Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The workshop was so ....dynamite

The workshop was hot. When I spoke to Ife Piankhi on phone, a Caribbean poet based in Uganda, I had no idea she was dynamite. Sh performed about her experience as a black person in the uk and wow, it was tremendous. Poetry is better once spoken off memory and she said we must read and travel a lot to different places in town , around the country and even across the borders.

Isaac T, coming from an academic background gave us the 411 of good poets to read like Leopold Senghor, Diop, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, William Wordsworth, Walt Whitman, T.S Eliot who broke the conventional rules and opened up creative free verse poetry. It was great.

Then we had the debate on if Okot p Bitek is the finest poets that Uganda has ever had, and we learnt about performance , in fact Susan Kerunen of Bayimba shared how she actually performed Okot's Song of Lawino.

As poets, it is also pertinent to have quiet time, we need solitude in order to get deep into ourselves. Being alone is not the same as lonely.Solitude is strength.
Poetry is quite divisive as well. A number of the participants thought that poetry must be performed while others did not and still some felt strongly about rhyming poetry and others not. It was great to go through the evolution of poetry and accept where we are and yet even stil some felt that contemporary poets had destroyed poetry and that we needed to go back to our old traditions. It was such an interesting diccussion. Onthe whole, poetry is about speaking about our environment and since that changes, so will poetry.
We may take the workshop to Pallisa next year after an invitaion from Hope, a poet from the region. We learnt a lot and yes, poetry can be done as a career, why not? If u believe it, why not? Thanks to Stitching Doen for making it all happen. And thanks to everyone that came.


  1. it was aday to remember en i will neva 4get it thanx 2ll da facitators participants en u Bv u guyz made ma day en changed ma perception on wat poetry is all about for without it we wont live........... mofire

  2. blessings a truly inspiring experience for me meeting Ugandan writers and performers. it made me realize that even though we may not have had the same experiences as afrikans we are still family. Our need to express and be creative is at the heart of our cultural indentity no matter where we reside on this beautiful planet of ours. i look forward to more sharing and growth. Ife

  3. Thanks guys, Ugly emcee I learnt loads too and I want to start learning my poetry. Ife , creativity is at the depth of our hearts I agree. So much to grow into, to become, to flourish into, to hope for. Poetry is passion.

  4. I still feel there is a lot more to be done. Ypu took the first step and that to me has great promises coming over. I was glad to meet guys that would challenge my own poetic experience and sometimes, Bev, academia dies and reality sets in. Glad, so glad to have been a part of it. Keep the fire burning