Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nairobi slam poetry

I went to my first slam poetry night in Nairobi on Friday. It was in one regard not too different from such nights in other countries. The poets were a mixed bag, ranging from the awful to the inspired.

What the poets all shared, though, was an energy and fire to get their political message across. The themes concentrated on many of Africa's problems, from Kenya's post-election violence to the colonial legacy.

The only spoiler on the night was created by an American teenager, who seemed like an escapee from every teen movie every made. My friend shushed her after she decided to screech about spilling her drink on her precious blouse while one of the poets performed. Cue catty remarks, much tossing of teased blonde hair and a cascade of dirty looks. She even forced her poor uncomfortable boyfriend to come over and ask for an apology. He clearly knew she was being a buffoon.

Some people should be locked up in the malls they clearly belong in.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Kwani Litfest 2008

I just found out that I am going to miss much of the Kwani Litfest 2008, which has workshops run by such luminaries as Chimamanda Adichie, whose novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize in 2007.

Suffice to say I am very disappointed at missing out on the opportunity to meet and learn from authors of this calibre.

I get back on the last day of the festival in Nairobi before it moves on to Lamu, which means I will miss the long workshops.

Ever the optimist, though, I am going to contact the organisers and see if I can blag my way into the tail-end of one of the workshops.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The emissary

I have been very fortunate to have the wonderful Vanessa Gebbie agree to read out my story at the Fish anthology launch in West Cork next week since I cannot make it.

I am convinced she will do a far better job than I would have done. I have never read in public before and I am not so sure my Glaswegian accent and ability to machine gun out a sentence in about 0.2 milliseconds would have worked terribly well.

Thanks Vanessa.