‘Poetry is not only to be read, but also to be spoken.’
Creating a tradition was also among the goals of the 1st Poetry and Prose Recitation Festival held in Kaposvár between 24-26 February. The participants entered the competition with two works to be performed: one a poem or prose of their own choice, the other a work by a renowned author from their county. 16 people entered the poetry festival, five from primary school and 11 from secondary school.
‘Poetry is not only to be read, but also to be spoken.’ – I think I agree completely with this statement by Sándor Kányádi, chosen as the motto for our poetry festival. I also believe that when you are under a very strong emotional impact, you should not do everything at the first impulse, you should at least sleep on it. That is what we did, all of us, because the past weekend had such a strong impact on all of the participants that we could only have used overstated adjectives at the first instance when we tried to describe the events prior. I trust that the reflections of Bianka Járay, (head of the Creative Writing section), Lajos Nyári – Lalla (jury member), Jázmin Pretz (social jury) and Valeria Vargáné Skoda (head of the jury), will give you an idea of why the 1st Poetry Festival had such an impact on us. And we hope that our film of the event will be screened for the first time at the Életút Nap.
Unfortunately, there is no hyperlink to attach to the atmosphere of the 1st Poetry and Prose Festival and the words that we would use to describe it often go mischievous on us thus let us down. I believe the recitation of poetry is an act of contemplation; and with this contemplation comes the deep wisdom, empathy, sensitivity, openness and curiosity, the listening and not listening that this event has brought. We observed some very interesting and valuable performances, we laughed and cried, but most importantly we coexisted with the children reciting each poem. Of course, this weekend was not only about poetry: it was a real pleasure to see how much professional preparation and enrichment the children received before and after their performance at the podium.
It was a great idea to involve Viki Tar, a third-year speech therapy student, who helped us prepare for the competition with various exercises. After the first round, the professional advice of the head of the jury, Valeria Skoda, gave both reciters and non-reciters food for thought and a springboard for preparation. A bibliotherapy session, helped to relieve tension, while a tour of the theatre, with behind-the-scenes insights, was an everlasting experience for all. The crowning glory of Saturday evening was that after we got home from the theatre, the theatre came to us, in the form of two great and talented actors who told us about their career paths, their relationship with poetry and even about their favorite movies. Thank you to Judit Csapó, a graduate student of the Rippl-Rónai Institute of Arts and Dániel Benedek, an actor of the Csiky Gergely Theatre in Kaposvár. The highest point of the weekend was definitely the second round of poetry recitation, where the great professional development that the children had absorbed during these few days became evident.
We have had a truly high-quality activity-rich weekend that has filled, stretched, and drawn me in, and I hope that this energy will carry everyone through to the next festival. Special thanks goes to the Kaposvár Community House’s Baking Club, where volunteer moms forged almost two dozen kids and adults into one big family over the dining tables, and to Sasa, who organized, ran and gave her soul for the whole festival.’
Bianka Járay, Pécs 2, Head of the Creative Writing Section
‘Those who attend this event, or who may be present in the audience, are bound together by a powerful force, the most beautiful language on Earth, of POEM and PROSE…
There were many poems of different emotions and humor on the red-carpeted podium, which were well received by the jury. And after the competition, some of us put on an extra performance – adding to the atmosphere. The jury awarded us all gold, silver and bronze categories, after some professional advice…
For me, everyone was a winner at this festival, because everyone showed their own individuality based on the poems they chose, which was really special. It was a good feeling to discover that there are still people in our circles who love literature, which I consider to be my life’s work. To put it simply: I loved every minute of it, and I say let there be more, more, more… Thank you very much for a wonderful weekend!’
Lajos Nyári, Pécs 2, member of the Creative Writing section
‘I said it in the interview too that there was already a place for introverted writers and poetry lovers. Now there is a space for people who like poetry and who also like to perform. Thank you very much for the honor of being a judge! It has been a very difficult and sometimes uncomfortable task to carry out, but listening to them has opened up a new world for me. After Sunday’s strong performances and difficult goodbyes, I spent the afternoon reflecting. I pondered, wrote, pondered, cried, wrote, and pondered again. It was deep, yet I was incredibly uplifted by the company of the participants and the programs.
The weekend itself, the organization, planning, and execution was brilliant. Thank you very much! To you, the participants, to the parents, and to the Community House for being a perfectly abstract yet wonderful venue for the festival. It is a rare opportunity for poetry lovers in today’s digital and uninterested world to be surrounded by people who share their interests.
Although the weekend poetry festival stretched out to three days, we had to conclude on Sunday that next year we should add an extra day and make it four. There were powerful, chilling, tear-jerking and hilarious performances; the event was a whole rollercoaster.
On Friday, unfamiliar faces arrived at the Kaposvár Community Centre and thanks to drama class, bibliotherapy sessions and theatre visits together; by Sunday we were hugging and saying goodbye to friends and close acquaintances.’
Pretz Jázmin Kaposvár 2, member of the Creative Writing section
‘I was delighted to participate in the 1st Poetry and Prose Recitation Festival, at the Kaposvár Community House. I was happy to see that all 16 children competing were keen to read poems, the only thing better than that, that they want to convey their feelings to the audience with the poems they have learned. We tried to talk about why it is important to choose poems, what it means to be authentic, the importance of speaking clearly and intelligibly when you take to the podium as a poet, the role of silence, the importance of connecting with the audience and the power of the gaze. I think the poetry festival is a brilliant initiative!’
Valéria Vargáné Skoda, teacher, and director of children’s theatre
Rebeka Völfinger, Csilla Bozsoki from Nagybajom Community House
Hanna Faragó from Szeged Community House
Eszter Kovács, Sarolta Kovács-Nagy, Levente Sipos from Kaposvár Community House
Fanni Sebesi, Zalán Mácsai from Szentes Community House
Márkó Laurinyecz, Fanni Török from Szeged Community House
Lajos Nyári from Pécs Community House
Dániel Forgó and Attila Miklós
Seth Allen from Kaposvár Community House
András Dömölki Pécs Community House
Martina Vincze from Nagybajom Community House
Hanna Faragó from Szeged Community House
Recommended for the Életút Nap by the jury for their Sándor Weöres remix:
Lajos Nyári and Martina Vincze with their own poems