The event organised by Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry, a fully registered collective of poets and writers living in the northwest region is in its third year. The action-packed festival kicked off last Friday with interschool poetry competition between secondary schools, both government and private.
The festival also featured a book exhibition by Batswana writers and other writers living in Botswana. The exhibition opened on Sunday 27th at the Nhabe Museum and ran for the entire week.
“The expansion of the Maun International Poetry festival was inevitable,” said Poetavango’s Public Relations Officer Juby Peacock.
She said that in the past, the festivals lasted only one weekend and it was evident that the people had not had enough. “By popular demand, we had to lengthen the days of the festival.”
The organizers have not only increased the number of days, but have also increased the objectives of the festivity.
This year the organisers have decided to carry on a mission of encouraging a reading and writing culture.
Peacock mentioned that Poetavango has always worked with school children, including the disadvantaged children of Bana Ba Letsatsi in Maun and they believe that without encouraging and grooming the youth, poetry and literature has not future.
A number of authors from across the country displayed their books for the community to view and purchase.
Some of the authors included veteran writers Lauri Kubuetsile, Bontekanye Botumile, Jenny Robson, Otlaadisa Serei, Nick Green, Justice Motlhabani of Big Brother fame and many more.
Besides marketing their books; writers also held workshops and book reading sessions.
The festival also featured a very interesting aspect; something they decided to title Visual Arts versus Poetry in Spontaneous Creativity.
Painters and poets spent a day of impulsive imagination. Poets recited ad-lib poetry while painters depicted poetry in canvas.
The end products will be displayed on the final day of the festival.
Saturday night will see performances by renowned poets and storytellers from Botswana and beyond and notable ones being, TJ Dema, Berry Heart, Moroka Moreri, Mista Poke, Dredd X, Nomkhubulwane (South Africa), Lyrical Bacteria (Lesotho), Toto Mubenga (DRC), Ludo Lukwele (Zambia), Masoja Msize (South Africa)and Outspoken (Zimbabwe). Tickets for the show costs P200 or P250 at the door.
Tickets are available at Maun Lodge, Cresta Riley’s Hotel and Wimpy (New Mall, Maun).