The World Desperately Needs a Collective Voice of Poets
In a world marked by conflicts, divisions, and environmental crises, a new international movement of poets, aptly named “Poets of the Planet” (PoP), has emerged with the aim of fostering unity, understanding, and peace through the power of poetry. PoP seeks to create a global community of poets who are dedicated to promoting poetic creativity and sharing their work with a diverse audience, particularly young people.
While this movement may not take the form of a traditional bureaucratic organisation, its founders envision it as a horizontal network founded on principles of equality and diversity. PoP believes that in these challenging times, the world desperately needs a collective voice of poets to inspire, reflect, and advocate for peace and unity.
The Birth of Poets of the Planet
PoP’s founders recognise the urgent need for poetry as humanity faces critical challenges such as the Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and Russia, the persistent threat of Boko Haram, and the farmer vs. herders conflicts in the Sahel, particularly Nigeria. These conflicts have caused immeasurable suffering and threaten global stability.
However, PoP sees poetry as a way to transcend these divisions and provide a voice of reason, compassion, and hope.
“Our planet is on fire,” the poets say in a release called ‘a Birth notice’ sent to AkweyaTV. “Humanity is threatened with self-destruction by the violence of war and the ravages of climate change. We are all part of planet Earth and we know that our fate is linked.”
In a world scarred by violence and environmental degradation, the movement intends to offer a platform where the words of poets from all corners of the world can be heard, read, and seen. They believe that poetry, with its capacity to speak to the human soul, has the power to inspire positive change.
The release said, “We all have an urgent need for poetry, this word of truth and beauty, singular and common, courageous and free, sensitive and imaginative. We need poetry because we are not robots, but human beings. We can not be indifferent. We need poetry to express our present and imagine a better future together, in peace and freedom for individuals and peoples.”
PoP is calling on poets interested in joining the movement to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should contain a short bio of no more than 15 lines with the list of published books, a high-resolution jpeg photo, and a poem (in original and in English, French or Spanish translation).
Annual membership fees are advertised as 25 € for Regular or Basic membership, while any amount above 50 € entitles the poet to a Patron of Arts and Literature membership. For Founding Member status, which is only open in 2023, an eligible person pays 40 € or 50 €.
The organisation however places a caveat, saying: “There should be no financial barrier to becoming a Member of POP. If at this time you are unable to meet the price of membership for any reason, you may make a smaller donation or none at all. You will still be a full Member. This can of course be reviewed by you annually.”
Institutional Efforts for Peace
To address conflicts like the farmer vs. herders clashes, institutional efforts, such as the United States Institute of Peace in Nigeria and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, play a crucial role. These organisations are dedicated to mediating and finding peaceful solutions to ongoing conflicts. PoP acknowledges the importance of these institutions in achieving lasting peace and hopes to complement their work through the universal language of poetry.
One of the members of the Poets of the Planet, Dr Ayo Ayoola-Amale is a member of the International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP) and she has published six volumes of poems, some of which she has performed at national and international events. She is the founder Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation, alongside Nigerian poet Odoh Diego Okenyodo.
The Role of Poetry Organisations
Various poetry organisations are already actively engaged in promoting peace, unity, and social change. Groups like the Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation, HillTop Creative Arts Foundation, Simply Poetry, and the Poets in Nigeria have been fostering creativity, expression, and unity through poetry.
Poets associated with these organisations have been using their talents to address societal issues, advocate for peace, and bring diverse communities together. Supporting and collaborating with the Poets of the Planet movement can contribute significantly to the global effort to promote peace and unity.
Beacon of Hope
As “Poets of the Planet” takes its first steps towards uniting poets from around the world, its mission to promote peace and understanding through poetry is more critical than ever. In a world plagued by strife, environmental crises, and social tensions, the power of poetry to transcend boundaries and inspire change cannot be underestimated.
Through collaboration with peacebuilding institutions like the United States Institute of Peace in Nigeria and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, as well as with established poetry organisations, PoP aims to provide a beacon of hope and a call for unity. In these tumultuous times, the voice of poets may serve as a catalyst for a better future, where peace and freedom prevail for individuals and nations alike.