Poets to take part in Poetry Africa 2019 in Durban, South Africa from October 7 – 12, 2019, were announced on September 18, 2019.
Poetry Africa, organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, is an international poetry festival held annually in Durban, South Africa since 1996. It has hosted some of the biggest names in poetry in Africa and around the world like Gcina Mhlophe, Lebo Mashile, Bassey Ikpi, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Koleka Putuma, Maya Wegerif, TJ Dema, and a host of others.
The 2019 edition, to take place mainly at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, will feature interactions and engagements with poets through campus and school visits, poetry exchanges, book launches and evening performances at venues across Durban. Once again, the festival includes the ever-popular Durban Slam Jam Competition, an open mic session and the festival finale at the BAT Centre.
“Celebrating diversity, the festival includes local South African and international poets from Egypt, the USA, Spain, Ukraine, Mauritius, and Nigeria,” says curator, Siphindile Hlongwa of the CCA. ‘This year we continue to celebrate women poets and cast our focus towards fiery female poetic voices that use their art to mitigate the gender-based abuse and violence that continues to plague the country.’’
Sixteen poets are in the line-up for the festival. They include Haitian-born, Brooklyn-raised storyteller Joel Francois, Nadra Mabrouk, Efe Paul Azino, Titilope Sonuga, Tobi Abiodun, Bash’ Amuneni, Luleka Mhlanzi, Busiswe Mahlangu, Shashi Simelane, Muriel Mokgathi-Mvubu known by the pen name MoAfrika ‘a Mokgathi, and South African poet laureate Mongane Wally Serote.
The full programme for Poetry Africa can be viewed on the website http://poetryafrica.ukzn.ac.za/.