an idle boatman, and sip a heart-warming cappuccino while the island slowly emerges from its veils of mist. Bells sound, ringing silvery from the island and bronze from Sacro Monte, a faint echo of plainchant is blown lightly over the waters from the nunnery. Noisy cities and the rumble of traffic seem a very long way away from this enchanting world.
AN INVITATION TO WRITERS AND ARTISTS: come and live in Orta! There are many delightful lakeside houses and apartments, often with walled gardens, for sale or rent at reasonable prices. Orta has been long loved by artists and literary figures: Browning, Nietzsche,Balzac, Montale and many, many others, as well as by saints and those who seek inspiration and tranquillity.
Carol Ann Duffy at Isola San Giulio
Memorable was Carol Ann's reading in the Basilica, Isola San Giulio, 13th February 2007, when Carol Ann read from the altar and the Abbess of the Monastero Mater Ecclesiae, Anna Maria Cànopi, read her own compositions from the matroneo, accompanied by music on the cetra played by a Benedictine nun.
The first of the annual Poetry on the Lake Celebrations, created and organised by Gabriel Griffin (www.poetgabrielgriffin.com), took place in 2001 on the antique island of St. Giulio which lies in the centre of the most romantic of Italian lakes, Lake Orta.
Isola San Giulio
the seat of Poetry on the Lake
Poetry readings, workshops, discussions, poetry and dance and music now take place all over the lake area: on the island, in the square, on Sacro Monte, in the woods, round the chapels, in the old palaces - poetry has become dynamic!
And now Poetry on the Lake also goes to Varallo Sesia, to the first of the Sacro Monti, that preferred by Samuel Butler (see his book Ex Voto, which can be downloaded free from Gutenburg, a delightful, informative and amusing read).
Past adjudicators: Al Alvarez, John F. Deane, Carol Ann Duffy, John Hartley Williams, Brian Patten, Jo Shapcott, Penelope Shuttle, D.M.Thomas, Kevin Bailey, Massimo Bocchiola, Alessio Zanelli.
Poets: Daphne Gloag, John Whitworth, Charles Evans, Anne Stewart, Siriol Troup, Mario Petrucci, Gary Bills, Michael Swan, Kenneth Steven, Chris Preddle, Joan Fry, Grace Ingoldby, Elsa Corbluth, Will Stone, Chris Considine, Pat Borthwick, Christopher North, Caroline Carver et al.
Annual poetry competition: An international competition for the Silver Wyvern and other awards is launched with the New Year and closes late spring. The 2010 competition closes 15th May. The awards are sponsored by ALESSI .
updated 3rd May 2010