A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

literature
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

POETRY AFRICA 2002 (article first published : 2002-04-3)

Durban will again come alive with poetry during the 6th Poetry Africa 2002 hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) from April 29 to May 4. The six-day poetry festival will feature over 20 poets from approximately 16 different countries in presentations and performances at the University of Natal's Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, with seminars, workshops, and other activities at tertiary institutions, schools, and other venues.

The prestigious cultural event, which rates high on the international literary calendar, will showcase a wide diversity of poetry cultures and styles. Audiences can expect rhyme and rhythm; impressionist abstracts, vivid clarity and deep insights; themes of love, politics, personal struggle and everyday things; poetry with music and drama; and also a look at contemporary approaches through rap, hip-hop and isibongi deliveries. Poetry Africa will also introduce a Slam Poetry component and some schools will be exposed to the performance of selected poetry from the matric curriculum by the Madcaps team.

The festival is honoured with the presence of one of the world's most celebrated poets, Japanese cultural giant Shuntaro Tanikawa, also well known as playwright, and scriptwriter for film, television and radio. This prolific poet has produced over 60 books of poetry and won every major Japanese award for writing.

Jill Battson (Canada) is a poetry activist who has herself organised many spoken word events such as the Poetry Express, Liminal Sisters, The Poetburo Slams, Fightin Words, and the Poet's Refuge. Filmmaker, art director and playwright Battson rocked the poetry establishment with her sensual and gritty poetry book Hard Candy in 1998. Ashes are Bone and Dust is her most recent offering.

From Barbados comes Aja pioneering exponent of performance poetry in the Caribbean. AJA has worked with the legendary reggae artist Eddy Grant, and produced three solo records of his own. Ana Paula Tavares (Angola) is director of Development for the Rainforest Alliance and her concerns for the environment and for women's issues, especially in Africa, are evident in her publications: two poetry books, an essay collection, and a number of academic works. The "articulate lion of Africa" Atukwei Okai (Ghana) teaches at the University of Ghana, and has been a leading figure in writers groups and associations of Africa. This strong cultural activist has presented his work around the world from the USA to the USSR and his numerous volumes of robust and musical poetry have been published in many languages.

Liv Lundberg (Norway) is a highly accomplished writer/ poet who has published 12 poetry books and two novels. Lundberg is very active in a variety of Norwegian literary organisations, and works also with music, dance and film. Multi-talented Koulsy Lamko (Chad) is a playwright, novelist, accomplished actor as well as a respected performance poet whose work reflects his interest in social issues and concerns for the plight of the downtrodden. Active in cultural organisations in Chad, Burkina Faso and Rwanda, Lamko currently teaches literature at the University of Rwanda, and heads the Centre for Arts and Drama.

Australian Jayne Fenton Keane's work has been broadcast widely on radio and television in Australia and the United States. Very involved in multi-media activities Keane curates the Stalking Tongue poetry website, is a member of the music-poetry ensemble called Cult, and is currently doing a Phd in Three-Dimensional Poetic Structures. Nigerian Chris Abani fled his homeland in 1991 and his experiences as a political prisoner and the civil war in his homeland are explicitly articulated in his ground-breaking book of poems Kalakuta Republic. Saxophone-blowing Abani has also written novels, plays, and short fiction as well as poetry, and won several awards including the Freedom-to-Write award and the 2001 Prince Claus award.

Meena Alexander was born in India, raised there and in North Africa, educated in England and currently lives in New York where she is a professor of English and Women's Studies at Hunter College and the University of New York. The versatile Alexander has several volumes of poetry amongst her numerous publications and has a special interest in questions of migration, trauma and memory. Jurg Halter (Switzerland) is co-editor of the award-winning literary and art magazine art.21-zeitdruck in Berne. Halter organises several literary events in Switzerland, and is one of the talented new generation rap-poets of Europe.

The eloquent Michele Leggott (New Zealand) is an award-winning academic, poet, critic, and editor with numerous poetry books to her name. Leggott still operates the NewZealand Electronic Poetry website despite battling the slow loss of sight through retinitis pigmentosa, which has robbed her of the ability to read her own books. Talented Zimbabwean Togara Muzanenhamo is a full-time poet presently fulfilling a writers grant in London. His poetry has been published in numerous magazines and journals and he is currently working on his debut collection to be published by Carcanet Press.

Jan Kees van de Werk (Netherlands) is full time poet, writer, photographer and filmmaker, with a long list of publications and a long relationship with Africa. He lived for years in Togo where he co-founded a publishing house, and also organised the innovative poetry caravan from Goree to Timbuktu. The writing of Edessa Ramos (Phillippines) has been praised for reflecting the brave journey of her life, characterised by decades of constant moving, personal hardship and political struggle, but also of a courageous and wondering acceptance of life itself. Ramos attended the World Conference on Racism in Durban in 2001.

South African poets include the award-winning James Matthews has produced seven books of poetry as well as other literary works. Matthews suffered solitary confinement imprisonment during the apartheid years, and was denied a passport for 23 years, whilst much of his poetry was banned. He is the first Black person to have established an art gallery and a publishing house in South Africa. Seitlapho Motsapi whose visionary poetry has been influenced by music, spirituality and Black culture, has published one volume of works and currently is an editor at South African Bureau of Standards. Author, editor, and University of Cape Town academic Ingrid de Kok's lucid poetry has been widely anthologised and translated. Poetry Africa will debut the release of the 3rd volume of poetry by this mature South African voice.

Influenced by different South African languages and development issues Chris Mann has won a string of top awards for poetry and playwriting. Mann is convenor of the Wordfest festival in Grahamstown. Keorapetse (Willie) Kgositsile left South Africa in 1961 during the liberation struggle and subsequently studied and taught Literature and Creative Writing at a number of universities in the United States, and in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Fort Hare. Recipient of a number of poetry awards Kgositsile has published six books of poetry and will launch his new volume during Poetry Africa.

Poetry Africa 2002 has been made possible through sponsorship by the National Arts Council of South Africa, the City of Rotterdam, the FNB Fund, Interfund, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Pro-Helvetia Arts Council of Switzerland, French Institute of South Africa, Creative New Zealand, Prince Claus Fund, Australian High Commission, Barbados Tourism Authority, Queensland Arts, Exclusive Books, Adams Campus Bookshop, Kwela Books, and the University of Natal.

Booking for the festival is through Computicket. Tickets R15 (R7 for pensioners and students). For further information contact the Centre for Creative Arts on 031 260 2506 or view website www.und.ac.za/und/carts/




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart