SA, Jamaica to host poetry session

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pretoria - South African Poet Laureate, Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile will hold a poetry reading session at the National Library with his Jamaican counterpart poet Laureate, Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris, on Tuesday.

This as South Africa marks 20 years of democracy and freedom and Jamaica recently celebrated its 52nd Independence Day. It is also 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and South Africa.

The aim of the event is to foster relations with the Diaspora and broaden cultural relations with Jamaica.

The two countries have agreed to co-operate in projects and activities in the fields of artistic, architectural restoration, preservation, and generally developing their national heritage.

These two cultural ambassadors have achieved many accolades in their lifetime.

Professor Kgositsile has been a literary and political activist. In 2008, he was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga Silver (OIS) for excellent achievements in the field of literature and using these exceptional talents to expose the evils of the system of apartheid to the world.

He became active in theatre while in New York, founding the Black Arts Theatre in Harlem.

Among the many literary awards he has received include the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, the Harlem Cultural Council Poetry Award, the Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Poetry Award, and the Herman Charles Bosman Prize.

Mervyn Eustace Morris was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and studied at the University College of the West Indies and as a Rhodes Scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

He is a poet and Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing & West Indian Literature at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. In 1992 he was a UK Arts Council Visiting Writer-in-Residence at the South Bank Centre. -