Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Big numbers expected as Poetry in Motion goes virtual

Published:Monday | January 11, 2021 | 12:11 AM
Yasus Afari (left) sharing some poetry tips with poet enthusiasts, Natalia Reid (centre) and Rushana Richards, during a poetry workshop at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
Yasus Afari (left) sharing some poetry tips with poet enthusiasts, Natalia Reid (centre) and Rushana Richards, during a poetry workshop at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
Dub poet Yasus Afari.
Dub poet Yasus Afari.
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Poetry in Motion (PiM), Jamaica’s premier feast of the performing arts, joins the growing list of virtual events when it celebrates its 18th annual renewal on Sunday, February 28.

Owing to the COVID-19 protocols and attendant restrictions, the organisers of Poetry in Motion 2021 are gearing up to host a virtual staging which will have an intimate audience, a live broadcast and live performances. It will be streamed live from the Manchester Golf Club in Mandeville.

“We are poised and ready to reaffirm PiM’s enviable status as the longest-running and most successful annual poetry festival event in the history of Jamaica and the Caribbean. We continue to provide clean, intelligent fun for the entire family and community in support of charity. This year’s charity is Friends in Need and as per usual, as it is from our very inception, we shall present our charity cheque on stage during the event,” the organisers, SenYAcum Edutainment, led by Yasus Afari, said.

Performers on this year’s roster include Benjamin Zephaniah, Professor Rupert Lewis, Stephen Wise (Stevie Wonder’s musician-singer), Leighton Smith, African Fashion, Martin Matthews, Dr Charmaine Gooden-Monteith, Viv Morris Brown, Mark Stephenson, Ka’Bu, Mikaya and Yasus Afari, in addition to PiM 2021 Golden Tongue Awardees.

Coming on the heels of a highly successful Jamaica Poetry Festival, staged in August 2020, which saw over 100,000 viewers camping out on social media to enjoy the festivities, Poetry in Motion 2021 can be viewed on JTvR, YouTube, Facebook and Zoom. The organisers are anticipating their largest Poetry in Motion audience to date.

“We want to take the opportunity to thank our supporters for helping us to create a world-class Jamaican cultural product and a successful, inspirational and empowering annual staging of Poetry in Motion for our Black History Month, Reggae Month, and our Jamaican-international cultural calendar,” SenYAcum Edutainment said in a release.