Thursday, March 8, 2012

We are now the BN Poetry Foundation

We are now the BN Poetry Foundation because so much is going on. Let me begin by thanking Dr. Elizabeth Alexander from the US, a woman responsible for revolutionizing black women’s poetry in the US and also read a poem, Praise song of the day, at Barack Obama’s inauguration. She is donating books the foundation to support the poetry development workshops. How generous of her!!

professor Elizabeth Alexander, photo from

Why the name change from BN Poetry Award? Listen, we are doing so much more than awards. I got in touch with the lovely Kate Haines who is in touch with writers in various parts of East Africa and is building a vibrant network of writers and we will be working together during poetry youth camps, publication of anthologies and a new exciting project for 2013. Can’t wait.
Also, a new found fascination is poets from Southern Sudan, looking forward to a long-lasting collaboration from them as well. It’s all good.
Next year the award s targeting the greater East Africa-that is like waiting for the birth of triplets, like a triple blessing.
Thanks to the new partners, Zimba Afrika and Action for Peace and Conflict Transformation for believing in the vision of poetry.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Poetry during Black History Month

Yesterday 29th Feb, we poets met at Makerere University College of Engineering, Art and Design Technology in celebration of Black History Month. Thanks to FEMRITE, US Mission to Uganda and Makerere University. Programme packed with many rock stars in poetry, some veteran others fairly new. Like, hey! Professor Timothy Wangusa, still able to knock us off our feet with his poem Africanology.
1 Consequent upon the Extraordinary Colloquim
Of All-Africa Think Tank of Academic Associations
Concluded this historic day in the city of Abuja-
He has a magnetic field around him that makes poets listen in awe. Then someone I had never met before, Peninah Ninsiima, read Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman, well done Peninah, you were indeed phenomenal. Jason nailed Margaret Walker’s For My People. Susan Kerunen, together with her brother giving us an Alur delight of music. I recited one of my new ones as well called Ssebo Gwe Wange! Which means Sir, you are mine, in Luganda. It is a Ugandan love poem. My tutor at Lancaster is all about me writing Luagnda phrases in my poetry so why not?

Some of the people who love poetry.

Poetry is different. It is special. It is so internal that you can’t be left the same even if you wanted. Poets would make the best preachers, the best doctors and best therapists because they are discerning and deep. I love being with poets, especially when they are good. It is like the aroma of the clouds when it is just about to rain.