When USA poet Mark Kelly Smith founded poetry slam in 1986 at a club in Chicago his intention was to give poetry back to the people. Thirty-one years later, this competitive form of poetry has brought his vision into life. Current State of Poetry (CSP) and Joburg Theatre Youth Development will host a national slam at the Joburg theatre, 7 April. This slam comes after a Provincial slam, involving all 9 South African provinces in 2017. Each Province has a winner and that winner will be coming to Johannesburg to slam against other Provinces for a chance to be the national slam champion and represent South Africa in Chad, as part of the Coupe d’Afrique de Slam poesie, CSAP this coming November. The National Poetry Slam is another step in the CSP mission, that of building a stable and sustainable SA poetry industry. The year 2016 leg of this slam saw the merger of major poetry societies across the country thus widening the market. The slam champions from each province represented their provinces at the SA National Poetry Slam in November 2016, which crowned the Western Cape-based poet, Ashley Makue, the SA National Champion, who represented the country at the Women of The World Poetry Slam 2017 in Dallas, tx, USA.
The slam will be hosted by one of CSP founders Vus’umuzi Phakathi as Lil’Hussil.
BASA’s very own, Onthatile Ditshego, Education Programme Manager was pleased to be invited to be a judge at this years’ 2nd Annual South African Provincial Poetry Slam that was held on the 7 April 2018.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the SA National Poetry Slam on Saturday. The National Finalists were all excellent which made judging such a difficult task. All of the entries were unquestionably AMAZING! Congratulations to all the poets who participated and to note that it was especially good to see a few females contend as well. We wish Thuthukani from Gauteng all the best at the Poetry Slam Africa.” comments Onthatile.
For more information contact Lehlohonolo Masina on +27 81 573 2582 or email
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