6-12 Students Italian Language “Black-Out” Poetry Contest

Date: Sep 21

On the occasion of the “22nd Week of the Italian Language in the World”, the Embassy of Italy, together with the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington, is pleased to announce a Contest for students of the Italian language in the United States. The Week of the Italian Language in the World is an event promoted yearly by the cultural and diplomatic network in the third week of October, under the High Patronage of the President of Republic. Each year, the Week has a different underlying theme for a vast cultural program to advance the promotion of the Italian language. The initiative was launched in 2001 through the joint action of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Accademia della Crusca, a leading institution in the field of research on the Italian language, which was subsequently joined by the Swiss Confederation where Italian is one of the three official languages. This year, the theme is “L’italiano e i giovani. Come scusa? Non ti followo”.

Considering the focus not only on youth but also on how language interacts with digital tools, this year’s contest concentrates on erasure poetry, a literary form that has encountered success on social media and, at the same time, is tied to Italian contemporary art. Also known as black-out poetry, this form of found poetry allows a writer to change an existing text by erasing, blacking out, or otherwise obscuring a large portion of the original material, creating a wholly new work from what remains. This practice, similar to that of Italian contemporary artist and writer Emilio Isgrò, allows for striking patterns to appear, turning the text into a work of art. The visual nature of this literary form has allowed it to thrive on social media. Students, either individually or in group, are asked to compose a poem in Italian on a topic of their choice, using the technique of erasure poetry. The final result can be a text of up to 100 words. The visual aspect of the work can contribute to its message and can be taken into account by the jury.

Deadline: Wednesday, October 5, 2022
– Eligibility: Middle school and high school students of Italian language, enrolled in the 2022/2023
academic year in one of the public schools in the United States of America.

– Categories:
1. Middle school students of Italian
2. High school students of Italian

Submission method: the productions must be sent to scuola.washington@esteri.it with the indication of the name of the author, Italian level class, the teacher’s name and the name of the middle or high school. Participants are also encouraged to share their work on social media with the following hashtags: #CancellatureSLIM22 #SLIM22. They are also encouraged to tag the Embassy of Italy (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @italyinus) and the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington (Facebook: @iicwashingtondc, Instagram: @iicwashington).

Three winners for each category, for a total of six winners, will be selected by a jury composed of the following members:
– Ms. Maria Fusco, Director of the Education Office, Embassy of Italy
– Ms. Rita Iannazzi, Assistant Director of the Education Office, Embassy of Italy
– Ms. Elettra La Duca, Director, Italian Cultural Institute of Washington

The decisions of the judges are final and binding.

The winners will be announced on Monday, October 10th ,2022. The award Ceremony will take placemin presence or online on October 19th, 2022. The winners’ productions will be posted on the website and social media profiles of the Embassy of Italy and of the Italian Institute of Culture of Washington. The schools attended by the winners will receive an official plaque and each participating student will receive a medal of merit, as well as a selection of Italian books worth $ 150.00.

For more information, please write to: rita.iannazzi@esteri.it

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