On World Poetry Day, Support Imprisoned Poets

March 21 is “World Poetry Day,” as declared by UNESCO:

ashraf1_0According to UNESCO, the Day’s objectives are to support linguistic diversity, oral traditions, dialogue through poetry, and small publishers.

But poetry can’t well be made without poets, so PEN also takes this opportunity to suggest action on behalf of jailed poets, among them the Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, serving an eight-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia.

PEN suggests you:

Write a letter: Your voice matters. Use the information below to write and send a letter.

Spread the word: The simplest and most effective response to censorship is to spread the word.

PEN suggests talking points for the letter and also provides mailing addresses; they also suggest talking points on social media.

Poet, translator, and activist Mona Kareem also put together this list of imprisoned Arab authors and artists in need of support:


Also, World Poetry Day novelty:

You can “pay with a poem” at participating coffee shops around the world, including at several Dubai coffeeshops.