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In June 2012, the world’s poets came to London. The most exciting poets, rappers, spoken word artists, singers and storytellers gathered for this huge event that made history as the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK.

The festival contained over 100 free events, activities and workshops, with 250 participating poets. Watch this short film to see some of the highlights.

The World Record is an international anthology of work by all poets appearing at Poetry Parnassus, published by Bloodaxe Books with Southbank Centre.

Southbank Centre, together with artist in residence, Simon Armitage, invited poets from all 204 participating Olympic nations to take part in the Poetry Parnassus festival of readings, performance and debate during the London 2012 Festival. Poetry Parnassus attracted an audience of over 13,000 people.

British Council helped to identify the poets, and brought together leading festival directors, arts programmers, translators, academics, educators, publishers and editors for the first time, for the World Poetry Summit, a one-day conference during the Poetry Parnassus Festival at the Southbank Centre.

There were 34 speakers who represented 22 countries and an audience of 300. Discussion challenged thinking around Poetry, raising questions for writers and audiences alike.

The World Poetry Summit at Poetry Parnassus formed part of the London 2012 Festival and was delivered in partnership by the British Council and the Southbank Centre.