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SPIER ARTS POETRY FESTIVAL (article first published : 2007-01-23)

Spier is celebrated for its long-term commitment to the arts and for its understanding of artís role in social transformation. The Spier Arts Summer Season in Cape Town has established a strong reputation for the quality and diversity of performance achieved over its annual season. Using the outdoors as its backdrop, the Spier Arts Summer Season strives to create a platform for fresh ideas to be expressed artistically in its host of open-air performance spaces. As the season enters its 11th year, it continues to strive to develop excellence and innovation in the arts, showcase, promote and develop emerging South African talent and build new audiences.

By popular demand the Spier Arts Poetry Festival presented by SAfm, is back! A unique mix of artists has been put together by curator Antjie Krog and the programme covers a variety of style, language and content.

Top class local, national and international poets who feature in the line-up will perform in four different venues on the Spier Estate. Spier has broadened its banks to include two lapas across the Eerste River which adds to the river deck and the amphitheatre. The intimacy of the venues will enhance the different performances of the various artists and take audiences on a journey of discovery into the world of the spoken word. Each programme is designed for easy-flow from each venue and good interval gaps leave time to move from venue to venue.

Top poet from Portugal, Nuno Jķdice, is a literary critic, essayist and writer of fiction with many titles to his credit. Ingrid de Kok, famous South African poet, is arguably the most composed voice in contemporary English poetry. Catherine Kidd (Canada) author, performer and teacher has been described as an adult blend of Dr.Seuss and Aesopís Fables.

Another interesting international poet is Zein Al-Abdin Fouad, joining the ranks from Egypt, who has published in many literately magazines in Egypt and all over the Arab world since 1960. Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa) became known internationally through her novel Triomf, which brought her to the forefront of a post-apartheid society. Bringing another challenging element of poetry to the stage, Gabeba Baderoon (South Africa) investigates Islamic religion.

These are just some of poets that give the Spier Summer Arts Poetry Festival its eclectic, unique mix which also includes poet Kgafela oa Magogodi, hip hop star from Blue Downs Jitsvinger, and two of South Africaís famous musical directors in one place, Rocco de Villiers and Brett Bailey.

Also in the line-up is Erwin Mortier (Flemish), David Ferguson, Harry Garuba (Nigerian), Charl Pierre Naude, Zanne Stapelberg and Samm Farai Monro (Zimbabwean).

With a myriad of experiences and a festival that honours all forms of poetry from the more contemporary free-style of hip hop to the poetry of music and magical word, this festival will offer audiences a glimpse into personal experience, diverse cultures and historical narrative.

The performances take place on February 2 and 3 at 19h30 at Spier Estate in the Cape. Tickets R100 unreserved but will provide access to all the different venues. For further information contact the booking office on 021 809 1111 or visit the website on www.spierarts.org.za




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