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Montage of Poetry projects at Poetry and Memory Conference


We are thrilled to be welcoming Finuala Dowling from South Africa for an exclusive poetry event as part of ZAPP, the Southern African Poetry project. Places are limited so please click here to obtain tickets.

Invitation to Finuala Dowling poetry event

zapp roundtable at AFRICAN LITERATURES CONFERENCE (april 2014)

ZAPP (The Southern African Poetry Project) presented a dynamic, engaging and stimulating Roundtable session at the African Literatures (International) Conference at WITS, Johannesburg on Saturday 12th April. The presentation team, made up of poets, academics and teachers, created an interdisciplinary panel which was both scholarly and entertaining. Ably hosted by our South African Director, Prof Denise Newfield, ZAPP's session staged the vibrancy and potency of South African poetry - and clearly demonstrated the transformational potential for poetry in the classroom.

Homerton College Hosts Teachers and Poets at ZAPP Think Tank

In early March Homerton College generously hosted the launch of ZAPP’s project activity in the UK. Poets, teachers and academics gathered to read, experience, discuss and debate the potential of poetry to transform experiences and attitudes. The 2014 Commonwealth Poet, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers inspired not only by her performance but also with her writing workshop. Much celebrated fellow South African poet, Isobel Dixon, shared the reading in the afternoon and participated in the symposium throughout the day. Tessa Ware, Head of English at Alexandra Park School, provided a thought provoking demonstration of Caribbean poetry efficacy in the classroom and Anti Apartheid archivist, Tony McConnell, gave an interesting insight into how historical archives can enhance reading and teaching of poetry. Participants later enthused about many aspects of the programme - from the powerful workshop by Julie Blake (of Poetry by Heart fame), to the delicious lunch provided by Homerton’s kitchen. Thanks to Homerton, CET and to all who participated.

ZAPP is off to a flying start in the UK!


Phillippa Yaa de Villiers at Westminster Abbey


Phillippa Yaa de VilliersWe are delighted to announce that Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, renowned South African poet, writer and performance artist, and core team member of ZAPP, has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Education Trust to write and perform a poem at the annual Commonwealth Observance Day celebration, to be held at Westminster Abbey on 10th March 2014. Commonwealth Day has been celebrated around the Commonwealth, on the second Monday in March, every year since the 1970s. In recent years, it has shifted away from celebrating a singular day and towards celebrating Commonwealth Week, with Commonwealth Day as its centrepiece. The theme for this year is ‘Team Commonwealth’.  For further information please visit the Commonwealth Week events page at RCS.

ZAPP Launch update

A successful and inspiring ZAPP launch at WITS, attended by poets, academics, educators and learners

Photo of ZAPP team at WITS launch (October 2013)


South Africa Poet Laureate, Professor Keorapetse KgositsileWe are delighted to announce that Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile, the Poet Laureate for South Africa, has agreed to act as patron to the project.

ZAPP launch in south africa

The ZAPP team attended Poetry Africa in Durban (16-19 October) where they presented information about the project.

The Melville Poetry Festival (20 October) hosted the inaugural ZAPP launch where a number of up and coming South African poets performed.

The WITS ZAPP launch was held on Tuesday 22 October and featured readings from eminent South African poets and presentations by accomplished educators.  A full report will follow soon.

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