Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Submit and Win copies of Uganda's award-winning Tropical Fish, by Doreen Baingaga

The 5th and final BN Poetry Award for Uganda. Next year, the award goes regional. Theme: Innovation As we celebrate the 5th and final BN Poetry Award for Uganda, the theme of Innovation. Innovation can mean advancement, newness, modernity, creativity and so on. Guidelines for the award: • The theme is Innovation and you may submit a total of three poems under this theme • The award is open to Ugandan women above 18 years and who are residents of Uganda • The poems must be in English, previously unpublished and sent as word attachments in Times New Roman Size 12, single-spaced • Original past first winners are not eligible to participate. • Submit poems by email to bnpoetryaward@mail.com or post to p o Box 34942 Kampala, Uganda • For more details, follow the facebook page, Beverley Nambozo Poetry Foundation or blog: http://bnpoetryaward.blogspot.com or website: www.bnpoetryaward.co.ug • Submissions will be accepted from 7 January 2013 to 5 May 2013 Prizes: • In September 2013, the winners will attend a fully sponsored trip to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Nairobi alongside cash prizes of 500 US Dollars, 300 US Dollars and 200 US Dollars respectively to use at the festival. • The first three will win autographed copies of Home Floats in the Distance ZUHAUSE TREIBT IN DER FERNE, Dr. Susan Kiguli’s second poetry collection which is also bi-lingual. The first three winners will also be awarded autographed copies of Diaries of a Dead African, by Chuma Nwokolo, Jr. • Three autographed copies of Tropical Fish, by award-winning author, Doreen Baingana

Monday, March 25, 2013

POETRY FOUNDATION GHANA POETRY PRIZE

Poetry Foundation Ghana has announced its inaugural (2013) GHANA POETRY PRIZE with $1,000 winning prize at stake. This is built on the hugely successful 2012 Online Competition which was done under the name Ghana Poetry Awards. According to organisers, the aim of this prize is to support younger emerging poets. The Prize is sponsored by Poetry Foundation Ghana and with the hope of increasing the prize when they have enough funds from other sources. "People with interest in poetry are invited to help in this direction and we will be grateful for your sponsorship." This contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Interested persons are to to submit a maximum of two poems which must not be more than 30 lines long. Plus, it is free to enter. All submissions should be made to submissions@poetryfoundationghana.org with the subject 'Poetry Prize'. The deadline is June 30, 2013. Shortlisted poems would be announCed in July, while the winner will be made known by September. Viasat1NewsOnline

Friday, March 15, 2013

Too Much sweetness at AWT International Writers’ Conference.

The first story that was told at the Writers’ Conference, which none of us will ever forget did not come from Prof. Jack Mapanje, or Nii Parkes, but from two prostitutes. A Norwegian man died after a night with two prostitutes. Upon their arrest, the prostitutes said that the man must have died from too much sweetness. From 7 to 9 March 2013, African Writers’ Trust organized an international writers’ conference in Entebbe. The Director, Goretti Kyomuhendo, resident in the UK, created this space for us to talk, write, learn and create. It was unforgettable. The dominant theme at the conference was Afropolitanism and the question of continental identity with the mobility of Africans all over the world. There have been large exoduses from decades and decades ago for reasons ranging from seeking alternative education and economic opportunities, tourism, escaping political strife and so on. And then there were questions about returning to the continent and if it really did feel like home. In his keynote address, Prof. Mapanje, renowned Malawian poet did not have a solid answer as to whether returning to Malawi after two decades in the UK, really felt like home. The conference had several writers from the diaspora whose names were followed by Accra/UK, DRC/Norway, DRC/Netherlands and Uganda/UK. This is the real situation of many who have lived and continue to live across two continents and for many reasons, unable to identify one single country as their home. It is an indisputable reality and one that I learned from after hearing their stories of challenges of living as a writer in the West. Contrary to the justification many of us try to give ourselves when we are not writing or pushing our creativity beyond its limits, we who live here want to believe that ‘they’ in the West, have it easier because they live next door to publishers, dine with literary agents and have coffee with prize givers. Hardly. They too have 24 hours in the day with which to work and create, have children to look after and bills to pay. Did I mention that the weather most times in unfavourable and can be compared to Margherita peak on Mt. Rwenzori. And nothing brought made this clearer than the readings from Kwani? 07, which Doreen Baingana and Kalundi Serumaga opened up to us. Billy Kahora, managing Editor of Kwani? led a very reflective session and explained the motivation for the theme for the latest edition of the East Africa literary journal, Kwani?, which was Africans in the diaspora Doreen’s was a true account of being mistreated at the immigration department before entering the United States. The confrontation by the officials because of the choice she made not to apply for US citizenship and instead return to Uganda, resonates the binary standards of immigration policies. The disparity between the West and the beautiful and complex continent of Africa is further examined in an article by Alphonse Muambi, Congolese journalist currently residing in The Netherlands. The articles entitled, African elections, a na├»ve European ideal? indicates that the European desire for democracy on the continent is detrimental to the well-being of African populations. There was a lot of discourse as well about how we can collaborate as writers to use available digital tools to widen our audiences and opportunities for publishing and listening to Chikoti’s views on this and his Malawi experience as well as Rais Boneza from Norway/DRC, Dwalu, a children’s author from Liberia and even the Ugandan writers like Beatrice Lamwaka, Hellen Nyana, Harriet Anena, Baingana and Twongyeirwe. It is safe to say that we must tap into the prospects from the internet and keep on writing. The conference was followed by many other events in Kampala, one of which was an African Writers’ evening organized by Nii Parkes, which he runs in England on a quarterly basis. And true to the celebration of Women’s Day, Beatrice Lamwaka read from two different anthologies and bravely bore the Q and A from the audience. Rais entertained us with an oral form of poetry in singing verse and Nii, true to his amazing self, ended on a high with the West African mosquito, detailing the issues of youths in America who live and think like gangsters but are no match for the perils of malaria. Goretti Kyomuhendo is farsighted. The session with employees from Barclays Bank and Stichting Doen, the sponsors of the event, discussing possible collaboration with the literary arts is testimony to this. She embraces challenge with a dignified fierceness and I am so grateful. I am honoured to have met astounding writers from Uganda, the entire continent and the diaspora, from whom I picked incredible wealth for my own writing. Asanteni! By Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Article from Proggie UG-on BNN as author of the month

