Lilongwe-based poet Martin Juwa has expressed concern over lack of recognition of written poetry in various platforms in the country.
Juwa said written poetry is suffering as it is not fully celebrated and is not given platforms like other genres such as music, drama and spoken or recorded poetry.
“It is only written poetry that is published in academic books which is less celebrated and only read when students want to pass exams,” Juwa said.
He said that being a poet writer, he has researched and found out that there are less poetry publications in Malawi especially if poems are not written for academic purposes.
Juwa expressed concern saying there is so much untapped talents in the country which are dying because poets are not given an opportunity to shine.
He said poetry, just like music and drama, is important as it addresses society issues such as awareness on issues such as gender-based violence, education, literacy, politics and religion among others.
“For example Battlefield Anthology addresses issues concerning Covid-19 pandemic and some poems talked about the ways of contracting the disease. Some poems give hope that mankind will always triumph in the midst of challenges,” he said.
He explained that poetry is able to educate, comfort, embrace cultural beliefs and differences in the society and also give hope to people in trouble situations by making people laugh which is good and reduces their stress and anxiety levels.
Juwa urged Government, stakeholders and the general public to support written poetry by funding the publishing of written copies.
“It is also important to market and funding poetry book launches, competitions and shows organised by poets to showcase their written work and talent.
He pointed out that poetry is a language that communicates thoughts and feelings and generally makes life enjoyable.
Juwa is a poet, educator, freelance writer and editor. His work appears widely both in local and international publications.
He has published more than 10 international anthologies, journals and magazines. Some of his poems have been translated into Spanish.
The poet is soon releasing a poetry book titled Drifting Smoke.