Introduction by Simon Armitage.
The World Record is an international anthology of work by poets from all the countries taking part in the 2012 London Olympics, featuring a poem from each of the 204 Olympic nations, from Armenia to Tuvalu, Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan.
With this book you can discover the world through its keenest observers, political activists and most articulate wordsmiths. There's something for every taste: new voices as well as world greats, rappers and spoken word artists as well as poets and storytellers. The World Record marks the first time so many living poets from so many countries have been gathered together in one anthology – and 2012 is the first time so many poets have been gathered in one place.
Up to 204 poets come together in London for Poetry Parnassus, a week-long celebratory gathering as part of the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the Festival of the World and the London 2012 Festival. This visionary festival at London's Southbank Centre features poets from all participating Olympic nations giving readings, talks and performances. Poetry Parnassus is a monumental poetic happening worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics.
Introduced by the festival's curator, Simon Armitage, The World Record shows how poetry crosses all international boundaries to speak to readers everywhere.
"The World Record is a unique publication, a snapshot or cross-section of global poetry from over two hundred countries. Poetry is surely one of the planet's oldest art forms, an Olympic event no less in ancient time, and during London's Olympic year of 2012 the Southbank has sought to recreate a small piece of Greece along its riverside complex, namely Mount Parnassus, home to the muses and home to Orpheus, often described as 'the first poet'. This ambitious anthology is not only a record of that extraordinary happening but an enduring and echoing experience, one that celebrates and honours a multitude of voices, languages and attitudes, all joined under the flag of poetry."