Celebrating East African Writing!
Page poetry is intended for the eye, whereas Spoken Word engages both the eye and the ear. Some poetry that is originally meant for the page is sometimes suitable for use in performance poetry as Spoken Word and vice versa. But the two – page poetry and spoken word – are two sub-genres that each call upon different sets of skills from the creators.
“Poetry as an art form predates literacy. In preliterate societies, poetry was frequently employed as a means of recording oral history, storytelling (epic poetry), genealogy, law and other forms of expression or knowledge that modern societies might expect to be handled in prose.
In preliterate societies, poetry was composed for, and sometimes during, performance. As such, there was a certain degree of fluidity to the exact wording of poems, given this could change from one performance or performer to another. The introduction of writing tended to fix the content of a poem to the version that happened to be written down and survive. Written composition also meant that poets began to compose not for an audience that was sitting in front of them but for an absent reader. Later, the invention of printing tended to accelerate these trends. Poets were now writing more for the eye than for the ear.” Adapted from Kirk, GS (2010). Homer and the Oral Tradition (reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 22–45. ISBN 978-0-521-13671-6.
When all else is stripped from you, are you really a Kenyan?
Is Kenya a place you live, are stuck in, or is it part of your identity?
If you had other options, would you still be a Kenyan?
How does language, culture and residence play into your Kenyan Identity?
How much do stereotypical assumptions play into identity?
Is your identity what was imposed on you at birth, or what you choose for yourself?
(Guiding Questions are only meant to guide your thematic choices, not dictate your poems topic, title and content)
Form: Creator’s Choice
Submission: Email your poetry submission to firstname.lastname@example.org in Word Document attachment before 1st August 2014 at 11.59pm. Email subject line should read #ToBeKenyan. Word Document Attachment name should have your name. The document itself should contain title of poem, your poem and your contact details at the end.
Prize For Overall Winner: Opportunity to showcase poetry at Festival and KES 2000/-