Annual Poetry Festival in Metulla to take place online
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Annual Poetry Festival in Metulla to take place online

The usual gathering of poets and writers in Israel’s northernmost town will go on, but virtually

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Poet Agi Mishol will appear at the Poetry Festival in Metulla, being screened online, September 3-5, 2020. (courtesy, Rami Naim)
Poet Agi Mishol will appear at the Poetry Festival in Metulla, being screened online, September 3-5, 2020. (courtesy, Rami Naim)

The annual Poetry Festival, usually held in May, and in the northernmost Israeli town of Metulla, has moved online and will happen in the beginning of September, given the ongoing restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now scheduled for the Thursday-Saturday weekend of September 3-5, the audience will have the opportunity to listen to Israeli writers and poets, albeit from their own homes.

“If we can’t bring the audience to Metulla, we’ll bring Metulla to the audience,” said artistic director Benny Ziffer.

The festival this year will celebrate the works and lives of Natan Alterman and Leah Goldberg. Meanwhile, writers Meir Shalev, A.B. Yehoshua, Erez Biton, Ronny Someck, Agi Mishol, Aharon Shabtai, Eyal Megged, and others will read from their works, and discuss literature and their own literary themes.

Writer Meir Shalev will appear at the annual Poetry Festival, taking place online September 3-5, 2020. (courtesy, Nadia Landau)

The events will be filmed and screened on Facebook and via Zoom, courtesy of the Jerusalem Confederation House, which hosts the annual festival. Some of the events will take place in Metulla, where they will be recorded live, while others will take place over Zoom.

“One of the main decisions we made during the coronavirus was to tough it out and decide to hold the Poetry Festival, which is considered one of the most important literature and poetry festivals,” said Confederation House director Effie Benaya.

Events include Israel Prize winners Erez Biton and A.B. Yehoshua reading from their works and discussing literary solidarity, and Meir Shalev speaking about his father and his written works on trees. Agi Mishol will talk about how the coronavirus has affected her work, while Eyal Megged and his partner, author Zeruya Shalev, will discuss family trees and the effect they have had on their own works.

For a full schedule of events and to register, go to the Confederation House website.

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