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Nigerian poet to attend Dubai Poetry Festival

Dubai, February 5, 2009

Wole Soyinka, the first African writer and poet from Nigeria to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, has confirmed his participation at the opening ceremony of the Dubai International Poetry Festival (DIPF).

More than 100 regional and international poets will converge in Dubai for the Festival, which will be held from March 4 to 10. The event is being organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
 
Soyinka will speak at the opening session of the festival, which will stand out for its diversified content of various forms of local, classical and modern poetry, and for the interest it has generated globally.

Additionally, the festival has set a goal to harness the language of poetry in all its superiority and eloquence as an effective avenue for promoting cultural dialogue.

"We have invited a premier group of poets from the Arab region and the world representing diverse cultures and different schools of poetry. We will offer the public an unprecedented opportunity to savour the poets’ body of work and discuss with them the poetic concepts, techniques and literary style,” said chairman of the DIPF organising committee Jamal bin Huwaireb Al Muhairi.

“We have also ensured the Festival will take place in multiple locations to be accessible to most poetry lovers who would like to follow and participate."

Born in 1934, Wole Soyinka is one of the prominent contemporary African writers and a firm advocate of African identity, culture and social order. Soyinka is also a playwright, novelist, critic, lecturer, translator, and a publisher.

In addition to his literary output, Soyinka has issued two sets of articles to help define his literary philosophy which emphasize that critics must approach African literature on its own terms and not by standards set in western cultures.

Reiterating the foundation’s objective, the festival will seek to open an effective cultural channel, offering all poets a new platform for communication and dialogue while sharing their works of art and discussing its content.

The festival will also present them with an opportunity to critically review the verses and unravel the intellectual and artistic mysteries of diverse cultures. For the audience, the seven-day event will provide special glimpses into the remarkable poetic traits of various traditions and distinct cultural experiences.

Imtiaz Dharker from India, Tomaž Šalamun from Solvenia, Rebecca Horn from Switzerland , Yong Ping Kong and Yang Lian from China, Chirikuri Chirikuri from Zimbabwe, Matthew Sweeney from Britain, Harris Flavjnos of Greece,  Saba Ikram from Pakistan, Augus Sarjono from Indonesi, and Julia Kessina from Russia will participate in the festival.

Arab poets who have confirmed their participation include Abdul Rahman Alashmawi from Saudi Arabia; Saad Alloush, Hamed Zaid and Mohammed Al-Jarallah from Kuwait; Mohamed Ben Al Dheebfrom Qatar; Ali Al-Sharkawi from Bahrain; Saif Alrahbi from Oman; Abdul Salam AlKabsi from Yemen; Ali Jafar Al Alag from Iraq; Hala Mohammed from Syria; Khairi Mansour from Jordan; Abdou Wazen from Lebanon and Mourid Al Barghouti from Palestine; Ahmad Abdulmaatty Hijazi Abdalmattiy from Egypt; Dr. Inaam Baidoun from Algeria, and Habib Al Aswad from Tunisia.

The first session of the Dubai International Poetry Festival will include poetry readings, workshops, critical discussions, and special evenings in addition to ‘Souq Ukaz’, a recreation of the atmosphere of those halcyon days of Arab creative expression by featuring brief theatrical performances.

Additionally, a number of shopping malls in Dubai including Ibn Battuta Mall, The Dubai Mall and Dubai Festival City and cultural centers of different communities in Dubai will also host various events during the festival. – TradeArabia News Service




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