The Olympics may be a couple of weeks away, but the festivities are already beginning in the literary world.

As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the games’ arts and culture festival, more than 200 poets from around the world came together over the past few days for an open forum on poetry called Poetry Parnassus.

The Nicaraguan poet Gioconda Belli told The New York Times that it “widens your understanding of life and of humanity,’ and enables poets to ‘relativize what is happening’ in their own lives and country and  ’to feel part of this global chorus.’”

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