By Style Reporter
Gourd of Consciousness, a literary art initiative that scouts, profiles and publishes literary work written by Zimbabwean poets and writers, has launched a poetry writing competition.
The fortnightly held competition was launched in Harare last Monday.
Gourd of Consciousness coordinator Khumbulani Muleya told Standard Style that the aim was to assist local poets to evolve by constantly jogging their creative writing skills through a poetry competition.
Three winners will be rewarded with books every fortnight and also have their poems featured in the Gourd of Consciousness poetry column.
“We are interested in poetry that enacts the artistic and creative precision of language. We welcome poetry in its various forms and also have a keen interest in poetry that elevates consciousness, makes a change in our communities, spearheads particular social issues, promotes and celebrates our identity, cultural values, addresses environmental issues and shares literary appreciation with the younger generation,” Muleya said.
“We also appreciate compositions that resonate around enlightenment, love, poverty, injustice, royalty, hope, confidence, mystery, celebration and we hope that poets will be able to transform isolation into inspiration and write inspiring poems.”
Gourd of Consciousness has been consistently publishing poetry for the past four years in the award-winning arts section of The Standard.
Muleya said entries would be judged on creativity, originality, imagery, artistic quality, and mastery of poetic expressions.
Competition judges who will be part of the panel include Shumi Nhanhanga, a teacher by profession and poet by calling who wrote a poetry book titled A Shower of Poetic Vistas which was nominated for the NAMA Awards in 2016; and J. Tsitsi Mutiti, a poet and short story writer whose work has appeared in various anthologies like ‘Spokesman’ in Dreams Miracles and Jazz, ‘The Old Woman’ in African Women writing resistance and various poems in Ghetto Diaries.
Also on the panel is Saberstian T. Sibanda a poet, writer, digital story teller and board member at Connected Sahara, an association of Creative Hubs of Zimbabwe.
Stephen Mupoto, the fourth judge on the panel, is a poet who has interests in law and journalism, and has penned a substantial number of online books such as Who Killed Laura, The Village Drunkard as well as Galaxy of Poetic Voices, which is a poetry collaboration under Royal Press.