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The sixth Poetry in McGregor Festival 2018 will be held over the weekend of August 24-26. The festival organisers (The MAC Project) are happy to announce that more than 160 poets will be participating at various unique venues in McGregor over the festival weekend. Some of the well-known poets that will be featured are Kobus Moolman, Ian McCullum, Galeo Saintz, Douglas Reid Skinner, Patricia Schonstein, Athol Williams, Medzani Musandiwa, Douglas Reid Skinner, Margaret Clough, Dan Wylie, Phillippa Yaa, Nomashenge, Toast Coetzer, Erns Grundling, Joan Hambidge, Willem Fransman, Fourie Botha, and Lara Kirsten among others. There will also be open mic sessions by two groups from Cape Town, Off the wall and Grounding sessions, as well as a school`s programme on the Friday morning for the schoolchildren of surrounding areas.

The theme for 2018 is “The Sound of Water” and poets throughout the country have responded with remarkable enthusiasm. Not only have they written poems based on the theme, but they have also envisioned a wide range of presentations expressing the beauty and wonder of this precious resource. Among the serious, light hearted, challenging and inspiring items are “Desert Rain” by David Tyfield, “Haunted by Water” by Wendy Woodward and Christine Coates, “Homage to the Waters” by Marguerite de Villiers, “Songs of Water” by the Worst End Theatre Company, “Waterways” by Joseph Koetsier. Browse through the programme to find many more related presentations.

There are also exciting group productions at this year`s poetry festival. Look out for an offering by The Mothertongue Youth Theatre Company, a fulltime performance company that employs local performers from the Langeberg region. They will be doing a performance offering that combines poetry, physical theatre and sound. The title of the show is “Memories of Water” and it comprises of self-written poems in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Another group highlight “Finding Water: This is how it is” will be presented by The Life Righting Collective, an NPO that supports creative growth in people who have been starved of opportunity. This is like finding water when you are extremely thirsty. Their first anthology collection of true South African stories called “This Is How It Is”, contains poems as well as prose and will be presented over the weekend by ten poets. More info about this organisation: www.liferighting.com

An exciting initiative at this year`s festival is the Helenvale Poets “back a buddy” project. The aim is to raise enough through donations to bring 20 emerging poets from Helenvale, Port Elizabeth to McGregor Poetry Festival. Most PE residents link Helenvale with images of crime, violence and poverty, but the Helenvale Poetry Project wishes to offer writers a way of finding themselves and their aspiration through poetry. For more information or to make a donation go to: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/helenvale-poets-attendance-at-the-mcgregor

Billy Kennedy, Founder of the Poetry in McGregor Festival says that it is incredible to see how the festival has grown over the past few years. “So many poets and creative groups are contacting us to partake. This brings us great joy. Poetry as an art form deserves more platforms and support. In a world constantly speeding up and bombarded by information, Poetry can remind us to slow down and to reflect more consciously and sensitively on our lives and our deeper connection to ourselves, to one another and to the world. Poetry is far more than the arrangement of words. Poems often present multiple possibilities that range over infinite fields, not only in the use of language but in all aspects of human existence – love, sex, death, thinking, eating, imagining, remembering, interpreting, believing, doubting, protesting, and knowing. They offer unimagined ways of relating. New ways of being intimate, new ways – dare one say – of seeing. It can change the way we think about ourselves and how we see the world.”

The 2018 programme also includes poetry readings, book launches, music and poetry, writing workshops, poetry walks in nature, audio visual presentations and exhibitions. McGregor is renowned for its warm-hearted hospitality and its beautiful setting. All the intimate venues are in walking distance of one another and there are great places to enjoy log fires, local wine and food. To see a full list of participating poets and their presentations visit http://poetryinmcgregor.co.za/

TICKETS AND ACCOMMODATION:

Tickets will be available from Computicket from mid-July 2018. It is advised to book accommodation in advance. Contact:

Temenos Retreat: www.temenos.org.za / temenos@lando.co.za / 023 625 1871

McGregor Country Getaways: info@mcgregor-accommodation.co.za / 023 625 1409 / 076 411 9477

Destination McGregor: www.destinationmcgregor.co.za /023 625 1450 / 082 924 8997

McGregor Tourism Bureau: info@tourismmcgregor.co.za / 023 625 1954

Robertson Tourism Bureau: info@robertson.org.za / 023 626 4437

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