Performance poetry is taking Botswana by storm and if you are a fan like I am then on the 26th of March all your roads will lead you to Maun for the inaugural Maun International Poetry Festival 2011. Zimbabwean poets Outspoken and Upmost and South Africans Zwesh Fi Kush, Flo, and Vallentine will be part of the star-studded line-up. Local poets performing at the event include Andreattah Chuma, Ntirelang Berman, TJ Dema, Phegal, Vygos, Juby Peacock, Mandisa Mabuthoe, Berry Heart, Dredd X, Mista Poke, Priskath, Ngwao Putswa, Mmakagri Dabutha, Messenger, Poko Ya Setso, King Philosopher, Swankies, and Tautona.
The event will be taking place at The Boma, Maun Lodge. The Festival starts with a pre-show on Saturday morning at 10 am which will include some of the poets that will be performing in the main show later on in the day as well as young poets from schools in the Maun area. Tickets for the pre-show are going for P50. The main event will be Saturday evening with tickets going at P150. Tickets in Maun are available at Maun Lodge or call 72947614 or 74404968. In Gaborone, call 72393149 and Francistown, call 72438017.
The event, which organisers hope will become an annual celebration of poetry, is being organised by the Maun based poetry group Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry. For the pre-show they had assistance in the organisation from Women Against Rape. The main funders of the event are the Department of Arts and Culture and Barclays Bank. Other organisations that gave assistance are Maun Lodge, Women Against Rape, Yarona FM, Ngamiland Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (NCONGO), and Maun Brand.
In conjunction with the Festival, I will be conducting a writing workshop on Friday evening from 7:30 pm at the same venue. The workshop will be on narrative writing but will also include the marketing of poems and short stories and a discussion about the current climate for these genres in Botswana.
Hope to see lots of people there!!!