Poets From the Frontier

In accordance with the topic used over past years within the creative and partnership world, in this new project, entitled Poets from the FrontierALL, in collaboration with the Partnership Studies Group, aims at creating a prize, which can hopefully be awarded year after year. The prize aims at assessing and enhancing poetic expression and creative writing, with the objective of traversing interdisciplinary borders, exploring complex and mutable landscapes, tracing paths in ‘different’ territories, from local to global, in order to achieve an experimental multidisciplinary, poetic and artistic laboratory, where a caring and partnership culture may be cultivated, according to the principles proposed by the Partnership Studies Group. Since poetry expresses itself in different languages and suggestive forms, like the multi-coloured tiles of a mosaic, the prize is also intended for other ‘arts’, such as figures of the constant presence of the humane, indelible traces of a route where being and becoming meet, iridescent and magical textures of spiritual and artistic itineraries, as in the Songlines of Aboriginal Australians, or other ‘singers of boundaries’. Poetry, in particular that of minority languages, is often a song with manifold voices, narrating stories of strength, courage and great love for one’s roots, language, tradition and culture.

Parallel to the literary dimension, poetry enacts a series of different functions that go from the representation of identity, to educational practices, to shamanic rituals for the community. The prize intends to promote a new awareness of these multiple roles and meanings of poetry in our contemporary world. It aims at valorising figures of poets and artists who operate across borders, among different practices, genres, cultures, and who recover artistic forms which are menaced or have disappeared, who experiment by taking poetry into new territories, or bringing it ‘home’ from places which may seem far away.

The prize will be awarded for the internationally renowned activity of scholars, artists or poets of recognised merit, whose work embodies an open and bold interdisciplinary vision from a cultural, literary, poetic, linguistic and scientific point of view.

The prize will be awarded according to the undisputable evaluation of an international Commission expressly established and chaired by Prof. Antonella Riem, University of Udine, Italy. The Commission is thus composed: Honorary Professor Sue Ballyn University of Barcellona, Spain, Prof. Franco Cardini, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History, Institute of Social and Human Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy; Professor Emerita Coral Ann Howells, University of Reading United Kingdom; Prof. Anselmo Paolone, University of Udine, Italy.

The prize may be bestowed also in further editions to internationally renowned scholars, artists and poets.


In 2022, the Partnership Studies Group Committee (USA, Australia, UK, France and Italy), chaired by Prof. Riem, awards the International Prize “Poets from the Frontier” to Prof. Francesco Benozzo. Benozzo has been a permanent candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature since 2015, with nominations made public by PEN International and is also the Italian candidate for the prestigious Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture. He is the author of long epic-oral poems translated into the main languages, including the recent Autoktonia. Poema del suicidio (2021), Máelvarstal. Poema della creazione dei mondi (2020), Poema dal limite del mondo (2019) and Poeti della marea. Canti bardici gallesi dal VI al X secolo (2022).

The eminent critic Lope Estrada thus describes Benozzo: “Visionary, unsettling, epic, windy, Benozzo has the inimitable capacity to recapture the original word when it first named the world. […]. Poem after poem, unfailingly and amazingly this poet enacts a revolution of the very idea of poetry: with his atemporal and universal dimension, he is the Homer of post-modernity”.

On July 1, in the garden of Palazzo Antonini, University of Udine, Prof. Riem awarded the Prize and read the motivations:

“Francesco Benozzo originally traverses different genres with outstanding beauty and originality, balancing visionary power with an in-depth reading of landscapes experienced through and in the physical body. This occurs through a ‘spontaneous adherence’ to their rhythm, as a voice and lyric experience of the magnificence of the natural world. Thanks to his precious ethnophilological, social, cultural work and his civic engagement he succeeds in reviving ancient native traditions, giving voice to ancestral landscapes, at the margins and ridges he explores as an itinerant walker, moving like an acrobat along a fine line, at the edge of mythology, lyric and song. His idea of poetry is significant and original. Benozzo’s poetry builds ‘unusual mansions’ for itself; his poetry, as he says, ‘manifests while subtracting itself’. It takes form always on high cliffs and at the edge of emerged lands, in a timeless and universal dimension, which, at the rhythms of the poet’s walking, sets the step for a positive restlessness, erratic and nomadic, open to a dialogue with places and the ancient Bards’ song”.

“Poets from the Frontier” is supported by

Organising Committee: Professor Antonella Riem, Dr. Mattia Mantellato, Dr. Giada Ganis.

Francesco Benozzo receiving the prize from Antonella Riem (on the left) and Mattia Mantellato (on the right)
The dance interlude, performed by Alberta Schenardi and curated by Mattia Mantellato


Thursday 13 October 2022

Liceo Leopardi Majorana, Pordenone

ALL and PSG (Partnership Studies Group) present the lecture entitled “Perché la poesia può salvare il mondo”, by Francesco Benozzo, winner of the International Prize “Poets from the Frontier” 2022. The lecture was held from 10:30 to 12:30.

Friday 11 November 2022

Ajace Hall, Piazza Libertà, Udine

ALL and PSG (Partnership Studies Group) present an event entitled “Tra sogni e rivolte”, held by Francesco Benozzo, winner of the 2022 ‘Poets from the Frontier’ International Prize. The lecture will be held at 5.30 p.m.

Saturday 12 November 2022

Zanon Auditorium, Udine

ALL and PSG (Partnership Studies Group) present the meeting entitled “Why poetry can save the world”, curated by Francesco Benozzo, winner of the International Prize “Poets from the Frontier” 2022. The meeting will be held from 10:30 to 12:30

Friday 20 January 2023

Former Convent of San Francesco, Pordenone

ALL and PSG (Partnership Studies Group) present the concert event entitled “Di terra in terra. Un viaggio lungo i sentieri dell’arpa”, curated by Francesco Benozzo, winner of the International Prize “Poets from the Frontier” 2022. The event will take place at 18:30.