Poetry Africa’s virtual festival promotes the use of poetry for social change

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Under the theme ‘poetry as the voice of social change,” this year’s  six day programme will be presented online over three daily slots. (Facebook/ Poetry Africa)
Under the theme ‘poetry as the voice of social change,” this year’s six day programme will be presented online over three daily slots. (Facebook/ Poetry Africa)

For almost two and a half decades, the Poetry Africa International Festival has been a platform for live poetry performances. This year, the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts has partnered with South Africa’s US Embassy, the French Institute of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, Windybrow Arts Centre as well as the Institut Ramon Llull to bring the festival to life. 

Taking place from 12 to 17 October 2020, the Poetry Africa International Festival is back for its 24th reiteration. 

Under the theme ‘poetry as the voice of social change,” this year’s  six day programme will be presented online over three daily slots. In addition to performances the festival will feature online panels discussion, competitions, book launches, seminars and workshops. 

Speaking about the decision to keep the festival online, the festival’s curator, Siphindile Hlongwa said the following: 

We will once again feature poets from the continent and the rest of the world, presented in a digital format with an aim to reach wider audiences and break barriers. Through carefully curated poets for this year’s festival we wish to provide the society with a mirror to reflect and give solutions for all societal ills.

As a part of the festival school learners are invited to submit original poems. A video recording of the learner reciting the poem must then be submitted to 071 326 7272 through Whatsapp. The 10 best submissions will be recited at the festival with the top three poets standing a chance to win cash prizes. 

Poetry Africa can be found for free on Facebook from 12 to 17 October 2020. The full programme will be announced closer to the festival. To stay updated, follow the festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/poetryafrica.

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