While the writer and explorer Sylvain Tesson was named sponsor of the Spring of Poets 2024 at the beginning of January, more than six hundred personalities, particularly from the world of literature, rejected this decision in a column published by Libération on Friday January 19. This event, which will be held from March 9 to 25, aims to raise awareness of poetry in all its forms, particularly in schools, media libraries, bookstores and festivals.

“We, poets, editors, booksellers, librarians, teachers, actresses and actors of the French cultural scene refuse the nomination of Sylvain Tesson”, write the signatories, believing that the writer has been “established as an icon reactionary.”

“The end of 2023 marked the shift in Emmanuel Macron’s second term (…) towards a political project more than ever close to the extreme right, they continue, and marked by a reactionary ideology where social changes , although inherent to any democratic society, embody a danger. »

“Normalization of the far right”

The text was signed, among others, by the writers Baptiste Beaulieu and Jean d’Amérique, the authors Fatima Daas and Chloé Delaume, the Blast publishing house and the poets Stéphanie Vovor and Liliane Giraudon. The column underlines that Sylvain Tesson “in particular prefaced a reference work of the extreme right, Le Camp des saints, by Jean Raspail”, which they describe as a “racist dystopia on immigration”. They note that the writer is part, according to an investigation by journalist François Krug, of the “literary extreme right”.

For the signatories, his appointment as sponsor of the Spring of Poets 2024 “reinforces the trivialization and normalization of the extreme right in the political, cultural spheres, and in society as a whole”. A political trivialization which goes, according to the column, “against the extreme vitality of poetry claimed by the Spring of Poets”.