Poet Phan Hoang with Shanghai International Poetry Festival

The VIII Shanghai International Poetry Festival with the theme “Poetry in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)” taking place over 4 days (2 – 5.12.2023) has opened solemnly in the Chinese city of the same name. 

More than 20 poets from more than 10 countries and territories attended the festival, including Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986, who was also awarded the festival’s Golden Mulan Award.

Poster the eighth Shanghai International Poetry Festival

Poet Phan Hoang, Member of the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Writers Association, Director – Editor of Vanvn.vn was also a guest representing Vietnam to attend the poetry festival.

Poet Phan Hoang with a poster of himself at the eighth Shanghai International Poetry Festival

Poet Zhao Lihong, Vice President of Shanghai Writers Association, Chairman of Shanghai International Poetry Festival Arts Committee said at the opening ceremony: “In the current high-tech era, with the rapid development of AI, we must pay attention to how AI and humanities converge,  explore how AI will support literary and poetic creation as well as rethink the relationship between humanity and AI.” Poet Zhao Lihong also said, “We also hope to connect the world through poetry and fully express the vitality and charm of Chinese culture.”

Poet Phan Hoang with poet Zhao Lihong – Vice President of Shanghai Writers Association, Chairman of the Art Committee of Shanghai International Poetry Festival

Chinese and foreign poets invited to the VIII Shanghai International Poetry Festival will participate in poetry readings, dialogues and literary discussions over four days in different locations in the city center.

On the morning of December 3, the Shanghai Municipal Library held the seminar “Poetry in the age of artificial intelligence”. Poet Phan Hoang – author of the traditional poetry collections Step Wind, Questioning Habits, Black Box of Storm,... and also the founder of the pure Vietnamese 1-2-3 poetry genre stated:

“I am very pleased to be invited to the VIII Shanghai International Poetry Festival – one of the important cultural events of China and the world. Vietnam is a country rich in literary and poetic traditions. Like China and many other countries, poetry has become an indispensable spiritual food in the lives of Vietnamese people.”

Poet Phan Hoang (center) at a poetry workshop, on the left is Kenyan poet Tony Mochama, and on the right is Polish poet Dariusz Tomasz Lebioda
Poet Phan Hoang and his colleagues visit the headquarters of the Ximin Evening News newspaper, which has been established for nearly 1 century in Shanghai

In the seminar program, poet Phan Hoang talked about the development of Vietnamese poetry and the important role of poetry 1-2-3 in the poetic creative life of our country today. “Artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing many benefits to humanity. But AI cannot replace the human soul. Poetry is the voice of the soul. Therefore, AI can only be a tool to help the poet in daily life, not replace the special voice of the poet’s soul. For example, the new 1-2-3 poetry form appeared and spread in Vietnam is the result of decades of research, creativity, crystallization from the human soul, but no machine can compose it. The 1-2-3 poetry genre is also present in the poetry collection of this international poetry festival in Shanghai,” said poet Phan Hoang.

Poets visit Ba Jin Writers Memorial House, late President of the Chinese Writers Association
Poet Phan Hoang and poet Chen Xianfa in Ba Jin Writers Memorial Hall
Poet Phan Hoang and Ms. Christina officials of Shanghai Writers Association in Ba Jin Writers Souvenir Garden

The VIII Shanghai International Poetry Festival continues to have a variety of professional activities, interaction between poets and readers, and at the same time help guests understand more about the nature, history, culture and people of Shanghai, one of the leading big cities not only of China. In particular, poets are also treated to traditional Chinese culinary specialties and visit and interact with press and publishing agencies.


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