By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Spanning three days of presentations by literary legends, readings, panel discussions, book launches /signings, PaGya Literary Festival 2019 ended on Sunday October 20 at the Goethe-Institut in Accra.
Indeed, it was a memorable celebration of reading, writing, performance and publishing, which embraced literature lovers from fifteen countries in Europe, the United States and others parts of Africa.
With big names such as Prof. Ato Quayson, Prof. Esi Sutherland and Prof. Kofi Anyidoho (Ghana), PaGya equally paraded several female writers including Phillippa Yaa De Villiers (South Africa), Kathleho Kano Shoro / Mmakgoshi Anita Tau (Botswana) and Oyinkansola Ifeoluwa Braithwaite (Nigeria).
Easily one of the largest gathering of literature lovers in Ghana, the festival equally provided a platform to writers who don’t always get heard while keeping the spirit of creativity intact and alive in the city of Accra and beyond.
One of the memorable moments was a spoken word / poetry session that centered on similar themes – gender, love, culture and politics – but each was delivered with its own breath, flair, jargons and passion thereby swaying the audience from one act to the other.
With enthusiasm and energy that was quite infectious, Tanya Evanson (Canada), Feleicia Cade (USA), Poetess Phopho (Botswana), Hasmullah, Kwame Brenya, Nana Asaase, Mariska Taylor (Ghana) delighted the crowd with clearly rehearsed recitals as introductions and poems flowed effortlessly.
Interspersed with music and images beamed on a giant screen, their delivery was magical, perfectly timed, clear and poignant. Indeed, they tended to allow the poems to speak for themselves while subtly stressing the significant lines that may not fully come alive when read from a book.
Goethe-Institut Ghana sponsored the festival, which was organized in collaboration with the Writers Project of Ghana under the direction of Dr. Martin Egblewogbe and Martina Odonkor aka Mamle Kabu.