POETRY AFRICA 2012 CAPTIVATES AUDIENCES The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the Howard College campus was packed for the much anticipated opening night of the 16th edition of Poetry Africa.
The evening introduced festival goers to the poets and the highlights of the week-long festival organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) and made possible through principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
Included in the line-up was Saul Williams, whose innovative work as an actor, poet and musician continues to break new ground on arts stages around the world.
‘Local audiences were also introduced to the avant garde approach of dynamic Jamaican dub poet, prolific playwright, monodramatist and educator D’bi Young,’ said CCA publicist Ms Sharlene Versfeld.
‘Another popular participant was Ewok, one of South Africa’s sharpest wordsmiths but who is also a Brutus Scholar at the University’s Centre for Civil Society and this year's Brutus poet.’
Festival book launches included Rustum Kozain’s new release Groundwork (Kwela Books/ SnailPress); two books by Allan Kolski Horwitz,  Two Birds at My Window and Meditations of a Non-White (both Dye Hard Press); the Zulu version of Oswald Mtshali’s Sounds of a Cowhide Dru; Imisindo Yesighubu Sesikhumba Senkomo (Jacana), and the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Volume 2 (Jacana).
CCA Director Mr Peter Rorvik said Poetry Africa provided a space for intercultural exchange and dialogue in wide-reaching activities.  ‘These included seminars, workshops and poetry performances at tertiary institutions and community centres, engagement with local poetry groups, open mic opportunities and visits by the poets to 30 schools in Durban and surrounding areas to exchange poetry and ideas about poetry with young learners.’
Rorvik said the world needed poets and artists who spoke and acted according to their convictions.
‘We commend the bravery and the adventurous spirit of poetry pioneers and Poetry Africa is proud to be a platform for such innovators.’ 

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za