Europe’s favourite lines online: celebrate World Poetry Day with Europeana

20 March 2017

On World Poetry Day (21 March) Europeana invites people to join a month long social media salute to poetry from across Europe. From the Romantics to War poetry and from Burns to Punk the campaign asks people to discover, share and interact with selected poems from Europeana to show the power of poetry as fun, moving, and connected to our lives today.

UNESCO World Poetry Day celebrates our shared human experience, the continued relevance of poetry as an art form and the power of the oral tradition. Over the coming weeks we will invite people to:

  • Experience poems in new ways - from YouTube recitals to Punk band covers
  • Listen to and share poetry ‘playlists’ with recordings found on Europeana SoundCloud
  • Join the #WW1 Poetry Transcribathon and transcribe, tag and annotate handwritten poems by soldiers and nurses from the First World War
  • Find and share translations
  • Share their favourite quotes from and about poems with the hashtag #AllezLiterature

Throughout the month libraries across Europe will select and share poems in their original languages with Europeana, aiming to engage old and young in our written and spoken heritage. Our libraries and archives are custodians of our poems, books and manuscripts, digitising them to increase their use and access, and ensure them for future generations. The campaign shines a light on the value of the written word in our cultural heritage and explores our shared human experience through words, in all their forms and languages.

Kicking off with the iconic Soči by one of Slovenia’s best loved poets Simon Gregorčič, the public is invited to discover the poem in two very different ways - by exploring the text online and through a school boy’s YouTube recital.

Gregorčič was a priest and social campaigner as well as a poet and Soči which relates the journey of the River Soca from the mountains to the plains of Trieste became a Slovenian rally cry during the First World War.

This celebration of poetry marks the second phase of Europeana’s pan-European campaign #AllezLiterature working with libraries, archives and the public across Europe to celebrate the written word and texts in 2017.

#AllezLiterature has a specific focus on on love letters, poetry and important European texts. Launched on Valentine’s Day 2017, it aims to continue into the summer with two more phases to give prominence to our textual past.


Media contacts:

Camille Tenneson - Europeana Foundation

Eleanor Kenny - Europeana Foundation

Notes for the editor:

Europeana is Europe's digital platform for cultural heritage, collecting and providing online access to over 53 million of digitised items from over 3,500 libraries, archives, audio-visual collections and museums across Europe, ranging from books, photos and paintings to television broadcasts and 3D objects. Europeana encourages and promotes the creative re-use of these vast cultural heritage collections in education, research, tourism and the creative industries.

Europeana DSI is co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility