African poets needed for London Olympics
Ugandan singer Jose Chameleon will be performing at the 2012 London Olympics, now African poets are being called upon to participate in the extravaganza. Although nominations have now closed for Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus which is set to be the largest poetry festival staged in the UK, more African poets are still needed.
The 205 poets, one from each competing nation, will go to Southbank Centre for the week-long festival from June 26 – July 2, 2012 as part of the finale of the Cultural Olympiad; the London 2012 Festival. This hugely ambitious Southbank Centre project, led by Artistic Director Jude Kelly and Artist in Residence Simon Armitage, will include readings, workshops and a final gala event with all the poets. Every poet will also contribute a poem in their own language to be published in The World Record, a book which will champion translation and be housed in the Southbank Centre’s Saison Poetry Library.
There have only been a few African nominations from Angola, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast (Cote-d’Ivoire), Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.“Poetry Parnassus will be a landmark event in the Cultural Olympiad – a week-long gathering of poets, for poetry’s sake, to celebrate language, diversity and a sense of global togetherness. By bringing poets to London from Samoa to Senegal, Tonga to Azerbaijan we go back to the roots of Poetry International, the festival that Ted Hughes and Patrick Garland launched at the Royal Festival Hall in 1967, to address notions of free speech, community and peace through poetry,” said Jude Kelly.