Poetry slam explodes

HARARE - Several leading poets, converging at the Book Café today in this year’s first edition of the House of Hunger Poetry Slam, are confident that the event will propel them to greater heights.

Award-winning poet Arnold ‘So Profound’ Chirimika wants to see Zimbabwe’s leading poetry competition that is sponsored by Pamberi Trust take on a new dimension.

“This year I want the slam to grow beyond just something that happens every month, but something we can take to communities and various places where poetry can be a tool for social change,” said So Profound who has won the House of Hunger Poetry Slam several times.

“The event influenced my poetry because it has taught me to be diverse and consistent.”

With the poetry competition set to be graced by Germany-based Zimbabwean poet Chirikure Chirikure who will be guest honour, it is not difficult to understand why leading female poet Moreblessing ‘Momo’ Size is looking forward to the event.

“This year is about reaching greater heights and getting my poetry published by end of 2014,” said Momo.

“The competition has taught me how to seize my target audience’s attention and captivate them with my words, and the fact that the crowd can critique my work helps me grow as a poet.”

Another female poet Mazvita “Younique” Gwangwadza is also thrilled to be part of this afternoon’s clash of poets.

“The competitive nature of the slam has influenced my poetry.

“The vibe of who will be the best demands that poets work extra hard to perfect what they want to deliver, be on point, on time and not to lose the audience,” said Younique who is keen to see more female poets taking part.

Rising poet Tinashe Tafirenyika has encouraged more female poets to enter Zimbabwe’s only monthly poetry competition whose theme this month is ‘New Beginnings, New Horizons’.

“As a female poet, I look forward to more females slamming, new pieces for the new year, a bigger and more diverse fan base this year.

“Last year for me the slam was literally a springboard for my poetry.

“Almost every other performance I got came via House of Hunger Poetry Slam, so did most of the networking.
“I am sure it did the same for other artists.

It is the most consistent poetry platform in Zimbabwe that I know of,” added Tafirenyika.

Dennis Madyira, the January slam co-ordinator, is determined to see the House of Hunger Poetry Slam surpass the 298 poets who took part in the event throughout last year and the 900 fans who graced the 12 monthly slams.

“We want to see more new poets coming forward, and to urge poets to start 2014 with a new mind-set, being innovative and able to stand for their art,” said Madyira.

“This year is a year to take poetry to greater heights and I believe the House of Hunger Poetry Slam is the platform to do that.

“Poets are required to register with the master of ceremonies before the event starts at 2pm. They are judged by their peers, and the interaction is lively.”

The House of Hunger Poetry Slam, named after named after the late famous poet Dambudzo Marechera’s book, takes place on the first Saturday of every month when poets gather to present a mixture of eclectic performances encompassing different points of view, thoughts, backgrounds and languages in a highly enjoyable afternoon of poetry.

It is the longest-running poetry platform in Zimbabwe that was established in 2005 by arts development organisation Pamberi Trust.

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