McGregor Poetry Weekend: Embrace and celebrate being alive with poetry

2019-07-26 16:30
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This charming village is referred to as the place where time stood still by its friendly residents. If you are heading out of Cape Town or looking for an unforgettable experience, why not take a quick detour into this town  - just in time for one of the most popular poetry festivals on the continent.

The Heart Of The Moon 

The poetry festival now in its seventh successful year will be held on August 23- 25 August ready to welcome spring. This otherwise peaceful village plays host to more than 200 poets and the lovers of the art every year.

In celebration of its seventh cycle this year's theme is the Heart of the Moon and as with themes in the past it has a special intent behind it, to deepen the intimacy of the festival. The McGregor village already provides an intimate setting and the two work hand in hand, ensuring that the festival's vision comes to life.

This weekend provides a platform for the emerging artist to hone their skills in the presence of some of the more renowned poets. If you lack the skill but posses a great love for the spoken word this festival is also for you, the weekend will include book launches workshops, music and poetry and exhibitions.

Makhanda Senzagakhona, Michelé Betty, Sally Ann Murray, Dan Wylie and Pieter Odendaal are some of the participants on the 2019 program. There are more performances to look forward to, check out the full list here.

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Poetry in MacGregor

Poetry is often undervalued and avoided 

Founder of the McGregor Poetry Festival, Billy Kennedy believes poetry is often undervalued and avoided despite the impact it has on our lives. "Like Zorba, poetry can embrace and celebrate the ‘full catastrophe’ of being alive, the paradox of what it is to be fully human and divine. It is the borrowed voice that colors a deeper awareness of who we are and what we experience" says Kenny. 

The Mac Project

The festival goes far beyond reciting poetry an initiative was created to give back to the community through the Mac Project (The McGregor Arts and Community Project). Any profits made are channeled back into the community through this non-profit organisation to support the local talent like the choir and dance groups. All the more reason to come to the festival and be a part of the community even if its just for one weekend.

Poetry Writing competition 

This years entries were inspired by the theme and promise to be of the highest standard. The winners will be announced at the opening event on Friday August 23, the judges picks will be recited by well known actor Ashley Dowds to convey the very depth of the poems. Hearing a talented actor reading extraordinary poetry is an experience that will leave you changed for the better. Winners will be picked from the two categories:

1. Junior category for children and teenagers under the age of 18

Prizes: First prize: R2500 / Runner-up: R500

2. Adult category entrants must be above the age of 18

Prizes: First prize: R5000 / Runner-up: R2500 / Highly commendable: R500

More information: info@poetryinmcgregor.co.za

Street bookstore-Saint George Day

                                                                                 (Photo: iStock)

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Where to stay:

What would a picturesque village be without equally breathtaking buildings. Throughout the festival you can stay in one of the guesthouses, McGregor prides itself in maintaining the towns original structure. Expect to find guesthouses rich in history it will be like spending 48 hours in a historical monument.  Here is where you can spend the night:

1. Temenos retreat

The retreat's enchanting garden is the perfect place to get lost in a book or enjoy your breakfast in the morning. To enjoy their self catering facilities book here.

2.MacGregor Backpackers

MacGregor Backpackers offers the best of both worlds- affordable accommodation and premium hospitality. Secure your stay here.

After spending hours arguing with friends about where we should go on our annual retreat it looks like the decision has been made for us and if anyone argues I am happy to experience the McGregor Poetry weekend all on my own I might even unlock a hidden talent.

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