Poets to converge on Durban

2010-09-22 00:00

POETS from around South Africa, Africa and the world come to Durban for the 14th Poetry Africa international poetry festival from October 4 to 9.

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), this year Poetry Africa is preceded by a three-stop tour to Cape Town, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Over 20 poets from 12 countries will feature in the main Durban programme, each presenting an introductory poem on opening night at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Then five poets will feature each evening before the finale at the BAT Centre on October 9.

This year’s festival also sees bass guitarist Concord Nkabinde teaming up with Malawian singer-songwriter Erik Paliani to provide nightly musical curtain raisers.

Among the poets will be Frank Chipasula (Malawi); Kenyan Ngwatilo Mawiyoo; Barolong Seboni (Botswana); American-born Charlotte Hill O’Neal, better known as Mama C, who was a member of the Black Panther Movement before relocating to Tanzania in 1972; and Souleymane Diamanka (Senegal/France).

From other parts of the world come Mutabaruka from Jamaica; Ghassan Zaqtan of Palestine; Jayne Fenton Keane (Australia); Meena Kandasamy (India); Jorge Palma (Uruguay); and Italian Claudio Pozzani.

South African poets include Pitika Ntuli, Gcina Mhlophe. Lebo Mashile, Kobus Moolman, Gabeba Baderoon, Ronelda Kamfer, Natalia Molebatsi, Busiswa Gqulu and Mari Pete.

Saturday, October 9 will see a full day of activities at the BAT Centre, with poetry workshops, open mic opportunities, and the Durban SlamJam, ending with the Festival Finale, which includes a performance by the Imperial Tiger Orchestra, a Geneva-based band that performs songs from the Golden Age of Ethiopian modern music.

There is also a daily programme of performances, seminars, workshops, a prison programme, poetry competitions and school visits.

The full programme of Poetry Africa activities is available at www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

Inquiries to 031 260 2506 or 031 260 1704.

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