Cultural and creative industries across the world have been especially hard hit by lockdowns and social distancing measures prohibiting live performances and events.
While numerous programmes have stepped up to assist the arts sector, the poetry community is often forgotten.
Hear My Voice, a non-profit organisation focused on developing and supporting spoken word artists, is re-opening applications for its Poetry Relief Fund web series, which started in April with only enough funds to assist 15 poets.
Now, two months later, the fund has already provided financial aid to 45 poets from around the country – and is re-opening applications to assist a further 35 artists.
Interested persons will be able to submit applications up until 12 July 2020, via the Hear My Voice website(https://t.co/GSHTiQZUJI). This will be the final season of the Poetry Relief Fund web-series and so poets are encouraged to apply early.— Hear My Voice (@HearMyVoiceSA) June 21, 2020
Applications reopen on Monday June 22 in what is the second phase of the programme.
This means poets once again have a chance to make up for some lost income by applying to the only relief fund in the country aimed specifically at poets.
“Thousands of creative practitioners are sitting without the ability to earn an income and poets are often left out of funding opportunities. We wanted to find a simple, yet effective, way to help the sector; something that kept both poets and poetry lovers in mind,” says Hear My Voice executive director Ishmael Sibiya.
The Poetry Relief Fund web-series pays poets an honorarium of R1,500 per online event, and hosts live-streamed poetry shows with up to five poets per episode.
The first season included poets from eight provinces, with only North West remaining.
Poets from this region are encouraged to apply now, as this second round of open calls aims to target provinces and languages that were under-represented in previous episodes.
We wanted to find a simple, yet effective, way to help the sector. Something that kept both poets and poetry lovers in mind” – says Ishmael Sibiya(@Phiziks), Executive Director at Hear My Voice.— Hear My Voice (@HearMyVoiceSA) June 21, 2020
The relief programme has been able to reopen thanks to help from Poetry Potion, The Market Theatre, Windybrow Arts Centre, Poetry Africa, the department of sport, arts & culture, and private donors.
Interested persons may submit applications until July 12 via the Hear My Voice website.
This will be the final season of the web series and poets from around the country are encouraged to apply early.
Further details on the fund are available here: http://tiny.cc/poetry-relief-fund.