The Strega Poesia Prize is born, a new national recognition linked to the most prestigious Italian literary prize, the Strega Prize, conceived in 1946 by Maria and Goffredo Bellonci and by Guido Alberti. After the European Witch, the Young Witch and the Girls and Boys Witch comes the Witch Poetry to access the spotlight on the many and important Italian authors who write in verse, “to give them visibility, signaling the production of the highest literary quality and meaning in the contemporary world “: the first five will be announced in spring 2023, while the winning poet will be proclaimed in the following autumn. The Prize will be awarded annually to a poetry book written in Italian, published in the first edition between 1 March of the previous year and 28 February of the current year (for the first year the terms of validity are January 2022- February 2023). A Scientific Committee – composed of Maria Grazia Calandrone, Andrea Cortellessa, Mario Desiati, Elisa Donzelli, Roberto Galaverni, Valerio Magrelli, Melania Mazzucco, Stefano Petrocchi, Laura Pugno, Antonio Riccardi, Enrico Testa and Gian Mario Villalta – will have the task of selecting the five of the finalist works, which will be announced in May, while a large jury, made up of cultural personalities, will determine the winning work in October. The members of the Scientific Committee and of the Jury will remain in office for one year and can be reconfirmed. “Writing in verse is instinctively connected to the reflection on ultimate things and at the same time refers to a native expression of the word, linked to the natural breath and the singing – recalled Stefano Petrocchi, director of the Bellonci Foundation, today during the presentation event of the Strega Poesia Prize at the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, in the seat of the Curia Iulia in the Roman Forum – After all, it is an art form that has never lost social prestige, as evidenced by numerous signs: some recent poetic collections have become long-sellers; readings and poetry slam shows are multiplying; dedicated series are born and renewed (to underline this editorial vivacity, the AIE Report on the state of publishing 2022 reports a growth of about 20% in published poetry titles); social networks, finally, have become a vast field of co ndivision that generates real literary cases, also followed by the younger audience “.” The purpose of the Bellonci Foundation is the enhancement of contemporary literature – declared the president Giovanni Solimine – Aware of the importance that our awards have assumed over time and of the guarantee of quality that the public of readers has recognized us, we now approach with respect to another form of literary production, perhaps the highest, in the belief that there is much to be done for the promotion of poetry. We believe that the moment is the right one and that with everyone’s contribution, even the Strega Poesia Prize can soon establish itself in the cultural panorama of our country “.” A few years ago the Bellonci Foundation – recalled the director Stefano Petrocchi – started a project of diffusion of contemporary poetry in schools resulted in an anthology, edited by me together with others, which had as its title a verse by Fernando Bandini: ‘There are flowers that bloom in the dark’. Here, poetry will continue to blossom and bring light, knowledge and humanity even in the dark times we are experiencing. We can rely on this comforting certainty. And yet it is up to us to make sure, also through this new literary recognition, that its light illuminates our lives more and more “.” For some time already in the Management Committee of the Award (which includes the Bellonci Foundation and ‘Strega Alberti company) the possibility of establishing a Strega Poetry Prize was discussed – commented Giuseppe D’Avino, president of Strega Alberti Benevento – The idea was to extend the literary promotion function of the Prize to a different literary genre, sharing the experience gained by all of us. It is with great pleasure that today we present this new exciting initiative, which completes the universe of the Strega and which we are sure will constitute a point of reference for Italian poetry. “The Strega Poesia Prize is promoted by the Maria and Goffredo Bellonci Foundation and Strega Alberti Benevento, in collaboration with Bper Banca and the Colosseum Archaeological Park and with the support of the Lazio Region Cultural Department.