The Guayaquil International Poetry Festival Ileana Espinel Cedeño was born to bring together the main poets of the world in Guayaquil and to remember the literary legacy of the great Guayaquil poet Ileana Espinel Cedeño. In this year 2020 we reach the thirteenth edition of a Festival that has established itself as one of the most important Festivals in Latin America. The Ministry of Culture and Heritage of our country designated us as the Emblematic Festival of Ecuador, for the second time.
Despite the complexity of this year's edition of the festival, which was forced to go from a face-to-face and blended structure, to a totally virtual one in such a short time, we will have a program of multiple poetic acts performed by 100 poets of 22 countries and for 10 days. We will have poets from all continents, especially from Africa and Asia. The Festival will be broadcast via Facebook Live, Zoom and YouTube.
It is the oldest, largest Festival, with the most public attending and the most poets summoned in Ecuador. This year we reached poets from: Taiwan, Spain, China, Brazil, Vietnam, Japan, Ukraine, Poland, Cameroon, Scotland, England, Argentina, United States, Italy, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Kurdistan, Palestine, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador. Important poets will participate such as Charles Simic, Ida Vitale, Juan Manuel Roca, Piedad Bonnett, Jorge Boccanera, Juan Carlos Mestre, Jidi Majia, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Ming Di, Kemadjou Raconteur, among other outstanding international poets added to important Ecuadorian poets.
We will have as special guests the academic and linguist Noam Chomsky, the editor Silvia Sesé, the writers Irving Welsh, Juan Villoro, Alejandro Zambra, Federico Jeanmaire who will accompany us on this literary event. The Guayaquil International Poetry Festival Ileana Espinel Cedeño is proudly part of the World Poetry Movement and New Voices of the World Poetry Movement.
I also appreciate the support of all cultural institutions, especially the Salesian Polytechnic University of Guayaquil, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and finally the Institute for the Promotion of Creativity and Innovation. As is known worldwide, our country and especially Guayaquil was hit hard by Covid-19, it is thought that there are more than twenty thousand deaths in the country. The National Government does not dare to give an exact figure. There are many defeated people, destroyed families, broken dreams, a lot of fear.
We believe today more than ever that poetry and literature can help to unite people, to invite them to dream, to re-believe in the human being in the immense and beautiful complexity of it. This is the poetry festival of Ecuador.
I hope you enjoy it.