The StoryMoja Hay Festival, Kenya

The SHFK is coming up on October 1-3, 2010. I am sure that many of you readers might like to know about the festival. The festival this year is themed ‘Diversity’. As in 2009, the sessions are going to be many and in varied forms and topics.

Kathy Vaughan presents ‘Management Proverbs’

Sunday 3rd October 4pm to 5:30pm at the SHFK 2010
Growing up, everyone learns lessons about life through direct instruction and through our social environments. Some are positive, some negative, some unexplored. This session will engage the audience in thinking about proverbs as a tool for the modern workplace. The audience will have a chance to discuss and interpret chosen proverbs related to work, as well as create their own proverbs.

Bio:
Kathleen M. Vaughan is an experienced trainer and consultant specializing in leadership, collaboration and conflict management. She holds a Masters in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelors degree from Dartmouth College, USA. As a third culture kid and a seasoned mediator, she enjoys using language and the word as a tool to generate understanding, perspective-taking and motivation.

The Indian Black Butterfly invites you to her join her Transformation CirQle.
Friday 1st October 2pm to 3:30pm

Tazim Elkington – The Indian Black Butterfly – has a mysterious sense of ‘knowing’ how to tap into the spaces people are unsure of stepping into. Her sessions are unique and rare as they take a life of their own as moments unfold. She challenges limitations, norms, comfort zones and most of all that which we may consider a done deal however might be the biggest setbacks in our lives. This is not an experience where you buy 1 and get 1 free.. come join Tazim and find out more for and about life and where we function from and why. Lets discuss ‘WHAT IS POWER’ – and its allies and foes! This session will be held on Friday 2-3.30pm at the ‘Transformation CirQle’. This session is not to be missed!!

“Verse of Fire”: A Conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah
Sunday 3rd October 4pm to 6pm

In “Bought and Sold,” Benjamin Zephaniah asks, “What happened to the verse of fire”? “Smart big awards and prize money,” he warns, are “killing off black poetry.” Poets who seek commercial approval risk losing their ability to find what Zephaniah terms “de magic poem,” a poem that “can ease our sorrows” and celebrate “our tomorrows.” A poet of the heart and of the head, Benjamin Zephaniah writes and performs socially engaged poetry, a poetry that makes audiences laugh and cry, feel and care, think and plan, engage the world in its possibilities and its obstacles.

Deeply committed to an ethical vision of the world, an expansive ethics that ranges from veganism to anti-racist activism, Zephaniah works on and off the page. He has championed a poetry that speaks to publics, eschewing the model of the isolated genius artist intent on writing in cryptic codes. His commitment to a democratic poetics is perhaps most evident in his writing for children in the volumes Funky Chickens, Wicked World, and School’s Out: Poems Not for School. Zephaniah is deeply committed to the future of a risk-taking poetry that pursues social and political utopias. In “Protest Poets,” he urges “human poets” to “unite,” “Lest we pass on to future poets / a world in which, poets do not fall in love / or mek mistakes.”

On this “Verse of Fire” panel, Benjamin Zephaniah is joined by Kenyan poets Tony “Smitta” Mochama and Njeri Wangari, in a wide-ranging discussion about the present and future of poetry, the relationship between art and activism, and how to engage multiple audiences through innovative performances. The panel will be moderated by poet and literary critic Keguro Macharia.

Bio:
Keguro is an Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. he belongs to the Koroga Collaborative and to the Concerned Kenyan Writers Collective. His writing can be found at gukira.wordpress.com

Bio:
Tony ‘Smitta’ Mochama is a successful journalist, and popular performance poet in Nairobi, with two published works of poetry to his name – ‘What if I Am a Literary Gangster’, and its sequel, ‘The Literary Gangsta – II.’ A third work of poetry ‘Evanescence’ is on the way … Mochama has also lectured on creative writing and poetry, most recently as a guest speaker in June at Concordia University, in Montreal. A self-confessed vodka aficionado (no lemons, no avocado), the dread-locked poet also did Law at UoN, but sez: “Don’t practice. Just preach!”

Bio:
Njeri Wangari is well known local poet/ spoken word performer, blogger and literary activist. Her first book of poetry was launched last month, Mind and Mind Fields: My Spoken Words. Check out her blog http://kenyanpoet.blogspot.com/
For More Details About the SHFK 2010 visit the Storymoja Werbsite or write toinfo@storymojaafrica.co.ke

Paul Sullivan presents his book ‘Kikuyu District’
Friday 1st October 4pm to 5:30pm

Kikuyu District contains the edited letters of Francis Hall (Fort Hall) who lived in Kenya from 1892 – 1901 when he died from blackwater fever aged 40. His letters are among the earliest colonial records of daily life in British East Africa. He commanded Fort Smith near present day Nairobi with orders to keep the peace between the Kikuyu and the Maasai and to re-supply caravans traveling between the coast and Uganda. It was a hard life in dangerous conditions and every day was an adventure. He was lucky to survive a goring by a rhino and was later mauled by a wounded leopard that he strangled with his rifle. As the railway approached Kikuyuland Hall was moved to Mbirri (Muranga) to establish a new fort. Six months later he was dead.Kikuyu District is a unique and fascinating account of the life of an early colonial administrator and settler.

Bio:
Born in Wales, educated in England and the USA, Paul Sullivan chose a copywriting career in advertising that led to work in ten countries in Asia and Africa. A thirty year resident of Kenya, he is now retired on the Kenyan coast working on his second book about Kenyan colonial history.

For More Details About the SHFK 2010 visit the Storymoja Werbsite or write toinfo@storymojaafrica.co.ke

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The Young Writers Project: Public Reading

It’s been ten (I don’t want to use the words glorious, hectic, exciting or marvelous) so I’ll just go ahead and say it’s been ten weeks of glorious, hectic, exciting and marvelous fun and learning. This writing project was an experience I’d want to relieve. I haven’t really had time to sit down and blog about it, but I will.

And so it has come to an end. I’d like to invite you all readers of my blog to a public reading of the short stories we wrote over that period. I’ll let you take pictures with me 😉 and then I’ll put them up on the blog.

Time: 22 August · 14:30 – 18:00

Location: Sherlock’s Den (Nakumatt Lifestyle)

More info
The participants of the Young Writers’ Project invite you to a public reading on Sunday, August 22. They will read selections from short stories written during the ten-week fiction course led by Makena Jackline and Natasha Smith.

Participants:
Sylvia Aleso
Linda Ayuma
Ben Chege
John Kalya
Linda Khejeri
Paul Kioko
Timothy Kyalo
Aloysius Maina
Grace Mogire
Tom Nyangari
Alphayo Nyarera
Harriet Ocharo
Lionel Oduol
Claudette Oduor
Sheila Okongo
Geoffrey Sore
Joshua Wera

To read all the stories, please visit the STORYMOJA website beginning August 25, 2010.

FREE. Snacks will be served.

PS: Look for the advertisement in this Monday’s Daily Nation (August 16).