Gerður Kristný for Reykjavik on World Poetry Day 2019

The 2019 World Poetry Day was for the second year celebrated and marked worldwide by the UNESCO Cities of Literature. On March 21st many of the literary cities highlighted the important role of poetry for individual expression, social discourse and linguistic diversity. This year the Cities of Literature looked towards poetry by women with a special focus on gender issues and several new poetry videos were released on this occasion. Art, including poetry, can give a strong voice to those fighting for equality and women’s rights and the cities stress the importance of giving a platform to people of all ages, genders and background.

In Reykjavík, the day was marked with this new poetry video with Gerður Kristný, one of Iceland’s most prominent contemporary poets, where she reads an excerpt from her book Drápa (The Slaying), dedicated to a Reykjavík woman who was murdered by her husband in the 1980’s, and by extension to all women who are victims of domestic violence.

Drápa was originally published by Forlagið Publishing, Reykjavík in 2014 and has since been translated to English (Drápa / The Slaying), Arc Publications, 2018, and more languages. 

Some of the other UNESCO Cities of Literature releasing videos dedicated to female poets and gender issues on this occasion were Baghdad, Tartu, Ulyanovsk, Norwich, Milan and Granada.