Overseas guest for Jamaica Poetry Fest
The 2014 staging of the annual Jamaica Poetry Festival, dubbed The International Edition, takes place on Sunday, August 10. With the performances starting at 7 p.m., it will be held at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre, 36 Hope Road, St Andrew.
During the day, there will be the family-friendly Creative Writing Workshop, which is a staple of the Jamaica Poetry Festival, beginning at 10 a.m. and finishing at 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, it will be lead by representatives of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and Steppa, and supported by some local and international poets.
In keeping with the theme, this year's showcase features poets from Iran, UK, USA and Anguilla. Of course, there will be a number of Jamaican poets performing.
Jean 'Binta' Breeze from the UK/Jamaica, who was recently honoured by the Queen of England, is internationally known as the One Woman Festival. Dr Neal Hall of the USA has performed featured readings and/or participated on literary panels throughout the US; Nairobi, Kenya; Bali, Indonesia; Paris, France; and Fez and Moulay Idriss in Morocco.
Analysing Hall's work, Professor Cornel West of Princeton University in the US said, "I sense Dr Hall's hypersensitivity to suffering. Martin, Malcolm and Jesus all had this same hypersensitivity. Both sides of his soul have prophetic leanings. His poetry has the capacity to change ordinary people's philosophy on social and racial issues. Like brother Malcolm, Dr Hall is the activist who wants to change the world."
Shema Shahsavaran Ahmadi from Iran is a multi award-winning poet and also an English teacher. Her appearance in Jamaica is facilitated by one of her many Iranian poetry awards.
Alexis Ryan from Anguilla is a sports coach, poet and fashion designer, who will combine the multiple talents to present Poetry-Fashion at the Jamaica Poetry Festival.
On the Jamaican side of the roster Yasus Afari, dubbed The Ancient Youth, is an intuitive philosopher-poet who will celebrate laughter, love and learning to 'edutain', inspire and empower with words, sounds and power.
Kellie Magnus is a leading Caribbean children's writer and will delight with family-friendly storytelling, poetry and her trademark charm. Steppa, The Talk Up Youth programme's ambassador and firebrand poet, is set to present his empowering poetry, which forms part of his social intervention and community work.
Dr Sonjah Niaah, author and University of the West Indies lecturer, is expected to delight with literary brilliance and interesting poetry, while Dr Karen Carpenter should stimulate and inspire the audience with sensuous and sensational poetry.
Maia Chung will make her Jamaica Poetry Festival debut, while Ann-Marie Wilmot is now an exciting staple of Poetry in Motion, on which she made her debut.
Jean Goulbourne is a veteran poet and author and Viv Morris Brown, popularly known as Aunt Viv, will lend her love and nurturing warmth to the stage.
Admiral Tibet will captain the reggae element of the Jamaica Poetry Festival 2014 as he makes a venture into the world of poetry, which promises to be electrifying.
As has become customary, Jamaica Poetry Festival will pay tribute to several iconic poets. They include Mutabaruka, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Oku Onuora, Benjamin Zephaniah, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou.
Jamaica Poetry Festival 2014 -The International Edition is sponsored by JIIC, JCDC, TVJ Irie Life, Mona Graphic Printers, Fontana Pharmacy and Irie FM. Tickets are available at: Bookophilia, JCDC, New Leaf and Fontana Pharmacy.