‘Poem of the Year’: A key feature at this year’s AK Lit Fest

Saturday, 12 March 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The simplicity and spice of Annasi and Kadalagotu (A&K) will be back on stage come 14 and 15 May at the Aesthetic Center in Colombo 7. 

Rooted firmly as a trilingual literary festival, and following on the grand success of its premiere last year, the organisers are looking at a diversified and spiced-up two-day version for 2016. Book shops and food stalls, portrait painters and palm readers, poets and authors in panel discussions, literary lovers attending book launches, all will be a part of this kaleidoscope of English, Sinhalese and Tamil literature.   

School children will be given centre stage with an English Poetry Competition and Poem of the Year. This article is mainly to awaken the young poets by sending out to them a clarion call to showcase their talent. 

Here’s how it goes:

The aspiring ‘Poet of the Year’ will write a poem on any one of the three given topics below (no word limitation) and send it to the organisers of the AK Literary Festival by email or surface mail.  

1. Peace

2. Being a Sri Lankan    

3. Kindness 

Ten poems from all entries received will be short-listed and announced on 14 May at the festival. The 10 writers will then be invited on stage to read their poetry. Later in the day, the three winners will be announced. They will receive attractive cash prizes as well as AK LitFest Awards for the best three poems. 

The topics have been carefully selected to encourage the young to express their thoughts and views on matters that are very relevant in the current day and age. This is a chance for the young to be heard.

Peace – that is what we longed for and the writers themselves were born at a time of conflict in the country that now enjoys the blessings of peace. 

Being a Sri Lankan, is the removal of divisional labels in young minds. We are ethnically Sinhalese, Tamil, Burgher, Moors, Malays, etc. But the core reality is that we are all Sri Lankans.

Kindness – what wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? 

If you are a student who writes poetry, enter the ‘Poem of the Year’ contest. We seek the assistance of School Principals and English Literature teachers to encourage their students to participate. Entries will close on 10 April.

Send in your entries to Nadeera Wijegunawardena at [email protected].

“The Annasi and Kadalagotu Literary Festival has many other attractions too. All aimed at encouraging the newcomer to take to the literary stage. Authors who are seeking to launch a book can enter the ‘Launch Your Book @ The Annasi and Kadalagotu Festival’ programme,” said Capt Elmo Jayawardena.

Contact any one of the following members for information on the Festival and its programme: Keith Wijesuriya – Tel. 0777349880, email [email protected]; Dhananath Fernando – Tel. 0775080256, email: [email protected]; Nadeera Wijegunawardena (for information on the Poetry Competition) – Tel. 0717903708; email: [email protected]; Chamindra Warusawitharana (for information on book launch registration) – Tel. 0777239011; email: [email protected]; A&K Lit Fest Hotline (0)11 2821111 (weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or visit www.aklitfest.com.