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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » DUB-POET AND RADIO HOST MUTABARUKA, TO BE HONORED BY THE JAMAICA POETRY FESTIVAL, AUGUST 14!

DUB-POET AND RADIO HOST MUTABARUKA, TO BE HONORED BY THE JAMAICA POETRY FESTIVAL, AUGUST 14!

By Simone Morgan-Lindo—

 Mutabaruka—

DUB poet and radio personality Mutabaruka will be one of several people honored at the Jamaica Poetry Festival scheduled for the Louise Bennett Garden Theater in St Andrew, on August 14.

The Rastafarian poet is slated to be the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Festival organiser, Yasus Afari said the tribute to the dub poet was a fitting one, due to his contribution to the arts over the years.

“He has been a principal person, not only in this event but he is also very instrumental in Poetry in Motion for the last 13 years. We want to celebrate people who have been consistent in pioneering and developing the arts. He has used his poems to empower and motivate others,” Afari told Jamaica Observer.

Yasus Afari

Yasus Afari

Mutabaruka is known for his hard-hitting poems including Every Time I Ear di Sound, Outcry and Swing.

In addition to Mutabaruka, the six-year-old festival will also be paying tribute to poet laureate Professor Mervyn Morris, literary canon Kamau Brathwaite, and late author June Jordan.

“The aim is to highlight through the visuals their achievements and impact on the arts over the years,” he said.

Afari said poetry, while not as respected as other art forms, continues to play a very vital role in daily activities.

“It is critically important to reggae/dancehall and the spoken word. Every song is a poem, really. Poetry is everything to all forms of music. It helps to express our most deepest feelings and proper values and attitudes are dependent on it. It helps us to release our feelings,” he said.

Professor Mervyn Morris

Professor Mervyn Morris

“Because it doesn’t have the big appeal, we understand why corporate Jamaica doesn’t give much support, but we are appreciative of whatever sponsorship we receive. Back in the days when we started Poetry in Motion, we didn’t even have a hundred patrons but now we have several hundred … so we are getting somewhere,” he said.

Scheduled to perform at this year’s festival are Morris, Afari, Nabbie Natural, Yeza Rebel, Susie Maine, De Maveric, five Canadian poets, El Jones (poet laureate of Halifax), Ahmed Knowmadic — The Somalian, Scruffmouth (Canadian national footballer), Bro Sankofa Juba and Prufrock Shadowrunner (Canada’s Slam Poetry Champion) who recently represented Canada in France.

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