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Big names for poetry festival

Sunday, August 03, 2014    

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DR Neal Hall, hailed as the Malcolm X of International Poetry, is special guest at the fourth annual Jamaica Poetry Festival — The International Edition, which takes place next Sunday at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St Andrew.

The author of acclaimed books such as Nigger For Life and Winter's A Coming Still, Hall is a graduate of Harvard and Cornell universities.

Yasus Afari, founder and chief organiser of the festival, says Hall's appearance "is of great significance".

"He is a poet of intellectual passion and artistic significance whose poetry has consistently championed socio-economic and socio-political issues pertinent to social advocacy, of which we are a part, and of which poetry is pivotal," Afari added.

Another featured artiste will be Jean 'Binta' Breeze, a trailblazer in the genre known as dub poetry. She is the Jamaica Poetry Festival 2014's honouree and main performer in the 'Poetree Showcase'.

Breeze, whose latest work is Third World Girl, will also participate in the creative writing workshops.

Representing the Eastern Caribbean is 'designer poet' Alexis Ryan of Anguilla. Iran's Shema Ahmadi will also perform.

In addition to Breeze, the Jamaican artistes include Afari, Kellie Magnus, Dr Karen Carpenter, Dr Sonjah Stanley Niaah, Maia Chung, Steppa, Viv Morris Brown, Annmarie Wilmot and roots singer Admiral Tibet.

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