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Local poetry anthology seeks poets

NAMIBIA’S aspirant poets are invited to polish their poems and dive deep into the self as Township Productions readies its third poetry anthology.

With each collection compiled and edited by Keamogetsi Joseph Molapong, the arts company builds on last year’s ‘Naming the Tomb’ and 2020’s ‘Walking from the Self’ to present ‘A Conversation: the Africa in ME’ as its third poetry anthology.

“The broader theme of ‘A Conversation: the Africa in ME’ is self-analysis in finding an answer to an age old question of: Who am I?,” says Molapong. “The anthology calls on poets to really be introspective. They need to honestly interrogate themselves. We need to redefine ourselves as Africans by finding the ‘Africa in ME’ and through this create a more compassionate, humane version of ourselves.”

Township Productions’ two previous anthologies are available online through Amazon and on Kindle.

“Printing is extremely expensive and there is not funding available for Township Productions to print the two anthologies. It is a strange and sad situation in Namibia,” says Molapong.

“On top of that, poetry is not commercial as yet. The market, which is primarily the government, is yet to stock national, regional or community libraries with Namibian poetry. Anthologies give more poets the opportunity to be published and they also help with reaching a broader readership,” Molapong says.

“Even though Namibia is regarded as a nation that does not read, literary publications and poetry in particular enable academia to have access to content from Namibian writers and to integrate some of the works in their lectures and even for the students to analyse and study as part of their course work.”

To this end, poets in Namibia, irrespective of their country of origin, are invited to submit unpublished and original poems for consideration and join the larger, global project of poetry.

“The role poetry affords the writer is that of an observer and commentator of social, political and even economic importance,” says Molapong.

“Through poetry, writers can express theirs and others’ thoughts, emotions and engage the reader through discussions aimed at resolving, appreciating or calling communities to action,” he says.

“Many a time, we claim to be what we are because of what external forces and influences dictate for us to be. As a result, we rarely pronounce ourselves on who we are, and how that which we are is portrayed to the external,” Molapong says.

“Introducing our inner most true-self to the external factors and influences is what this anthology is attempting to achieve.”

Submissions to ‘A Conversation: the Africa in ME’ will be collected until 30 September. The anthology will be launched on 21 March 2023, as part of Namibia’s independence anniversary and World Poetry Day.

For more information, contact [email protected]

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