Are you a poet and you didn’t even know it?

Cape Town – The small village of McGregor, near Robertson, in the Western Cape is gearing up to host the 5th McGregor Poetry Festival which will take place from 25 to 27 August this year.

One of the highlights leading up to the annual Poetry in McGregor weekend is the poetry competition. Last year the organisers were delighted to receive hundreds of entries from across the nation. 

The entries for this year's competition is now officially open: All unpublished poets may enter the Poetry in McGregor competition. The theme this year is: Poetry against Poverty. Your entry must reflect this theme. 

Billy Kennedy, Chairman of the Poetry in McGregor committee, believes that Poetry plays an important part in our lives: "Someone once wrote that much of the violence and psychological illness and unease in our society is probably due to poetry deprivation. Bigotry and prejudice and fundamentalism contract the mind, and our world is full of it. Poetry expands the mind. It limbers up the imagination. It does to the mind what Yoga does for the body. We are looking forward to reading the works of budding poets. Enrage us, challenge us, uplift us, inspire us!"

There are two categories for this year's poetry competition:

Adult open category - prize money for winner: R5000
School category (open to students grade 7 to 12) – prize: a brand new iPad. 

Entries to be e-mailed to before 10 August 2017. Entries can be in Afrikaans or English. Click here for competition details, terms and conditions. 

Festival details:

The theme for this year’s poetry weekend is "Rooted in Heart".

There is a great range of poets performing at various venues at this year's event: Ashley Dowds, Hugh Hodge, John Maytham, Nic de Jager, Kobus Moolman, Lungiswa Nyatyowa, Lerato Sibanda, Philip de Vos, Diana Ferrus, Daniel Hugo, Lara Kirsten, Fanie Olivier, Koos van der Merwe, Mavis Vermaak, Wendy Woodward and many more. A complete list of all the performing poets can be found here.

As part of the Poetry in McGregor Weekend, the MAC project will also be hosting the Schools’ Festival on the morning of Friday 25 August. Over 800 pupils from schools in the village and surrounding areas will be attending the event. Cape Town based artist Ha Man! together with his partner, Joke Debaere, will be presenting music, songs, drama and poetry. The Afrikaans group Ruk!, two dynamic young performers from Cape Town, will also be performing for the children at this exciting event. 

For those poets who would like to participate spontaneously a number of Open Mic sessions will also be taking place during the 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.

Tickets are available from Computicket.

For more info on the festival visit the official website, like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

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