THE 6th International Poetry Festival which was meant to take place this week in in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh (AP), India, which local poet Tendai Maduwa was supposed to attend was cancelled due to political violence in the state.
Tinashe Sibanda,Entertainment Reporter
A book of poetic collaborations by 20 global poets in which Maduwa was the Zimbabwean poet titled, The Enchanted World, was supposed to be launched during the festival which was slated for December 10 to 12.
“It is sad given that this was the moment I was going to showcase my talent to other international players and also learn from them, but anyway as we all know that every nation has its own gatekeepers and political issues that can somehow have influence in changing our daily routines,” said Maduwa.
In a statement, the festival organisers said the cancellation was due to separatist state agitation which was marred by violence whose duration they could not predict.
The statement addressed to poets stated that because of the situation cancellation of trains and flights was inevitable.
“Army personnel will be deployed . . . Road transportation has already been blocked and all shops, schools and colleges have been closed down for three days thus in these circumstances we cannot hold the Poetry Festival 2013 in AP.”
The statement went on to urge the poets to cancel their tickets.
“There will be a formal fest anthology release by our president on December 11 (today), we’ll send the book and the required copies to your addresses as soon as the situation comes to normalcy.”
Maduwa said this was something beyond his or any other poet’s control, thus there was nothing they could do about it except just accepting the situation.
He said he was however anticipating many other opportunities which would come along, including an upcoming trip to Thailand where he will be a poet in residence at Nakhon University in that country.
The book of the collection of works was published in India and Maduwa will be the only Zimbabwean poet in it among many others from around the globe.
“It is always an honour to get such recognition from international platforms and to me it clearly shows the great impact Zimbabwean poets are making out there,” said Maduwa, who is also founder of the Awake Zimbabwe Trust – which is one of the most vibrant youth organisations that speak for the Zimbabwean voiceless fellow youths on daily issues affecting their daily lives through performing arts which is poetry and theatre.