In Mons, literature has its own story to tell, in particular about poetry.
There are cities which, for some historical reason, equip themselves with a forward-looking past. Fernand Dumont would say, “It is not by chance but by desire...” Fernand Dumont is a splendid poet, so much in love with his city that he took its name. A member of Rupture, he was, together with Achille Chavée, one of the essential actors in the Hainaut surrealist movement during the first half of the 20th century. This group was so inventive that only World War II could break it. Before them, there was the great Flemish poet Emile Verhaeren who held seat in Roisin, near the site aptly named “Caillou-qui-bique”. His friends then were Stefan Zweig, André Gide, Maurice Maeterlinck, Stéphane Mallarmé, Rainer Maria Rilke... But there was also Verlaine who wrote some of his best poems in prison, in the silence of cell 252, and Marguerite Bervoets, herself a poet, as well as a resistance fighter...
So many writers, so many stories.
Mons is certainly a special city. With its rich literary history, its significant contemporary authors, and the unique forces that exist within the city, such as booksellers and librarians, the city is also fighting against the crisis which affects – not reading per se – but the readers themselves. Developing a literary project for the year 2015 means constructing a scenario for a stage where literature can be shared with everyone - indeed, where the word “literature” can be extracted and exposed for all to partake of in this very public space, to re-conquer the imaginary world of poetry.