The 27th edition of the Poetry Africa Festival takes place in three cities under the theme Vote4Poetry: More Than Words.
This festival celebrates the crucial role that poets’ voices play to strengthen and advance the values of a constitutional democracy. The programme line-up showcases a diverse array of established, mid-career, and emerging spoken word poets taking part in performances, workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions and book launches.
This Poetry Africa Festival edition is presented in partnership with the Arts and Culture Centre at the University of Johannesburg.It will feature the 2nd Annual Keorapetse Kgositsile Lecture. The South African Poet Laureate Wally Serote, Lebo Mashile, and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers will react, with Prof. Muxe Nkondo serving as the primary speaker.
The highlight of thr festival is the annual Slam Poetry Competition which is one of the leading slam events on the African Continent.
The guest line-up includes Amee Slam, a multi-disciplinarian Ivorian artist who made her first solo concert at the Institut Français de Côte d’Ivoire, which coincided with her being inducted as a member of the International Artistic Committee of the Masa (Africa Market of Performing Arts) in 2013.
US poet Rudy Francisco, who holds prestigious accolades just like hers, will also be performing. His performance is an amalgamation of social critique, introspection, honesty and humour.
South African poet Eugene Skeef is the festival’s Featured Poet. Renowned for his work in conflict resolution, Skeef is the Artistic Director of Quartet of Peace. This initiative utilises music and poetry to foster peaceful resolutions to conflicts and poverty, with a special focus on engaging young people.
Academic Heidi van Rooyen headlines the launch of Voices Unbound, a publication featuring poems from the eighth International Symposium on Poetry Enquiry. The event features Kirsten Deane, Larissa Hasim, Marie Pete, Raphael D’Abdon, Pralini Naidoo, DuduZile Ndovu and Angela Hough.