09 Juillet 2012 Richard KWANG KOMETA [Cameroon Tribune]
Joyce Ashuntantang was one of 45 poets from 70 countries worldwide to perform at the Medellin festival.
Cameroon’s ace poet, playwright and actress, Dr Joyce Ashuntantang was one of the guest-stars who were recently at the 22nd Medellin International Poetry Festival, an annual event which started in 1991 in Colombia, South America. Selected on the merit of her maiden poetry collection, “A Basket of Flaming Ashes” which she read at the International Poetry Festival of Granada, Nicaragua in 2011, Joyce equally presented 20 poems, mostly from her future collection and made a statement on globalisation – the focus of this year’s Medellin Festival.
On the role of poetry in the era of globalisation, Dr Ashuntantang said; “Globalisation is creating tainted highways into the markets of Africa. It is stripping Africa naked, placing it on another Berlin table for the lusty eyes of the highest bidders. Poetry should sing the songs of its nakedness and clothe it again with ancestral truth. Such is the power of poetry, a rhapsody of the spheres.”
Talking on the nature of the festival, Joyce Ashuntantang pointed out that the event featured over 150 poetry readings carried out in various locations around the city, libraries, parks, open air theatres, etc. There were also seminars, workshops, and public lectures. Other Cameroonian poets who have attended the Medellin Festival include the Paris-based Paul Dakeyo in 2010 and Were Were Liking in 2011. This year’s event took place from June 23 -30, 2012 with over 8000 audience present.
The Medellin International Poetry Festival was founded to reclaim the city of Medellin and to a large extent, Colombia from the grip of fatal violence that had crippled the city claiming human lives with three generations of Colombian youths lost in bloody guerrilla warfare and drug related violence. It also serves as a forum for poets from diverse cultures to express their perception of the world, their cosmology, their complaints and suggestions for a more humane world.
Her next collection “Wings of Words” with poems like, “Something Remained” dedicated to pregnant women who die from abuse and those living with the scars, and “Because We Are Poor,” is highly awaited and is a must-read collection. She presently teaches at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, USA.
Joyce featured as one who inspires in Cameroon Tribune's "Les gens" Download Tribune article 2012 Les Gens