Any aspiring authors who missed the conversations with the author of the month Beverley Nambozo at Femrite are sorely at a loss. Her pedigree needs no recounting and to say that her advice is priceless would be an understatement. We have come to expect every event to start late and so we, at least I, never bother to set off on time. To my pleasure and disappointment this one started on time. People were already seated and Beverley was going on with the conversations. As a first time visitor I was surprised to see more than one man in the intimate gathering. When I hear Femrite, I immediately think women. It was a pleasure to find that the female author cuts across genders. It was aptly titled ‘conversations’ because that is what it was. Certainly some of the people present knew each other well, but even us first time members settled in very easily. Beverley shared and the audience asked questions here and there. Here are a few tips from Beverley for those seeking to follow in her footsteps but sadly missed talking to her. She stressed the need for research and more research. If you are writing a story about Owino market, go downtown and ‘breathe the life’. However she followed this up by saying respect to the characters and their story should always be upheld. In response to a question about if writers can be taught, the lady who asked the question mentioned that when asked the same, Chinua Achebe said that it really comes from the gut, Beverly said that ‘teaching’ might be replaced by the word ‘nurture’.’You should indeed nurture your craft’, she said. She confirmed what I have always believed by saying that writing is hard work and that you need to put in the work. You should find a space to nurture your craft. For her it was her Masters’ in Fine Art but it can be a writer’s club or through peer review. She shared the ups and downs the Beverley Nambozo poetry award has led her on. In its fifth year, it is the only one of its kind in the country. Although there were times she wanted to just give it up, she is proud of the results. Her formula? Determination and a good team. There are other spices that go into the end work but from what I surmised, these were prerequisite. The award is growing to cover East Africa and include men as well. As is the norm at this event, I was informed, the author of the month reads to the group. Beverly recited a few of her poems my favourite being ‘Kampala’, a one stanza piece that proves that truth can really be said in very few words. On encouraging writers in Uganda; Beverly believes the University(s) should build more programs that support writing and that writers should be paid-on that I agree. Her books are on sale for 10,000shs at Femrite, the National theatre or in her handbag, her words. The Beverley Nambozo poetry foundation is accepting entries for this year’s award. The deadline is 5th May. SUBMIT YOUR POEMS TO THE 5TH AND FINAL BN POETRY AWARD FOR UGANDA Theme: Innovation Guidelines for the award: • The theme is Innovation and you may submit a total of three poems under this theme • The award is open to Ugandan women above 18 years and who are residents of Uganda • The poems must be original, written in English and sent as word attachments in Times New Roman Size 12, single-spaced • Previous first winners are not allowed to participate • Submit poems by email to bnpoetryaward@mail.com or post to P O Box 34942 Kampala, Uganda • DO NOT add your contact details to the poem, only the title of the poem. Instead, include your name, poems’ titles, email address and phone number in the body of the email • For more details, follow the facebook page, Beverley Nambozo Poetry Foundation or blog: http://bnpoetryaward.blogsot.com/ or website:www.bnpoetryaward.co.ug • Submissions will be accepted from 7 January 2013 to 5 May 2013 Prizes: • Fully sponsored trip to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Nairobi alongside cash prizes of 500 US Dollars, 300 US Dollars and 200 US Dollars respectively to use at the festival • Autographed copies of Home Floats in the Distance/ ZUHAUSE TREIBT IN DER FERNE, Dr. Susan Kiguli’s second poetry collection which is also bi-lingual. • Autographed copies of Diaries of a Dead African, by Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.