Pick Me Up Poetry: A Movement Towards Unimaginable Growth

By Katlego Mereko

Pic Me Up Poetry is a fast-growing art movement which hosts its base sessions in Melville at Spilt Milk. Founded by Webster Chabangu and Sketch along with other poets, they have grown exponentially in the last two years, has now expanded and branched out their sessions to the culturally vibrant Maboneng in Johannesburg.

Poetry is experiencing a full-blown revival in Johannesburg with more and more spaces for spoken word opening and maintaining a respectable sense of consistency probably last seen in the noughties at iconic spaces such as Bassline in Newtown. 

Pick Me Up Poetry have created their own name in the Jozi poetry circles, seeing them grow into such a possession that they threaten to dominate the poetry landscape in Johannesburg.

Pick Me Up Poetry has experienced a nomadic last three years, which is not anachronistic of any Movement worth that name, having started their sessions in Greenside, before moving to several spaces in Melville such as Mootee Bar, The Grill, Bread and Roses, and where they are currently entertaining too much fanfare at Spilt Milk restaurant. It is impressive to say the very least that in just about two years the movement has moved into a position where they can monetise their compelling artistic output. They have hosted prominent poets in the make of Lolo Sky, Ms Berlita Andre, Nasi Tautona who is no stranger to Joburg Post pages, and Lord Strider.

2019 has seen them expand their regular Tuesday sessions to another one at Arthur’s Event in Maboneng on Thursdays. They can now claim to be the only poetry platform to offer two sessions at two different locations in the same week. Pick Me Up Poetry exists to bring the artistic community together and is dominated by young people. They seek to create memories and narratives of young people’s experiences and establish progressive relationships to help grow engagement in the artistic community.

Pick Me Up Poetry also have a radio platform called Pick Me Up Radio where they currently run a show called The Queen’s Fortress hosted by Yamoria twins. 

This show aims to promote the art of poetry and the unencumbered exposure of local music in an industry still hostile to local artists. It seems motion is the principle of being for Pick Me Up Poetry as they continue to grow beyond their own wildest creative imagination.


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