French poetry today is alive and kicking. About five hundred poetry magazines at present are published in France, some with hundreds of subscribers. Moreover, France boasts a venerable tradition in publishing, with some highly regarded international publishers. Poetry in France can be found on a great number of internet sites, at performances and readings, and at plenty of festivals throughout the year.
But French poetry also finds itself in a strange situation: there are many writers, but very few readers that aren’t poets themselves. It is as if each poet is at the same time a writer and a reader, and French poetry can only exist in a perpetual mutual exchange between the two roles, which constitutes a very non-commercial modern form of creativity. For this reason it is difficult to present a single coherent picture of French poetry nowadays. Thus, we have had to make some hard choices on the French site of Poetry International Web. Our editorial committee has decided to present several of our most important living poets; poets who have generally not been published in languages other than French. Our first choice is Jacques Dupin, poet of the next quarter. After that, it will be Jude Stefan’s turn, then Claude Esteban, Michelle Grangaud, and so on... We hope you will enjoy reading their work, and through it get a sense of the great riches of French poetry.