Poetry Africa 2020, running virtually, kicks off on October 12.

Poetry Africa 2020, the annual poetry bonanza presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, runs from October 12-17, 2020.

Poetry Africa is an international poetry festival first hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa in 1996. Since then, it has hosted some of the biggest names in poetry like Werewere Liking, Chris Abani, Didier Awadi, Gabeba Baderoon, Dennis Brutus, Kwame Dawes, Stanley Onjezani Kenani, Gcina Mhlophe, Lesego Rampolokeng, and Benjamin Zephaniah.

The 2020 edition, following Covid-19 influenced trends, will be hosted virtually allowing for enthusiasts to enjoy poetry from South Africa and around the world. Those who stream in will experience poets performing live, their passionate, inspirational perspective on life and current events and the power and beauty of the spoken word. It is made possible by support from US Embassy South Africa, French Institute of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts at Culture, Windybrow Theatre and Institut Ramon Llull.

Some of the headlining South African poets include actress, writer and performance poet Lebo Mashile, award-winning poet, playwright and theatre director Koleka Putuma, actor, writer and performer Nomakhwezi Becker, Nongoma-based Menzi Sibiya, the internationally known poet, writer, and singer Natalia Molebatsi, academic and poet Makhosazana Xaba, 2019 Poetry Africa Slam Jam winner Tory Saint, and poet and social philosopher Athol Williams.

The line-up also includes acclaimed novelist and poet Chris Abani from the US, America’s most widely read poet Nikki Giovanni and Nigerian born, London based poet, playwright, performer, educator, and lawyer Tolu Agbelusi. UK-based South Africa born percussionist, composer, educationalist and animateur and poet Eugene Skeef, award-winning poet Safia Elhillo from Sudan, based in the US, Catalan poet Maria Sevilla, Ostap Slyvysnki from Ukraine, Lisette Maneza from Rwanda residing in Belgium, Feling Capela from Mozambique and  Nnane Ntube from Cameroon complete the international line-up.

Other South African poets included in the line-up are Moses Seletisha, Maneo Mohale, Diana Ferrus, Masai Sepuru, Sarah Godsell, Sindiswa Zulu, Thando Fuze, and Sibongile Fisher.

You can catch Poetry Africa for free on Facebook and Zoom.

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