McGregor Poetry Festival celebrates 10 years this month

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FROM 18 to 20 November in McGregor, Western Cape, the theme of this year’s McGregor Poetry Festival is Touching the Wild. It will comprise 65 events that include 43 poetry reading events, three open mic sessions, 11 book launch events, three workshops, three music and movement performances and two youth outreach events.

Founder Billy Kennedy says: “Now in its 10th year, we will reflect on our wondrous journey thus far, filled as it was with the exuberant passion and generosity of the many poets who have supported our vision. Once again, the festival will be anchored at Temenos Retreat in McGregor and will celebrate poets, their muses and their creative offerings.”

Photo by Sy Tchao

Antjie Krog, Wendy Woodward, Ian McCallum, Harry Owen, Ilze Olckers, Jacques Coetzee, Kobus Moolman, Archie Swanson, Stephen Symons, Lara Kirsten, Sue Woodward and Diana Ferrus (with Die  Mengelmoes Digters), join a long list of impressive poets on this year`s programme. There is also a special event with John Maytham, where he will read from a script crafted by Finuala Dowling inspired by Touching the Wild. Exciting new voices Nondwe Mpuma, Lisa Julie and Jadrick Pedro will be at the festival as well.

Poetry in English and Afrikaans from the underground literary ‘zine, Ons Klyntji, will be featured; regular contributors Sindiswe Busuku and Tom Dreyer will be joined by well-known spoken word artists Churchil Naudé and Curtley Jones plus two of the editors, Toast Coetzer and Alice Inggs.

Book launches include new works by Douglas Reid Skinner, Willem Fransman Jnr, Christine Coates and The Phoebe Book of Poems for Children curated by Patricia Schonstein, among others. The launch of the Poetry in McGregor 2021 Anthology with readings will be a highlight on Saturday 19 November at 3pm, at Wahnfried.

Lulu, the resident cat at Temenos, endorses the poetry festival. Photo by Don Pinnock

Poetry in Schools is an initiative of the McGregor Poetry Festival; students of McGregor Fountain Waldorf School, McGregor Primary School, and McGregor College participate in poetry and art workshops led by local artists together with teachers from the various schools. The workshops, which address grades one to 12, take place before the festival and the resultant work is exhibited at numerous venues during the festival weekend..

To view the full programme, click here. Tickets can be booked via Quicket. For accommodation options contact McGregor Tourism at [email protected] or call 023 625 1954.

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  • Poetry in McGregor Festival would like to thank its sponsors: Clemengold Gin, Temenos Retreat, Langeberg Municipality, Graham Beck Enterprises, LW Hiemstra Trust, Wahnfried, uHlanga, Karavan Press, New Contrast, Dryad Press, Amazwi South African Museum of Literature, Stanzas Poetry Magazine, Creative Republic, Tanagra Wine & Guest Farm, La Galleria, Leila Witkin, Diddi Lippstreu, Jan Glazewski, and Vivian Claire
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