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July 23, 2009

Spoken-word spectacle

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Multi-award-winning poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph incorporates dance and music into his performance. Photo courtesy Aaron Stock

The annual Urban Voices Poetry Festival draws huge crowds and this year promises to be no different.

The festival, which takes place on July 26 in Cape Town, boasts local and international poets and is guaranteed to feature inspiring and innovative spoken-word performances.

Urban Voices executive director and founder Roshnie Moonsammy told multicultural online journal LitNet that “the Southern African Arts Exchange (SAAE) has scouted far and wide across the world, searching for the most talented and relevant poets for the South African audiences.”

The SAAE has been very successful, managing to secure world-renowned international poets, including Staceyann Chin, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Abena Koomson and Willie Perdomo.

Chin, who performed at the festival in 2003, is sure to garner much interest. The award-winning poet is famous for her passionate and provocative work, which often centres on her sexuality and challenges homophobia.

Multi-award-winning poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph incorporates dance and music into his performance and is described as a cutting-edge “hip-hop theatre artist”.

A New York native, Joseph has performed on Broadway in Tony Award-winning shows and travels extensively presenting his unique style of poetry.

Internationally acclaimed artists Koomson and Perdomo will also feature at the festival, sharing their powerful and critically celebrated poetry. Koomson, famous for her storytelling, and Perdomo, whose work combines the influences of hip-hop and Shakespeare, are guaranteed to attract a large audience.

The local bill, which celebrates the diversity and culture of South Africa, features female poetry group Rite 2 Speak (Naima Mclean, Ameera Patel, and Mbali Kgosidintsi) and Tsoana Nhlapo.
The festival will take place at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre on July 26 at 20h00.

Tickets for the event cost R150 and can be booked through Computicket.

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