5 reasons why you should go to the McGregor Poetry Festival this weekend


Cape Town - The small village of McGregor, near Robertson, in the Western Cape is gearing up to host the 4th McGregor Poetry Festival which will take place from 26 to 28 August this year.

There is once again a great programme offering lovers of poetry a wide selection of events to attend

Check out these 5 reasons why you should attend the McGregor Poetry Festival:

1) The amazing poets

There is a great range of poets performing at various interesting venues at this year`s event. English poetry from the young awesome talents of Elisa Galgut and Vangile Gantsho to well-known poets James Matthews, Patricia Schonstein, Kobus Moolman, Khadija Tracey Heeger and Harry Owen. In the Afrikaans section there are the heartwarming and inspiring Margot Luyt (Verse n Klink on RSG), Koos van der Merwe, Daniel Hugo, Diana Ferrus and Lara Kirsten. 

Last year`s winner of the Poetry Competition, Louise Westerhout will also be taking to the stage. Exciting groups that are coming are UWC poets, Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement and Mothertongue. There are also immensely entertaining poets including Margaret Clough and Stephanie Saunders who will have you rolling in the aisles as they look at the lighter side of life. For a complete list of all the wonderful participating poets, click here.

2) The venues

All the venues are in gentle walking distance from one another and include the soulful gardens of Temenos, the homely backyard D`Amphitheatre, the unique Wahnfried theatre, artist Edna Fourie`s Gallery, Flora’s Eating House and Gallery, The Green Room and The Lion House. 

The local social spot ‘Carol’s Pub’ will be hosting VOICES ON FIRE. While you relax and savour a local red, poets in attendance will ring a bell and read their poetry. A great way to end a stimulating and inspiring day.

(Photo: Daniele Debellis) 

3) The town of McGregor

McGregor is the perfect venue for a celebration of poetry. Lying at the foot of the Riviersonderend mountains, 20km from Robertson, McGregor is a quiet, and serene little town. And the road to McGregor might even sport some lovely flowers as the 1st of September nears. 

4) The Open Mic sessions

As usual, a number of Open Mic sessions will take place during the “Poetry in McGregor” weekend. These sessions are hosted by Hugh Hodge and no tickets or booking are required. 

Anyone wishing to read or recite their poetry is welcome – from the well-known to budding, new poets! On entering the venue, you will be issued with a numbered card and when your number is called, you will have a few minutes to read or recite one of your poems. Time permitting, you may get a second or even a third turn. There is no feed-back other than applause from the audience. Everyone is welcome to attend, to take part or just to listen, so please check the programme carefully for details and we look forward to seeing you there.

5) Because poems rock! 

Here’s a short poem by one of the participating poets Ansa Smit:

Klein Karoo
Ansa Smit

my body aches
to be touched

my heart to hear
my bones to taste
karoo dust clarity.

Click here for the full weekend programme and to book your spot.

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