UNESCO 100th anniversary of the birth of Zbigniew Herbert
UNESCO National Coordination Associated Schools Network
UNESCO Polish National Commission
The Zbigniew Herbert Foundation

We are very happy and proud that the Polish ‘Gift a Poem’ campaign in 2024 has for the second time become a form of celebration of the World Poetry Day  by the UNESCO Associated Schools Network in many corners of the world.

The Gift a Poem campaign („Podaruj wiersz”) is an initiative of the Zbigniew Herbert Foundation, an organization dedicated to a prominent Polish poet, whose gesture of sending manuscripts of his own poems to friends and people important to him inspired the campaign’s creators.

The Polish National Commission for UNESCO proposed this inititative to the entire ASPnet as a common form of celebration of World Poetry Day. 

In UNESCO the campaign took place for the first time in 2023 during ASPnet’s 70th anniversary, as a form of joint celebration of this important date. 30 countries participated in an informative webinar about the campaign and 15 countries from four continents submitted their reports (available here).

The centenary of the poet’s birth, which falls in the year 2024, has been placed under the patronage of UNESCO. That is why it is particularly important for us to carry out the action this year.

The Gift a Poem campaign was presented at the ASPnet 70th Anniversary International Conference on 6-8 June 2023 held in Berlin, Germany; Gift a Poem became a part of the Arts and Culture for Peace Initiative (UK) during the intercultural ASPnet meeting in Kyoto, Japan; results of the campaign were presented during the ASPnet’s 70th Anniversary Exhibition at the 42nd UNESCO General Conference in Paris.

It was a great honour and pleasure for us that on 26 March, one of the ASPnet member schools in Warsaw, High School 44, was visited by Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO.

She received poems by Zbigniew Herbert manually transcribed by Polish and Ukrainian-refugee students in several languages (see photos from this event below).