Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Ras Takura invites words for Dis Poem Festival

Published:Monday | February 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke/ Gleaner Writer
Poet Ras Takura

Part of the annual Dis Poem Wordz & Agro Festival is an exchange of organic seeds among participants, those who are determined to not have genetically modified organisms dominate agriculture bringing along seeds to trade with others of the same mindset. For the eight staging of the event, slated for April 29 at the Neville Antonio Park, Port Antonio, Portland, poet and farmer Ras Takura aims to sow a seed of the poetic kind and watch it grow on stage and in the studio.

So the call is out to submit a reading of a poem via voice note or email between now and March 17. The week after submissions close, Ras Takura said the top three will be selected by "a qualified committee". From there, it is up to the audience at Neville Antonio Park to identify the winner, whose poem will then be recorded professionally. "It can be with or without music," Ras Takura said.

While there is no set limits on the persons who can enter, he is hoping especially that students will get involved. "One of the intention is to get the schools interested in the event and poetry," Takura said, adding that he hopes institutions in Portland and St Thomas will make a special effort to participate. He is also hoping to at least double the numbers which attended last year's Dis Poem Wordz & Agro Festival, pointing out that the venue is central so there are those persons who pass by, without knowing an event is on and stay to watch and listen.

Ras Takura performed at Rebel Salute 2018 in Priory, St An, and told The Gleaner that he also performed at the festival's Brooklyn, USA launch in December 2017. He was close to the end of a North American stint which took him to Vancouver, Canada, in August, then Los Angeles, California, Arizona, and New York in the USA.

Back in Jamaica and looking towards yet another year for the festival he started, Ras Takura has another wish apart from the higher turnout. "Me jus' hope rain no fall," he said.