From 3 to 8 June, the first International 100 Thousand Poets for Change World Conference will take place in Salerno, Italy. Also Poets from World Artists Initiative Khetanes will participate! (photo: Caffe Castorino will be providing participants with espresso during the conference).

In total 150 poets from over 30 countries and 74 cities from all continents, will travel to Italy in order to read and enjoy poetry and other art and advocate a change for the better in this world: end to racism, discrimination, war and suffering.

Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100TPC, together with Teri Carrion, is also a member of Khetanes. See his page!

Interested to attend the Conference? Please, visit the websites below!




Performance space in Santa Sophia Complex where the readings and round

tables will take place

Come to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change World Conference in Salerno, Italy, June 3-8.... Remember, if you were unable to officially apply, you are still welcome to attend the 100TPC World Conference as a member of the public! Round Tables, readings, music and dance performances, and other social gatherings will be open to the public, so you can still hear and meet poets and artists from all over the world. There will be a small cover charge at the door for these daily events.

Venite alla Conferenza Mondiale che si terrà a Salerno, Italia, dal 3 all'8 giugno 2015...Ricordate che se non siete stati in grado di iscrivervi ufficialmente, siete sempre benvenuti a partecipare come pubblico. Le tavole rotonde, i reading, i concerti, le perfomance teatrali e tutti gli altri eventi in programma sono aperti al pubblico, in modo che possiate tutti incontrare e ascoltare i poeti e gli artisti provenienti da tutte le parti del mondo. Ci sarà un piccolo contributo all'ingresso per gli eventi giornalieri.

After the Conference, 10 June 2015

Poets from all continents came over to Salerno to attend the first World Conference of 100Thousand Poets For Change (100TPC) in the Santa Sofia Complex in the historical center of the city.

During a break outside...

Attendees came from the States, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Egypt, Israel, Australia, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, Serbia, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Kosovo, the Netherlands and elsewhere, but there were also quite some poets who could not make it. Who applied in vain for visa. Is the world that much afraid of artists who want justice?

The poems of those who could not come, have been read by the poets who were there. There was an article in press, een special press release and the whole company was silent for one minute to pay respect to their non attending colleagues, from e.g. Afghanistan, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Bangladesh... Oil, gas and conflicts travel more easily than people...

Photo in a street called after a poem by Alfonso Gatto, the famous poet from Salerno. The Alfonso Gatto Foundation co-organized the conference with 100 Thousand Poets for Change. On the forefront left: Richard Paa Kofi Botchwey from Ghana. Right: Paul Polanksy from Serbia.

On the walls of the houses Alfonso Gatto is honoured with poems and... cats (gatto is Italian for cat)

Els de Groen from the Netherlands and Jameela Sayeed from Pakistan

Blues in Salerno

for poets without visa

from poets with visa

and vice versa



if some can't speak

then all will seek

an open mike to share


we’ll ask the birds

to smuggle words

of poetry by air


we’ll ask the rain

to drop the main

in desserts everywhere


we’ll water plans

grow them immense

our silence will be rare





Salerno, June 2015






Mankind used to live in rather closed surroundings, in tribes and clans, in nation-states, in fortresses and strongholds. In homogeneous communities, where residents agreed upon their common traditions, religion, leadership and symbols. The others, foreigners, strangers, had to be kept out.


That world doesn’t exist anymore. Modern technology, border crossing trade, stock exchange, mass migration, mass tourism, weapons of mass destruction and last but not least the huge role of internet have deleted our walls. There is no place to hide anymore. Not even amongst allies.


We have all become outsiders, the poor and the wealthy alike, we are all equally exposed to the threats of pollution and climate change, nuclear or chemical weapons. Our common ground is our common future and the focus must be there, instead of on the differences of believes or ethnicity.


Populists try to make us believe that the past can be restored. That anthems, flags, borders and walls can restore the security of a rather simple world, if only we reject the complexity of multiculturalism. If only we are prepared to return to the homogeneous past, with one ethnically pure nation, its pride and its historical achievements. Thus populists divide and rule and advocate doctrines from Europe’s darkest past.


Artists, on the other hand, always think of tomorrow, the day after and beyond. Their imagination reaches out in the future, because they create today what may happen tomorrow and become a reality next month. Artists are “long-term thinkers”. That is why they have different approaches, other views, find new avenues.

100THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE (or 100TPC) is a global movement of poets and others artists from more than 100 countries and all continents, who offer their creativity to find a way out of the multiple crises mankind has to cope with. In our fortresses of the past we tended to stress the differences between us and the “enemies”, between the locals and the foreigners. But in a globalizing world we must see what unites us. Communication is our main tool to end the uncountable misunderstandings, manipulations and worse.


Over 100 poets came over to Salerno, paying travelling and accommodation from their own pocket. Volunteers they are. They could have arranged a Skype meeting, but preferred to meet in person. Would they have been tourists, diplomats, military experts or a baseball team, their gathering would have been easy. But they were poets. They did not come to make money, nor did they come to spend it. They came to offer their help and their creativity, to facilitate communication on serious global problems.


But they ended up as a problem themselves: for the customs, the authorities and the bureaucrats, who did not understand that people could be good-doers rather than businessmen or ambitious sportsmen. Some of the poets had to pay twice for a visa before they could travel at last, others paid in vain and had to cancel their trip and still others had to fill long questionnaires about their bank accounts, profession, motives and more. Various artists were denied to journey to Italy from countries such as Egypt, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria or Nepal. Often the problems already started at home, while applying for a visa. Most made it, many did not. One famous poet and singer from Ghana recorded a song about the conference, that he sent by e-mail to the organizers in Italy.  



What is the world afraid of? That poets who attend conferences won’t go home anymore? That they ask for asylum, or change their peaceful intentions as soon as they are abroad? Arms do travel, currency travels, oil and gas travel, but poets and writers are stopped. And with them ideas are stopped. Creativity is stopped. The very day we stop to imagine the day of tomorrow, we won’t even finish today.     


view from the Castello Arechi, 300 m. above sea level




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