Poems for pure coffee
During the 34th festival of Poetry International at the end of
June, Hivos began its coffee poem offensive. The development organisation
hopes that the campaign, being mounted in collaboration with the
Coffee Coalition, will force Douwe Egberts in the Netherlands to
improve the circumstances of the labourers on its plantations.
‘Poetry is a powerful force in opposing the devastating violence
of the material world’, said Hivos, quoting the Mongolian
poet Galsan Tschinag. Five poets - Malva Flores from Mexico, Jalal
El-Hakmaoui from Morocco, Slavko Mihalic from Croatia, Matthew Sweeney
from Ireland and Rob Schouten from the Netherlands - read their
coffee poems during the afternoon Poetry program ‘Pure Coffee’
on 19 June. The poems were written especially for this occasion.
They were not political poems. All five poems were odes to the inspirational
power of coffee.
These poems can serve as a source of inspiration for the participants
in the competition that is part of the campaign. Through 15 November
2003 people can submit poems which contain the word coffee at least
once. The twelve prizes range from a trip to Kenya to packages of
Marrigje de Bok