About quarter way through this year, scores of prominent poets and artists alike were spreading the phrase ‘2014 year of the poets’.The truth of this phrase is evident in the multitude of poetry events, both upcoming and established, that have been flooding the cities with their versatile content. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the world of poetry in Kenya in April this year and I am ever so grateful that I was. I have witnessed Kings and Queens set stages on fire and challenge minds, budding poets alike rise with tongues for weapons. I have experienced phenomenal artistry that I never knew existed in this beautiful country meeting some of the most intriguing minds and interacting with wonderful people who are as eager to see the creativity continue brewing within Kenya.
In no specific order,here are some of the events that goes down right under your noses. I guarantee there are more! Choose one,show up with an open mind, heart, and soul.
The Arteast Hub is an all round Art Movement/Event hapenning every 1st Saturday of the month.It seeks to tap,explore,educate and empower creatives all over Kenya using poetry,live bands and other forms of Art.
Words N Word is a poetry show that happens every last Thursdays of the month.It is an evening of performances from Kenyan best poets and international artists from afro, soul music and best bands.
Venue -UTR, Time-6:00pm to 9:30pm Kenyan time.
Directions- UTR( Under The Radar) is situated along Argwings Kodhek road past Yaya center. Board a mat number 46 at Kencom and alight at Elgeiyo or Radar Security. This months’ edition will be held on 28th.
Advance tickets:ksh500
At the gate:ksh1000
A stage, a Mic and a seated audience is probably your idea of a Spoken word event.This is not really the case for this street held event.Street poetry finds its uniqueness in holding the event in the streets.By 3:30pm every 4th Sunday of the month,the Agha khan walk pavement right behind the parking lot is turned into a performance stage. A stage which a performing poet stands to speak his mind to the eager audience seated along a perimeter stone while other word lovers stand to give it the street sense.
KWANI?Open Mic.
Kwani? Open Mic,is a monthly poetry and spoken word event held every first Tuesday of the month at Mama Ngina Street, IMAX Cinema, Arfa Lounge from 7-9pm. We feature a poet/spoken word artist who has shown consistency and growth in performance and audience pull.
Entry: 400Ksh at the gate.
Advance tickets:300ksh
More than just words! More than just music! We are Upgrade Poetry-beyond the art, we bring the word.Nakuru is home to the amazing arts group Upgrade Poetry. Normally on the last Sundays of every month, The creatively Endowed hub is home to the 51st Slam Africa King Mbunge Aliyaparara. You get to enjoy the best of Poetry Kenya has to offer. To top it all up, Upgrade boasts of Octave the band which keeps the event mellow through out.Hosted by the charismatic Slam King Gufy,Upgrade Poetry offers more than just words! More than just music!beyond the art, we bring the word.We are Upgrade Poetry.
At the Gate:250Ksh
Poetry Spot is a Christian platform for poetry, lyrical music & spoken word. It happens every second Friday of the month at the All Saints Cathedral & entrance is free. Every month we have a different theme which seeks to tackle issues affecting us, celebrate Christ & our virtues from a Christian perspective. What’s unique about this event is the fact that poets send the lyrics to their pieces for approval before being allowed on stage. This is to ensure that guys adhere to the theme, stick to our principles & proper planning too. Poetry Spot is organized by The youth drama Ministry – All Saints Cathedral. Antony Trent is the Chair.We are an oasis of love representing Jesus to the fullest.
Time-5:30 to 8:30
twitter handle is @poetryeve
Fb page: Poetry spot
Group:Poetry Spot & Poetry Spot (every 2nd Friday of the month).
A space where we nurture artistry, publish and distribute poetry and fiction, and participate in creative conversations HISIA ZANGU is an association of writers, poets, performers and artists, in pursuit of individual betterness and deftness in creation and performance. It is a creative space where we convey our heartfelt emotions, experiences, and aspirations and inspire change for the good of our country; Kenya, and for the progress of all men.
To promote, nurture artistry, produce, publish and distribute works of art, participate in creative interactions and conversations and play an active role in tackling a broad spectrum of issues in society.
Words Galore is a monthly event that happens every 1st Saturday of the month at creatives garage.It incorporates poetry art and acoustic expression.Next edition is going down on the 20th of October at Sondeka Festival, Ngong Racecourse.
Fatuma’s Voice offers a prolific avenue for young people to interact. The forum happens on a weekly basis, every Saturday at Pawa 254 from 4:30 pm, characterized by thematic discussions, poetry, music and other forms of art. IT brings together people from all walks of life; professionals, students, scouts, poets, musicians and organizations. Its aim is to encourage mature and free expression amongst a people so as to sell the concept of peaceful co-existence and love for each other.
The entrance is 100/-
PAL is a spiritual poetry platform that gives every soul a platform to share poetic thoughts for free at the Kenya Cultural Center.It happens at the Kenya Culture Centre every Thursday from 1:30pm-3pm.We also have Thursdays Poetry happening at KCC every 3rd Thursday of the month from 7pm-8:30pm.
Slam Africa is to promote the spoken word performance in order to build audience participation, foster education, awaken minds, inspire, mentor,stimulate creativity and encourage spoken word artistry in Kenya.The poet with highest scores in the last round is crowned the King.It happens every 2 Months at the new venue Pawa254.However,there will be no Slam this October as the month is dedicated to 2 Spoken Words Artists;Poet Tear Drops and Mufasa who will be launching their separate Albums on Oct 12.
The only event that happens in a Park;Memorial Park aka Bomb Blast every 1st and last Fridays of the month.The next edition comes on 29th Aug and 5th September at 2pm.
Charges 200Bob.
StoryMoja Hay Festival.
The Annual Storymoja Festival, Kenya’s premier literary event is an opportunity to meet with the brightest thinkers from home & abroad; literature, technology, innovation, self-development, wealth creation, art,music…& of course food and drinks.Storymoja is to hold a 5-day Celebration of Our Stories and Our Contemporary Culture. 17 – 21 September 2014 at the Nairobi National Museum.For more details on how to get your ticket to the festival checkwww.storymojafestival.com
Intro by Laura Ekumbo(#52ndslamafricarunner-up)
Article By Dante from Neo Grand Designs: http://www.neogranddesigns.com/index.php