Gothenburg International Poetry Festival


Welcome to the 18th edition of the International Poetry Festival Merci Poesi 9-11 September.

Enjoy our festival’s various performances which includes contemporary poetry, music, dance, conversations, and slide shows by various artists and photographers.

Merci Poesi is Gothenburg's international poetry festival, which will be held for the 18th year in a row, in September 2022, in collaboration and support by the City of Gothenburg, Västra Götaland Region, the Swedish Arts Council and collaboration with Gothenburg, Borås, Alingsås City Library, Studiefrämjandet and several other organizations.

This year's festival will run for 3 days:

The City Library

Alingsås 9/9 at: 18.00

Gothenburg 10/9 at: 14.00

Borås 11/9 at: 14.00


Helena Boberg

Mariam Naraghi

Ingela Strandberg

Kennet Klemets

Bita Malakouti

Jasim Mohamed

Jean-Baptiste Para

Mona Monasar

and more

Warm Welcome

MerciPoesi #17 (2021)

 Glee in Gloom: a message to Mercipoesi


 Without a generous diversion such as literature —and specially poetry— no captive can earn an escape. Man can only rest at moments of liberation from constraints of life: at moments of her/his intimacy with poetry.


Literature for me is adoration of freedom. Poetry is absolute comfort in the obscurity of persistence.

It is that moment of vanity in advancement  under the rain of threats of fears and doubts. It is the payment needed to gain liberty.


After 50 years of working with the art of speech, I have come to believe that without living in the scent of poetry, we cannot counter stench of political corruptions and social distresses, and discriminations based on differences of opinions. In anywhere and any society that is ruled by any sort of worldly or out-worldly power, if freedom of speech is not exercised for any possible excuse, human dignity is violated and is being abused.


I have been contemplating upon this persistent and unanswered question for many years: ‘why in repressed societies, poetry creation is so massive’?

Maybe the collective common sense of poets of those places— deliberately or unintentionally— has come to the conclusion that in order to retaliate censorship, the only remaining useful weapon is: poetry accompanied by the traditional shield of metaphors!

In any place where injustice surpasses tolerance, poetry bursts into a blast of outbursts.

This might be why in the free world…poetry is not needed or at least it is needed much less than in Africa or in Asia.


The plentifulness of Persian-speaking poets in Iranian culture and their constant bursts of poetry lifts the mysterious veil of uncertainty and reminds us of our past fate. The more authoritarian and relentless a society governance becomes —when no other way is left to demand the primal rights of people—the more poetry transforms into a treatment to expose injustices and tyrants —although only within thoughts—.


Unlike ideological boldness and political sentimentalism, having fear in poetry…is acknowledged so that fear does not become too crippling to cause defeat. I think the poets are the brightest fighters for freedom of speech. The day will come when and where freedom will reign on the throne of truth and is guarded by poetry. Poetry is the light that shines from our faith in truth so that we do not lose hope in freedom— even at our darkest moments.

Poems are those bursts of poetry that transform into blasts. They give us a leg up so we are lifted up and can get a glimpse into what lays on the other side of the wall. Thus, poetry is the source of endless glee for man in her/his inflicted gloom.


Greetings to you from the bottom of my heart!