Posted by: Viola | May 22, 2015

2015 PEN World Voices Festival in New York

Earlier this month, May 4th to 10th, lots of African writers gathered in New York to talk about and celebrate African literature.

Celebrate the transformative power of the written word as 100 writers from 30 countries gather in New York for the 11th Annual PEN World Voices of International Literature. This year’s program, co-curated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, takes you beyond the news by providing a rare chance to hear voices and perspectives from contemporary Africa and its diaspora. Join in a wide range of debates, readings, workshops, and performances in venues from Lower Manhattan and Harlem to Brooklyn and the Bronx, and engage with emerging and established international authors in new and profound ways. ~On Africa, http://worldvoices.pen.org/

I was not able to be there, but I could feel the amazing energy generated and shared. The publisher and editors of the Eight New-Generation African Poets chapbooks box set were there to talk about their amazing work and to share poems by the poets in the series.

I was excited to be able to watch video footage from the events where the chapbook poems and poets were featured. Here are some links for those who might be interested in listening to some of the poems and also listening to the publisher and one of the editors of the chapbook series.

Video 1: Celebrating the Eight New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set, a discussion by Johnny Temple and Kwame Dawes, with readings by Ladan Osman. My poem is read at about 25 minutes into the video. View here: PEN 2015 Johhny Temple, Ladan Osman, Kwame Dawes

Video 2: Eight New-Generation African Poets featured on the POEMobile at the PEN Festival last week. My poems are presented at 53mins and at 1hr 26mins. The words of some poems were also projected on the wall during the reading. Very cool! View here: POEMobile at 2015 PEN Festival. You can also take a listen here: POEMobile at The Studio Museum in Harlem (audio)

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