Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Babishai Poetricks-Grand launch on June 16th

Babishai Poetricks is a poetry adventure toolkit for children, youth, adults and just about everyone.

It is a project that invites readers into a maze of stimulating, electrifying and fresh literary games and ideas. We’re officially launching it on June 16th, The Day of The African Child. Invite us for the Training of Trainers. Become a certified trainer. Let your children have a #babishaipoetricks experience.

Caption of a drawing by a 5 year old.

At GreenHill Academy

At Gayaza High School

Through it, we peek into our own lives, understand our various likes and dislikes, question different preferences of time, place and action and identify who we are in this vast world. You don’t have to be a poet to enjoy this; you just have to be available. The toolkit is better managed if an older facilitator takes the participants through it. We also offer trainings for trainers, like teachers in schools or we may conduct the trainings for the children. Get a feel of it before you teach. Laugh, participate and have fun.

By taking note of why we react to certain situations, we are able to better understand what it means to be alive today and how we are affect the person next to us. In this adventure toolkit, we are able to pick out the common sounds and images around us and ask what they mean and those that are not so common. It is packed with physical activity like tasting sweet and sour foods, just so that you can tell us what those tastes remind you of. We will look at many different colours and describe the mood that these colours put us in.
This poetry adventure toolkit was realized after touring many schools and realizing that there is a to huge need and want for poetry for children, written by poets they recognize and find relatable but also a simple guide for children to approach poetry with heady excitement and not fear.

“I hated poetry because of my teacher at school!”

“Poetry is so difficult. All those sonnets and iambic pentameters are impossible!”

How many times have we expressed this or heard our friends saying this?

While poetry may not always be easy to construct and not everyone is meant to be a poet, it still remains a very important tool for literary enrichment, improving your vocabulary and creativity. Reading poetry, learning new ways to articulate and finding your own personal space is what this toolkit is about.

You don’t have to be a poet to enjoy this; you just have to be available.

Contact bnpoetryaward@bnpoetryaward.co.ug for more details.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

These poets mean business: From us to you

Be Prepared To Be Misunderstood! Poets See The World Through The Lens Of Perception And Expression. Poetry Is Your Personal Journey Through Life. Find Your Voice And Rejoice.
Ife Piankhi, The Poet who Sings

Write a poem a day, or even just a line or a stanza. It makes writing poetry get easier and better with every new line. Write about what you feel, see, hear or imagine. Forget the poem you read for a minute and create your own words, your own world ~ and you'll achieve an originality that'll surprise you.
Harriet  Anena, author of A Nation in Labour

 Read widely around your art. Then write with out internal criticism. Then be open to feedback from writers of merit. 
Nick Makoha, Winner of 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize

A poem is a musical form - it's meant to move the air as well as sit on a page. Poems are not just about self-expression - your feelings have to become feelings for your readers for them to care.
Graham Mort, Center of Transcultural Writing, Lancaster

First, write, write and write some more. Then be a cruel editor: the scissors are as important as the pen, but you have to have something to cut first. When you're not writing or editing, read. Read what others have done, read eclectically. And don't forget to have a life! Live it to the full! You only get one! Don't waste it!

Reuben Woolley, Author and Creator of I am Not a Silent Poet

Treat all words with suspicion, use as few of them as you can. For those few, test them hard so they yield essence only. Else, write for beauty's sake.
Richard Ali, author of City of Memories, BN Poetry Board member

I write/read best/more when all of my senses are triggered and i am able to see, hear, smell, feel, touch beautiful things all at the same time...:-)

Sahro Ahmed Koshin, Founder Puntland Women Writers Association

 'Read what kind of books you want to write. Read, read, read. You can't know what's working and what's not except from intensive reading.'
Okwudili Nebeolisa, Poet

Give yourself a formal challenge when writing - organising lines, stanzas and overall poetic forms can help to keep your work tight and powerful,
Graham Mort, Center of Transcultural Writing, Lancaster

If a poem decides to dance, dance with it. If a poem decides to fly, then grab your wings, baby. When you’re done, re-write the poem beginning with the most exhilarating moments to the least and then chop out all the forgettable ones.
Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, Writer

Poems work because of what is implied as well as what is directly said - give your poems depth and silence. Beware of explaining things in a poem - your reader is intelligent and aware so don't lead them by the hand.
Graham Mort, Center of Transcultural Writing, Lancaster

The process of creating could be painful sometimes. You have to write, erase sometimes, re-write, wait, erase everything, start again, and other times, leave. It's important to understand the place your words come from, to have an inner voice of reason and direction, to have connection with the place inside you that feels even the smallest emotion, so as to write boldly and naturally. You have to be yourself to write anything believable.
Eric Otieno Onyango, Kenyan Poet and Mara Mentor

Never rush your writing; if you do, you’ll struggle to make sense of it half the time, and your readers, whom you’ve been hoping would find delight in your creation, will certainly be denied that very delight. A poem doesn’t have to feel, or sound, complete once you’ve written it down or tuned it a bit a few times. A poem at first glance, I think, just wants to be left alone for a while. Don’t fret, but only give it some space and distance just long enough for it to simmer down and take a shape you never knew could be worth your while. –
Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, poet, short story writer and children’s novelist

Extraordinary poets dare to express what is perceived as inexpressible; they walk into the unknown and bring out words that seem ordinary yet unearthly to the world. Oh! Poets should always take their poems to the barber shop for a nice haircut.
Saddiq Dzukogi, Poet

To say so much in statements so short To sound so subtle in sentiments so strong To strike such rhythm in stanzas so lyrical To summon such imagery in scenarios so vivid Is to string words together into what they call poetry.
 Tom Jalio, BNPA 2014 winner (@tjalio)

"As the saying goes- "Habit trumps desire". If you are a writer, you have to be writing. Write everyday. Set targets and meet them. Keep reading, keep learning, keep growing. 
Do not try to be a person you are not. Great writing is genuine and true. Remember to have the time of your life while at it :-) "

Roxanna Aliba Kazibwe, author of  My Love is Not Afraid

A poem is equal to the speed of light and love. And so a poet should live with the speed of light and love. Put simply, as is lovemaking so is poetry. Feel everything within and outside the margins of your blue-paper-bed and your heart. Poetry is a gift just as the heart is; hence, poets give their hearts to other hearts. This is what lovemaking is, as I see and feel it.
David Ishaya Osu

Figurative language can be much more rewarding than straightforward description - metaphors and other allusive forms of language can create delight and deep engagement. Always be careful how you sign off at the end of a poem - don't tag on the 'message' of your poem - let the reader work it out.
Graham Mort, Center of Transcultural Writing, Lancaster

Read, read, and read, I can't emphasize that enough: there's no such thing as enough reading for a writer. It's the only way you will broaden your knowledge, imagination, creativity, and it goes a long way in helping you find your voice as a poet. 2. Write about small things, big things, important things, seemingly unimportant things, write about anything, in a fresh way, a way you would want a poem you were reading to sound. 3. Edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite; sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard. Just keep at it.
Lillian Aujo, BN Poetry winner, 2009, Jalada winner, 2015

Never forget the reader and try to put yourself in their position. Writing is re-writing - a poem should go through many drafts to reach final form. Read your poems aloud to test their rhythms, language and form. A poem on the page is a visual object and should appeal to a reader through its shape and form. Every word in a poem should earn its keep. Take risks - write the poem you didn't know you could write instead of the one you did. Read poetry - as much as possible from every era.
Graham Mort, Center of Transcultural Writing, Lancaster