Italy Celebrates the Annual Festival of Songs and Poetry


Like Cinderella, and just about midnight, a festival of music and poetry that lasted more than 12 hours ended but Cinderella did not lose her crystal shoe; she went home and left it behind to reserve her place on the impatiently waiting dancing floor. Next year she will come back early, put it on again and dance until midnight.

             The annual festival was held at Grosseto, a municipality in the province of Biella, Italy, in the northwest part of Piedmont located north west of Rome. The day was the third of September 2023, the 25th International Meeting of Poetic Improvisation and Singing.

             For the second year, A Maltese delegation participated in the celebration with several traditional songs and lasting poetry comprising Manuel Ellul, Vince Carabott, his talented daughter Amber, Reuben Schembri, George Mario Attard and Adel Bishtawi, a poet, and an author.

             Vince presented multiple performances of singing the ancient and traditional flavour of resonance, his daughter, Amber, sang three times starred by the famous Delilah by Tom Jones. Adel co-authored a poetry book with the Albanian poetess Selvi Sado published recently. A copy was gifted to Mauro Chechi, a celebrity of artistic taste and gentle manners and the chief organiser of the event.

             He asked Adel to join the panel and brief the audience on his co-authored book. Aided in translation from English to Italian by the Italian poetess Gaia Del Vecchio, he told the audience that he is an old man with a young heart, a man from Nazareth and a poet from Malta. More for poets is less and less is more. “What keeps a poet alive,” he said, “is the love of a woman and poetry”. It was once said that if music is the food of love, play on. If so, poetry is its soul and both will be a song eternal for all.

Adel was invited to join the Maltese Delegation to the Festival and he wrote the above brief. The poetry book, Only When Desire Screams, he co-authored with Selvi Sado was well received.

About the author

Adel Bishtawi

Adel S (Said) Bishtawi is a British, Maltese and Palestinian national. A career journalist, he was central managing editor of the Emirates News Agency, co-founder of two U.K. newspapers and the Syrian Writers Association. He published more than 20 books in Arabic and English the latest is ‘The Common Stone Age Origins of English, Akkadian and Arapīte & Greatest Gods of Homo Sapiens’.
Adel was born in Nazareth, Palestine, 1945. He read English Literature at Damascus University, attended short courses of familiarisation of languages including Latin, German and Russian, and attended a course in Linguistics at the Central London Polytechnic.

A journalist since the late 1960s, he became Front Page Editor of Al Arab Newspaper (London), the first pan Arab Newspaper launched in Europe. In 1978, he joined Jihad Al Khazin in launching Asharq Al Awsat Newspaper (London) as Business and Supplements Editor. In 1980, he was appointed Central Managing Editor of the Emirates News Agency in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In 1988, he joined Jamil Mrowa (who later re-launched the Daily Star in Beirut in 1996) in London for the re-launch of Al Hayat Newspaper and continued under the editorship of Jihad Al Khazin until he left in April 2001 to dedicate what is left of his time to literary and historical writing. as well as investigating origins by means of historical and etymological linguistics.

Adel produced and co-produced a number of TV documentaries. He produced, directed and wrote “Muslims along the Silk Road”, a five part-60-minutes-each documentary tracing Muslim culture and heritage and the legacy of Muslim pioneers and merchants along the Silk Road starting from China.