The first Jozi House of Poetry session of the year took place on the 23rd of Feb at the Afrikan Freedom Station. Though the venue is smaller than their previous venue, I’m glad they’ve moved the event here, the Afrikan Freedom Station is a great space for creatives. It’s a multimedia exhibition space: a gallery, a musical and artistic space just on the edge of Sophiatown in Westdene.
This session focused on Love, on writing or not writing about love. Myesha Jenkins, Phillippa Yaa De Villiers and Natalia Molebatsi shared their poetry and discussed the various types of love that they explore in their poetry. The love for friends and people you respect, as expressed in a poem that Phillippa wrote inspired by her mentor’s name, Keorapetse Kgositsile. It ends with the lines:
“Whoever you are
Wherever you are
You are enough”
The love of nature and country as expressed in Myesha’s Green:
“do you know green
The love for a lover and Natalia shared Music Man:
Like all natural beings do season in
and season out
music man i (will not stop)
Between discussion about what writing about love means, feels, looks like and what we look for in a love poem, the audience shared their own poems. The audience included known poets like Michelle Mcgrane as well as poets sharing their poems for the first time like Stanford Gibson. Poems shared include poems written for marriage vows, poems for blue collar men, nature, even poems about a love for justice and the other side of love, when it breaks down.
This was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon sharing poetry, learning from each other and enjoying the most amazing red velvet cup cakes.
Jozi House of Poetry is a monthly event happening ever last Sunday of the month at Afrikan Freedom Station.