Issue #024 Published: 30-05-2019 // Written by: Win Harms

UprisInk, an Open Poetry Gathering

For most of human history, poetry has been for and by the people. Poetry has the ability to express both singular truths as well as common spaces; it comes from within, building bridges without. It unveils vital truths that can be shared collectively in order to create powerful communities. This common ownership was present throughout the ancient world, from Europe to the Middle East, from Africa to Asia. Through poetry, people shared their histories and understood themselves.

Many movements have striven to recreate poetry’s social potential: from the ‘happenings’ of the 1960s, or ‘street poetry’ movements like Acción Poética in Mexico, through to anonymous graffiti artists like Laser 3.14 in Amsterdam or Opiemme in Italy. Amsterdam, historically one of the most liberal cities in the world, located in the heart of Europe and home of 180 nationalities, has this approach to poetry inscribed into its history: the Ruigoord village, the happenings of the Provo countercultural movement, and Diana Ozon’s street poems written in the context of the punk graffiti movements of the 70’s & 80’s, are just a few examples. UprisInk is the next generation of this heritage of poetic activism.

UprisInk is an open poetry gathering in Vondelpark and surrounding locations on June 21-22. It is organized by an international network of movements, organizations, and artists engaged in the realms of the written and spoken word. Although, for logistical reasons, the event is organised by a core team, UprisInk aims to be an non-hierarchical project in which every organisation or performer involved has a say in the decision making process.

UprisInk promotes ideas of inclusivity and sets itself as a safe space for everyone, especially under-represented voices. It stands against any form of oppression or abuse and any manifestation of privilege. It is also non-profit except for small fundraising initiatives related to the gathering.

Margherita P., part of UprisInk’s Core Team, says: “There are many realities working with poetry as a social tool throughout Europe: we are gathering to start a conversation around the role that poetry must have in the future. This is just the initial step to unite, discuss, understand each other and get ready to engage with the people with a strong common vision: take poetry to the people; if they do not know where to find us it is our responsibility to go to them.”

Confirmed Participants
Movimento per L’Emancipazione della poesia (Movement for the emancipation of poetry - MeP
More info:

Rough Night Press
More info: /

Irrational Library
More info: /

Paris Lit-up
More info:

Word Up Amsterdam
More info: /

Other Collaborators:
• Cold Lips London
• Ray Knight:

Open Call
UprisInk is inviting poets and artists working with poetry for the first edition of the festival in June 2019.
The call is aimed at artists working across the spectrum of written and spoken word, storytelling, hip hop, text-based art, experimental practices around word, sound and listening.
We are seeking performances, workshops, site-specific happenings, walks, participative events, artworks and installations that look at poetry as a tool to mobilize and spark reflection on political and social issues.=
We encourage experimental and cross disciplinary approaches.
Please note that UprisInk is a non-for profit initiative and all events will be free of charge, therefore we are sadly not able to offer fees.

How to submit
Ideas for events can be submitted at
Please include with each submission your name and contact details, title and a short synopsis of the work, web links and any other material (visual, digital, audio etc) as necessary.
We will be accepting submissions on a rolling basis, but please consider the time needed to make the necessary arrangements for your event to take place.
Poetry must be inclusive rather than exclusive, for the many rather than the few. Through collective efforts we can use poetry to make an impact: strengthening our social bonds by stimulating active minds and bodies.
Poetry can change  the world and ourselves with it   

(Full Disclosure: The author of this piece is one of the UprisInk Core Team organizers and the co-founder of confirmed participants, Rough Night Press.)