Poets Sytse Jansma and Frank Keizer at the Kistrech Poetry Festival in Kenya

The Frisian-language poet Sytse Jansma and the Dutch-language poet Frank Keizer are currently at the Kistrech International Poetry Festival in Kisii, Kenya. They read their own work, give workshops and will do research for their writing. The results of this poetic expedition will be presented next year, during Explore the North (2019).

The Kistrech International Poetry Festival in Kenya is one of the largest and most popular literature events in Africa. The festival brings together local and international poets and actively allows the local people to become acquainted with poetry and other languages and cultures (and vice versa). This year poets and artists include Finland, India, Israel, Canada, and of course Kenya in the festival. Sytse Jansma and Frank Keizer, two poets with Frisian roots, were invited by Explore the North and represent the Netherlands in Kisii.

Sytse Jansma explores in his poetry the guiding nature of language. In Kenya, he continues on this theme and immerses himself in the interdisciplinary nature of Kenyan writing. What influence does film and music have on poetry? And how does the Frisian and Dutch culture differ from the Kenyan culture? Jansma explored in his latest poetry book ‘like nomads in tents’ (2015) the border between poetry and life itself. In addition to a personal, artistic search, he also visits Kenyan schools to inspire students with creative writing. Being an education specialist at the Frisian theatre company ‘Tryater’ in his daily life, he keeps himself busy with the cultural development children every day.

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