Over the weekend, I was at the Jukumu Letu campaign launch which took place at the Drive Inn Primary school in Mathare. I had a brief and thought provoking conversation with Teardrops the poet who happens to come from there. He asked me a question I have been asking myself for some time now, for which I am still not how to answer to myself or to you my dear readers and lovers of Poetry.
I am sure it has come to the notice of some of my readers that I have not been writing poetry and/or posting updates here as much as I used to. Life is a river, its never straight and rivers become waterfalls, then lakes and eventually oceans or they dwindle and become brooks to remain there or eventually dry up.
Teardrops told me something I hadn’t taken as a privilege and thus a responsibility on my part. He asked me what I have been up to in poetry and I sheepishly answered that I hadn’t written or performed in a while. What he said next was so profound, it dawned on me in bits and pieces and ate at me the whole weekend. The result, this post. He said
“You know you are the Kenyan Poet. Anyone who searches online for Kenyan Poets finds you first”.
He did not need to say anything else.
There is a reason this saying, despite being a cliche, is so true. ‘You don’t know what you got till its gone’.
I started this blog in 2005, first as a way of timidly asking people what they think of my attempts at becoming a poet, and slowly with time, as a way to share my passion for the Arts and Culture. I have done so for 9 years now and I have enjoyed every moment of it despite it being a pure labour of love.
Showcasing Kenyan Poetry
There would be no better time to make changes than at the beginning of the year. This blog is here to stay. The only thing that will change is the showcase of poetry from one poet to be the platform where Kenyan Poets can showcase their work.
I often get emails from young and very fresh poets who are yet to find their voices on paper or on online who want that exposure and a platform where they can share and get honest critique of their work. This blog will play that role as well as feature Kenya’s arts & Culture.
If you are a poet and would like your poetry to be posted here, These are the rules and regulations
Rules of engagement
1. Only Kenyan Poets or Poets of Kenyan origin may submit their work (The blog is after all called Kenyan Poet)
2. We will accept not more than 3 poems from each poet initially. This is to allow as us publish as many poets as possible.
3. It must be your original work. Plagiarized works shall not be tolerated and shall prompt us to remove all other original poems from the poet.
4. Poems to be submitted as Word document (in .doc/.docx formats) attachments
5. Poems to be accompanied by the Poets profile including links to their online profiles i.e their twitter handle & facebook page.
6. All submissions to be emailed to kenyanpoet(at)gmail(dot)com
Looking for Passionate Writers
I am looking for equally passionate writers on Arts & Culture to send me their articles on the same. Due attribution to this articles shall be given to the respective contributors. The rules above apply except rule no. 1
The hype for Kenyan poetry performance may not be the same way it was 4 years ago but new poets are born every day and one day our own Saul Williams or Lebo Mashile, poets who live off their works shall carry the day.
What am watching as I post this