Poetry fest to honour stalwarts

Thursday, August 01, 2013

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THE Jamaica Poetry Festival: Annual Poetic Feast is scheduled for the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre, in St Andrew on Sunday, August 11.

The all-day event, now in its third year, is produced by Edutainment Promotion and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

This year, the festival will pay tribute to several Jamaican cultural stalwarts some posthumously. They are folklorist Dr Olive Lewin, actress Leonie Forbes, lecturer Alma Mock Yen, lecturer Lorna Goodison, and comedian Ranny Williams.

"It is important that we pay tribute to our stalwarts and recognise their work. This is a perfect medium to do this," said Yasus Afari, principal of Edutainment Promotion.

Ranny 'Maas Ras' Williams had a distinguished acting career. He appeared in several pantomimes and hosted the Ranny Williams Show, which aired on television in the 1970s. He has several films to his credits, including The Marijuana Affair, Tropical Isles and Jamaica No Problem.

In 1976, he received the Commander of the Order of Distinction for Outstanding Services in the field of Entertainment. He died in August 1980.

Dr Olive Lewin, best known for her anthologies of Jamaican folk songs, was an author, anthropologist, musicologist and teacher.

She is founder of the Jamaican Folk Singers.

She died in April 2013 at 85.

Actress Leonie Forbes has a host of films to her name, including Shattered Image, Soul Survivor, Children of Babylon, and Milk and Honey.

Lorna Goodison is a Jamaican poet who currently lectures at the University of Michigan, while Alma Mock Yen is a lecturer in broadcast journalism and a veteran radio personality.

The entertainment package includes performances from Big Youth, Lorna Goodison, Yasus Afari, Marjorie Whylie, Steppa, Randy McLaren, Duane Francis, Theresa Gordon, Prince Oswy, Majah Bless, Abbebe Payne, and Ras Jaja.

"We are building bridges with art form. We see a connection with the pioneers, academia and intelligentsia," he said.

Interactive poetry and creative writing workshop sessions will be facilitated by the JCDC and Duane Francis. This is scheduled from noon until 3:00 pm, while the stage show is slated for a 7:00 pm start.

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