This year we are delighted to announce that POETRY in McGREGOR is celebrating its fifth year. Steered by passion and imagination – and a great committee – our event is not only flourishing but has taken on a life of its own. It is not only a literary event but a heartfelt get together for lovers of the written word and specifically poetry.
A great deal of its success is undoubtedly due to its setting.
Our beautiful village nestling between the Riviersondered and Langeberg mountains is poetry in itself.
Not only does McGregor have the Zen distinction of being ‘the little village on the road to nowhere’ and ‘the village where time stood still’, but it is also the perfect location to celebrate Poetry. Surrounded by rolling hills and nature reserves, its seasons are remarkably distinct much like the seasons of one’s heart.
Far less conservative than her neighbouring towns, McGregor is home to interesting and colourful inhabitants many of whom are free spirited, open minded and creative. Visitors comment on the friendliness of the town and on its unpretentious simplicity. Here it is safe to stroll by day and night along our country roads and in our neighbouring nature reserves. All the venues for our event are within walking distance of one another and are intimate and gesellig. Starry skies, good local wine, log fires and the relaxed company of poets and poetry lovers make POETRY in McGREGOR an unforgettable experience.
A FESTIVAL WITH HEART
So much of what we have achieved as a committee, with the invaluable support of those poets who have supported us from the onset of our initiative, has been born of heart. We have NPO status and all our funds are directed to nurturing and Growing Poetry and supporting community projects in our beautiful village. Poetry in McGregor welcomes not only acclaimed, published poets but young, undiscovered talent. This range of voices has been superbly anthologised by Patricia Schonstein. Our Anthology is now in its fourth year and is indeed a celebration of the heart energy that sustains our event. Here you will find the wide range of young and old, seasoned and fresh voices that make POETRY in McGREGOR so unique.
It has been said that much of the violence and psychological illness in our society is due to poetry deprivation. Bigotry and prejudice and fundamentalism are rampant. They contract the heart. Poetry can and does resist the contraction. It does not think in ways that limit and circumscribe its possibilities. It limbers up our imagination and deepens our awareness. On a certain level society is afraid of poetry not merely because it is intimidated by it. (More than often is so poorly communicated at school level). Rather it is afraid of what it has the power to reveal. Poetry not only sharpens our awareness but exposes our humanity. What we might see is not always a pretty picture in terms of our relationships with ourselves, with the world around us and with creation. But Poetry can uplift us, re-shape us and recreate us. Like no other force it can give us and the world a deeper appreciation of one another and our interconnectedness. Poetry can make us smile and laugh and cry and rage but it can also save us.
This year, as we celebrate the heart of our warm event, we have chosen as our theme for our annual competition Poetry against Poverty. We invite you to take out your pens and allow poetry to challenge and open and inspire our hearts.
If you too have a passion for poetry and would like to support our initiative please consider coming on board as a sponsor or patron. Any ideas and support would be most welcome. For more information you can contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or Jenny at email@example.com
I look very forward to welcoming all poets and lovers of poetry to POETRY in McGREGOR.