McGregor Poetry Weekend: Poetry is to the mind what yoga is to the body

2017-08-16 14:30 - Ishani Chetty
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Poetry in McGregor

Cape Town - Poetry and the McGregor country side - could there be anything more magical as we head towards spring?

If you've not visited the town, just two-and-half-hours out of Cape Town, then the upcoming poetry weekend is the right time for you to let your creative side to be indulged and explored. 

READ: A little bit of magic called McGregor 

Rooted in the Heart 

The fifth annual poetry weekend will take place from 25 - 27 August in this cozy yet vibrant town of McGregor.

And what most don't know is that this hidden gem is in fact a haven for artists and poets alike, with this year's poetry theme set as 'Rooted in the Heart'. 

The weekend is aimed at promoting community spirit and providing a stage for well-known poets to share their work. It also encourages young talented artists to get involved and learn from these more established poets.

If you do go, there are over 90 events to look forward to - from poetry recitals, music events, arts and workshops. The likes of Koos Kombuis to Lara Kirsten will also on the list of performances, which can be found here. 

'Poetry does to the mind what Yoga does for the body'

Billy Kennedy, Chairperson of the Poetry in McGregor committee, believes that poetry plays an important part in our lives saying, “Someone once wrote that much of the violence and psychological illness and unease in our society is probably due to poetry deprivation. Bigotry and prejudice and fundamentalism contract the mind, and our world is full of it.

"Poetry expands the mind. It limbers up the imagination. It does to the mind what Yoga does for the body. Poetry can challenge us, uplift us, reshape us and recreate us. Like no other force it can give us a deeper awareness of one another and our inter-connectedness.”’

Bringing the community together

Kennedy says that it was an easy task to name this year's Poetry weekend Rooted in Heart. 

“So much of what we have achieved as a committee, with the invaluable support of those poets who have supported us from the onset of our initiative, has been born of heart.

"We now have NPO status and all our funds are directed to nurturing and growing poetry and supporting various community projects in the village of McGregor.  Poetry in McGregor welcomes not only acclaimed, published poets but young, undiscovered talent.”

The projects aims to provide a space for community growth as well as involvement from all. 

As part of the Poetry in McGregor Weekend, the MAC project will also be hosting the Schools’ Festival on the morning of 25 August 2017. Over 800 pupils from schools in the village and surrounding areas will be attending the event.

Cape Town based artist Ha Man! and his partner Joke Debaere will be presenting music, songs, drama and poetry. The Afrikaans group Ruk!, two dynamic young performers from Cape Town -  will also be performing for the children at this exciting event.

Wees dankbaar vir als al is dit hoe klein of min!

A post shared by Afrikaans ruk (@afrikaans_ruk) on

Get involved  - Poetry against poverty

For those poets who would like to participate spontaneously a number of Open Mic sessions will also be taking place during the Poetry in McGregor weekend. These sessions are hosted by Hugh Hodge and no tickets or booking are required. Anyone wishing to read or recite their poetry is welcome – from the well-known to budding, new poets.

There is a poetry competition that is run in accordance with the event - calling for all South Afrcian's to get involved. Placing pen to paper to create works that are able to uplift,challenge and inspire many.

The theme for this year is, Poetry against poverty. There are two categories for entries: 

1. Adult open category - Win R 5000 

2. Scholars (Students grade 7 - 12) - a brand new iPad

Winners will be announced during the weekend. 

Where to Stay

You will definitely want to overnight in the little cove that is McGregor. Here are some options of accommodation available: 

1. Temenos Retreat 

It is a self catering facilitiy offering a comfortable room and facilities

Cost: R 542, 50 for two people, per night sharing

2. Le Bonheur 

A cozy stay for two in a lovely cottage.

Cost: R 1 200 per unit, per night (sleeps two)

3. McGregor Backpackers

A lovely way to meet the locals and learn more about the wonderful town

Cost: R 185 - R 500 depending on room choice

Details of the event:

Venue: McGregor 

Date: 25 - 27 August 2017

Cost:  R 80 - please click here to purchase tickets

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