The year 1997 was the Year of Poetry. Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, who live in Krakow and are the laureates of the Literary Nobel Prize, have assumed the patronage over the Festival. In spring Krakow undergoes a metamorphosis becoming the City of Poetry. Many literary meetings, evenings of authors song, and poetic performances have taken place during the festival.
The literary finale was the Meeting of the Poets from East and West. Nineteen poets arrived in Krakow answering the invitation of the Nobel Prize winners. Thanks to the overthrow of communism, they were able to meet for the first time to exchange their experiences freely, confront different traditions and interests, and above all, share their poetry with each other.
The Festival Between Wawel and Giewont was closely related to the concept of the Year of Poetry. It took place at the same time as the meeting of poets. Its objective was to show the influence of Podhale art on entire Polish culture, and in the broader context, the mutual influence of local and national values in the area of Central Europe.
In the Festivals programme, according to the directives outlined in its first year, there were events targeted to a wider public. In this set one should include concerts of Jan Garbarek in the Dominican church, an outdoor concert of a famous film music composer, Goran Bregovič, and the performance of a legendary guitarist, Paco de Lucía.
Another event of that year was the 1st Easter Festival of Ludwig van Beethoven. This extraordinary musical holiday, organised on the 170th anniversary of the composers death has entered the cultural landscape of Krakow forever. One of the main reasons for organising this event was the possibility of presenting Beethovens manuscript, which is stored in the Jagiellonian Library, for the first time since World War II.
Krakow entertained also for the first time in its history two extraordinary orchestras: the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.
These events in a natural way announced the year of Krzysztof Penderecki.