On Wednesday morning, 20 September,  Poetry in McGregor hosted an event at Robertson Correctional Facility. Adrian Van Wyk was contacted and agreed to bring a group up to perform for the inmates. He was accompanied by fellow poets Daniel, Alison and Jethro this morning. Over 200 inmates crowded into the venue for an absolutely fantastic performance by these dynamic young performers. Adrian proved a masterful MC of the event, and each poet delivered a unique and inspiring set. The audience loved it and responded so well to these amazing performers. At the conclusion of their performance, one of the inmates was encouraged to stand up and perform his own poetry, which was deeply appreciated by all. It was a truly inspirational occasion, and I hope that it is the catalyst for further work with this marginalised section of society. Congratulations to the In Zync Poetry Collective, for their stunning performance, and to all the officials at the facility who encouraged us to do this. Special thanks to Mr Joseph, the Head of Institution for his support. Finally a big thank you to Correctional Officer Juliana Richards, who put it all together. She really wants to make a difference in these men’s lives, and I am happy to be a part of this initiative. We are encouraging the inmates to write their own work, which we will share and discuss. Down the line I hope to bring Adrian and his team back for a Writing Workshop. Our goal for 2018 is to have a group who are prepared to present their work at next year’s Poetry Festival.

Came away from this event so energised. Poetry can change people’s lives!

Dave Magner