Report WPM Togo
Lomé, January 16th, 2023
National Coordinator: Dr Patron Henekou
To tell the truth, the activities of the World Poetry Movement – Togo started on February 23, 2019 by organizing an evening of reading and declamation of poems around the theme “For a world without walls”. More than twenty poets had taken part in this event with more than fifty texts declaimed before an audience of more than two hundred people. The event was reported by several national media such as the online press Liberté Togo through this link https://libertetogo.info/2019/03/04/world-poetry-movement-les-acteurs-togolais-ont-honore-levenement-a-lome/
This work was done following the contacts established between Fernando Rendon and myself a few months ago. The exchanges led to my designation and nomination as National Coordinator for Togo of WPM. Indeed, I received the letter of my nomination as National Coordinator for Togo of WPM signed by Fernando Randon on September 27, 2021. Two months later, on November 1, 2021, the Togo section of WPM participated in the tribute paid to the late Jack Hirschman, who died in August of the same year, through declamations of filmed of a dozen Togolese poets. The video is available here https://youtu.be/eHx09tK6YWk
On April 16, 2022, still in line with the activities organized by the WPM, the Togo section relayed to the University of Lomé the series of evenings of reading and declamation of poems on the theme “Our land / Our habitat”. This activity recorded the participation of about fifteen Togolese poets.
The contacts made within WPM-Africa have facilitated the invitation by the organizing committee that I chaired, the very active and talented Egyptian poet Ashraf Dali to the first ever International Literary Symposium of Togo (SYLITO) held on 22 and 23 April 2022 at the University of Lome. It should be noted that the SYLITO was organized by the Togo Writers Association (TEA) with the collaboration of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA). (https://afrique-news.info/lome-abrite-depuis-ce-vendredi-22-avril-le-premier-symposium-litteraire-international-du-togo/).
The WPM-Africa provides a networking opportunity that promotes the invitation and participation of talented poets from here and abroad in activities organized on the continent. For example, I was invited by Keshab Sigdel from India to participate in an anthology on madness.
In the same vein, I participated at the invitation of Fernando in the 32nd edition of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, held from July 9 to 30, 2022, on the theme “World Peace, a Pact with Nature”.
I would like to thank all those who have organized events and invited poets from here and abroad to take part. I would like to urge everyone to do the same, because poetry performances, festivals, participation in anthologies are opportunities to motivate and refine both the talent and the discourse of the poet, and a real instrument to boost the poetry sector in Africa in particular.
For this year, the plan to be followed in Togo is fourfold:
1. Strengthen the collaboration with partner associations on site such as Pen Togo, Le Littéraire and others for a greater involvement of poets in our activities.
2. Organize a poetry show with the participation of many more poets, including young poets, in order to ensure the next generation of poets; increase and relay the publications on our Facebook page in order to increase its visibility.
3. To popularize the objectives of the WPM, namely “to act from poetry to the people, in all continents, in all countries, to help vigorously in the conquest of peace with social justice and the cultural, social and political transformations that are necessary; to strengthen and establish pedagogical processes based on Poetry Schools and Poetry Workshops; To organize poetry readings, conferences, lectures, and film cycles on the theme of poetry and social change, in social and popular organizations in the city and countryside, highlighting environmental objectives, the defense of cultural rights, and the struggle for peace and social transformation in our country.
4. To contribute or participate in other poetry events in Africa and elsewhere; to propose very talented Togolese poets to literary and poetry events in order to strengthen networking; etc.
I invite WPM-Africa to be more open and patient. We have an invaluable wealth of diversity of languages and cultures, and a poetic field that is reaching out to us for a most exciting adventure of beauty and accuracy.