In 1982 the poet Fernando Rendón founded the poetry magazine Prometeo, bringing together a group of poets from the city of Medellín, to generate a process of dialogue and criticism about poetry, about the reality of Colombia, Latin America and the world, and about the role that poetry and art could (and should) play in the face of these realities. As a result of this dialogue and critical activity, in view of the very serious situation of the country at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, this group of poets proposed the creation of the Medellín International Poetry Festival, in opposition to the state of terror to which the Colombian people were subjected, as a consequence of Colombia's social and armed conflict.
The growth of the event, both in duration and in the number of poets invited, the number of activities, and the number of people attending, indicated that its continuation required the creation of a legally constituted entity, which is why the Corporación de Arte y Poesía Prometeo managed and obtained its legal status in March 1993.
It is a non-governmental, intercultural, non-profit, private, independent organization committed to the processes of cultural, spiritual and educational growth applied to social change and development in the context of Colombian society, projecting its achievements to the world through poetic and artistic actions.
Mission: To contribute, through the realization of poetic actions projected to the local and global community, in the construction of a new culture, open to the social changes that are required for the transformation of scenarios that are violated by violence, exclusion and social injustice into scenarios that are open to dialogue, diversity, interculturality and inclusion in the processes of socio-cultural and spiritual renewal of the population, for the benefit of a humanity in peace and in full exercise of its right to beauty, justice and truth.
Areas of work:
- Congregational actions and dissemination of poetry. International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Poetry Awards.
- Educational activities: International School of Poetry of Medellin with 20 editions to date. Project Gulliver, founded in 2005, through which workshops on appreciation and writing of poetry and literature have been held for children and young people in the city's slums.
- Search for Peace: The First World Poetry Summit for Peace in Colombia was held in 2003. Realization, in 2014, of the Forum Poetry, Art and Culture for Peace of Colombia. Holding of the Second World Poetry Summit for Peace and Reconciliation in Colombia in 2015. Global poetic action in 120 cities around the world for peace in Colombia. Between 5 and 31 May 2013, at least 210 activities were held in 120 cities in 63 countries.
- Publications and communications: Edition of Prometeo Magazine, with 105 issues to date, and 21 books of poetry, in the Prometeo editorial collection, Hipnos Series.
Digital publications and work in social networks, among which the Youtube channel stands out with the largest anthology of world poetry on the Internet (848 videos, - in 85 languages and subtitles in Spanish - with poems by 797 poets from 161 countries and 33 indigenous nations).
- Globalization of Poetry: Advice to the Ministry of Culture of Venezuela for the creation of the World Poetry Festival of Venezuela in 2004. Contribution to the consolidation of similar international poetry events in Quinghai (China), Hanoi (Vietnam), La Paz (Bolivia), San Salvador (El Salvador), San José (Costa Rica), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Auckland (New Zealand), and to the creation of the African Itinerant Poetry Festival, among others.
In July 2011 the Medellin International Poetry Festival held a World Meeting of Directors of International Poetry Festivals, in which the World Poetry Movement www.wpm2011.org was founded, with the participation of directors and representatives of 37 International Poetry Festivals from around the world. The Festival currently coordinates the World Poetry Movement, which consists of 129 international poetry festivals, 131 poetry projects and more than 1,300 poets from 137 countries. It has developed ten global poetic actions since its foundation.
Support for the creation and realization of the First World Indigenous Peoples' Poetry Meeting: Colored Voices for Mother Earth, which took place in October 2016 in Mexico.
Recognitions and achievements
In September 2006, the Medellín International Poetry Festival won the Right Livelihood Award, better known as the Alternative Nobel Prize
In 2009, Law 1291 was passed, declaring the Medellín International Poetry Festival a National Cultural Heritage site.