The Jamaica Indigenous Heirloom Seeds Exchange & Spoken Wordz Show
As the tides change in the Reggae landscape from the days of the founding fathers to today’s era of the Reggae Revival, Dub Poetry has always played an important role in the brand of Jamaican Reggae that maintains the Rootical vibration.
RasTakura is an active member of this genre, a creative artist who classifies himself as a Jamaican Reggae Dub Poet, recording and performing artist, farmer and conscious Rastaman carrying on the tradition of poets like Oku Onora, Linton Kwesi Jonson and Mutabaruka, who he calls a Mentor and Father Figure.Taking his poetry to another level, Ras Takura is also the founder of the annual DIS POEM Wordz & Agro Festival, an all day Poetry festival and expo of Agricultural Products hosting Jamaica’s first Ital Organic Seeds exchange Seed fi Seeds.
DIS POEM presents the works of contemporary Poets in an annual community building event that uses Spoken Word to amplify the need for Food Security and to collect and store Ital Organic Heirloom seeds from farmers to farmers through Seed fi seeds exchange.The first staging of DIS POEM took place in March 2011 in recognition of World Poetry Day on the campus of the College Of Agriculture Science & Education as a collaborative alliance between RasTakura and the Students’ Council of CASE.
VISION The Vision of DIS POEM Wordz & Agro Festival is to become the leading Spoken Word Festival that brings Dub Poetry to an international audience, as well as the largest Ital Organic Heirloom Seeds Exchange show. While the event has been focused on the Spoken Word, the entire movement is one that supports sustainable community development as the core, and Farmers are always invited to participate in the Organic Seeds exchange and market their produce to the patrons that attend the event, thereby creating long term business relationships.
Over the last 7 years the DIS POEM stage has been graced by Readers/Performers such as Mutabaruka, Cherry Natural, Randy Maclaren, Prof. Carolyn Cooper, Nomaddz, RasTakura, Oku Onoura, Sunni Patterson(usa), DYCR, Steppa, Adzeeko Simba ,Dr. Micheal Abrahams and more. The 2017 staging of the festival saw over 1000 patrons in attendance.
DIS POEM is the ultimate meeting place for Readers and Writers. Poets sit and talk about the Spoken Word/Dub Poetry as a developing art form, and the event always features international Poets and Poetry Promoters from the Caribbean and other Parts of the world who attend and scout Poets for their events.
The experience is children friendly as it also features young poets and this year’s event includes an 11 year old girl who has already attracted attention on social media, and Barrington Mitchell, a young poet who presented his first book of 24 poems to the Ministry of Culture in November 2017.
INSPIRATION RasTakura gains his inspiration from H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, Marcus Garvey, Tehut 9, Mutabaruka, Capleton, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. His agricultural and environmental roots were deepened at the Knockalva Agricultural School, and studies at the College of Agriculture, Science & Education (CASE), where the first DIS POEM was staged.
Ras Takura has performed on some of Jamaica’s major shows including Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute, Heineken Startime, plus numerous appearances in schools, Colleges and Universities across the Island. He has been featured on Jamaican media in IRIE FM’s programs – Running African, the Entertainment Buzz and Elise Kelly’s Easy Skanking show in numerous interviews. He has been featured on T.V.J, CVM TV, as well as in several local print media .
He has also toured and performed across the Caribbean and USA. In 2015 he toured and performed across the East & West Coast of USA at some of the major Poetry and Reggae Festivals, including Viginia Reggae Festival, Bridge Water College Intl Poetry Festival, Charlemont Reggae Fest, Vermont Jerk & Reggae Fest, NYC Poetry Fest, World Beat Center and The University of Colorado.
DIS POEM takes place at the beautiful Neville Antonio Park, Port Antonio, April 29.