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This report is taken from PN Review 42, Volume 11 Number 4, March - April 1985.

A Note from Belgium
The Fourteenth International Biennale of Poetry took place at Liège from 30 August to 3 September. The prime mover of this, as of earlier, Biennales was the energetic M. Arthur Haulot, a very tall, bald and hospitable man, 70 this year-emphatic, courteous and appropriately disorganized. Everything was scheduled, and nothing went according to schedule. Participants from punctual countries found themselves one or two hours early for most of the events.

The occasion this year was as much to celebrate M. Haulot's birthday and the longevity of the Biennales as to consider the governing topic before the poets, which was 'Poetry in the Year 2000'. There were distinguished contributors to the discussions and some interesting exchanges between scientists and technical people. However, 'Poetry in the Year 2000' proved to be less a consideration of the survival and development of the actual art of poetry faced with the radical challenges of feminist criticism, structuralism and its aftermaths, third world writing, new media and the question which-I seem to remember-burned back in the 1960s: can computers be programmed to write poems, will poets become redundant-or rather, will they become even more redundant than they already are?

When it became clear that the expectations of the organizers and those of the participants were rather different, many poets fell into the bad habit of missing the main events and meeting in small groups, most pleasantly at the tavern which Trotsky frequented during his stay in Liège, the Saint-Paul behind the cathedral.

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