Vokal Da Poet wins Shoko poetry contest

HARARE - Spoken word artist Christopher ‘Vokal Da Poet’ Chiwanza came out tops in a competition held by Shoko Festival to select poets whose works will be published on the Poetry International (Holland) website.

The competition held by Shoko Festival in partnership with Magamba Network and Poetry International Zimbabwe, also saw the selection of nine other poets who included second-placed Rabison Shumba, Panashe Madziva, Zaza Muchemwa, Batsirai Chigama, Conarth Macheka, Tinofireyi ‘Aerosol’ Zhou, Gwinyai ‘Verseless’ Runyowa, Tswarelo ‘Tswa’ Mothobe and Anesu ‘Aspya’ Mapako.

The 10 poets were selected by a high-powered adjudication panel that included publisher Irene Staunton, comedian-cum-poet Comrade Fatso and internationally-acclaimed poet Chirikure Chirikure.

Vokal Da Poet’s winning poem/performance walked away with $150 while  the rest of the poets that will be selected for publication on Poetry International (Holland) website will earn $50. The winning poems will also be released in an audio format.

Selected by Shoko Festival in partnership with Magamba Network and Poetry International Zimbabwe, the poets are set to take part in Magamba Network’s spoken word event called Word Garden at the Book Café on Wednesday.

Shoko Festival spokesperson Tafadzwa Sharaunga told the Daily News yesterday that the selected poets fulfilled very rigorous criteria.

“The poems were judged on their freshness, wit, insight, imagery, alliteration, assonance, rhyme, rhythm, metaphor amongst other poetic devices,” he said.

“The competition was open to entry to an online audience on the Shoko Festival Facebook page (ShokoFestival) and twitter (@shokofestival). The judges then made a shortlist of the top poems from the dozens of poems received.”

The poetry competition is part of a series of events that have been lined up in the build-up to the Shoko Festival that will take place in Harare from September 25 to 28.

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