2017 edition Poets

The 2017 Edition is coming!

25 – 27  August


Kobus Moolman

Left Over: A Poetry Reading

Award-winning poet and playwright, Kobus Moolman, will read from his collection of poetry, Left Over (Dye Hard Press, 2013). Left Over, Kobus’ sixth collection of poems, describes the inner world of a man dealing with what the poet calls ‘being in the flesh, being a body in the world’. Sparse but dense, the prose-like poetry is arresting in its intensity and power. As poet and critic Kelwyn Sole comments, “Kobus Moolman’s elliptical, foreshortened poetry opens up a world of exploration and heightened experience from which the reader eventually emerges, chastened but delighted. These are poems of acumen, depth and extraordinary pressure.”


Kobus is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Western-Cape.






Finuala Dowling

Finuala Dowling

Dog produces Monet forgery

A reading of new and selected poems about everyday life, love, death, madness, and the kind of sadness that eventually makes you smile.


Finuala divides her time between writing, teaching, and her role as senior lecturer in the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies at UCT, where she helps to organise its annual Summer School. She is poetry editor at Aerodrome, and a trustee of Poetry for Life.

Her poetry collections I flying, Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe and Notes from the Dementia Ward won the Ingrid Jonker Prize, the Sanlam prize and the Olive Schreiner Prize respectively.  Some of her early poems are available on Poetry International and on the Badilisha Poetry X-Change.

Finuala has read her poetry at the Aldeburgh Poetry festival in the UK, in Paris, as well as at many South African literary festivals.  Her poems and thoughts on poetry have been published in many local literary journals as well as in Magma, Illuminations and The North.

Several of her poetry students, including Bev Rycroft, Kerry Hammerton, Margaret Clough and Graham Dukas, have gone on to publish their own volumes and to win prizes, as has her daughter, Beatrice Willoughby.

Finuala’s novel Homemaking for the Down-at-Heart won the 2012 MNet prize for fiction. Her fourth novel, The Fetch, won the 2016 Herman Charles Bosman prize.

Bernard Levinson

‘Poems from the Dark Side of the Moon’

These are all poems written while I worked at Weskoppies Mental Hospital in training to become a Psychiatrist. That was a time without pharmacology. Nothing. Only Nurses who cared.

Twelve poems with my own illustrations. A small wire bound booklet. A forty minute read.  The poems are full of heart…..


I am now a retired Psychiatrist. My poems are now being taught in all the Gauteng schools, and in the English Department of the Johannesburg University.

Montagu A Cappella

The Beatles as poets 

This 50 minute presentation will include an a cappella rendition, in 4- and 5-part harmonies, of some of The Beatles most popular songs, as well as an examination of the poetic aspirations and ability of McCartney and Lennon, plus providing some background information to the circumstances that inspired the lyrics of the songs the choir will be singing.

… a choir from nearby Montagu: https://www.facebook.com/montaguacappella/

Lisa van Zyl-Jones

Explore the fun of poetry through improvisation…

The workshop will introduce people to the joy of improvisation and the instant gratification of being able to create fun poetry in a fairly short space of time. We will make up poems and limericks and share the love of poetry in made up foreign languages (gibberish), word-at-a-time and even interpretive dance.

The workshop will be in English firstly, but can include Afrikaans if necessary.

The workshop will be 1 hour, 45 minutes for kids

Between 5 and 20 people can be accommodated per workshop


I studied drama at UCT and performed in Theatreports for 8 years, had a school touring theatre company for 3 and did professional theatre and workshops for 9, until we moved to Robertson 12 years ago. Since then I have cooked too much! But I have also been part of the McGregor theatre group, Worst End Theatre, have taught drama from last year and also now teach music at Ad Libitum in Robertson and am working towards exciting pop-up events in the near future…..

Dorian Haarhoff

Remoulding to the Heart’s Desire (English)

Ah, Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire.
Would not we shatter it to bits-and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire.

(Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)

We spend quality time with half a dozen poets that seek to reshape, reframe and revision our ‘sorry scheme’ moments and tune them the rhythms of the heart.


I’m a poet, mentor, story-teller, facilitator, passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination. Poetry through music and meaning has woken me to

mysteries within and without. Image by image poems reminds me how to open to the awe of the moment and to the paradox of a heartbeat.

dorianhaarhoff.com   dorianh@pixie.co.za

Ralph Goodman

Memories and Insights: A Life in Poetry

This is a collection of entirely biographical poems,outlining the shape of my life and the interactions with my family, as a young boy who understood far too much at too early an age. I try to be very honest in these poems. My aim is to draw people into my life – to engage with them using the complex emotions that poetry can evoke, in the hope that every reader will find a hand-hold in my poems. Keynote poem attached: “Smoke and Mirrors”.

Title of presentation: “Eternity in a Grain of Sand”: 

This is a very different set of poems. I am fascinated by the small, amazing things nature has created – the painstaking attention to detail and difference, the way that so many small insects, birds and flowers live side-by-side with us in an ocean of obliviousness. Keynote poem attached: “Bougainvillea”.


I taught English at UNISA (9 years) and the University of Stellenbosch         (about 36 years). I have a doctorate in English Literature (on George Orwell). I       taught (then) marginal courses such as Cultural Studies and Feminist Science     Fiction. Off-campus I have taught creative writing to the general public, in small   groups. I am a reiki master and offer healing sessions

 Links to websites:

After I retired the University of Stellenbosch appointed me to a Research post. I can be accessed on the Internet as follows: “Projects: Stellenbosch University à Ralph Goodman à Research Interests à Ralph Goodman”.

Also, if one uses “Google” as a search engine to search “Ralph Goodman           Healing Life Writing”, the first 3 items give information about my creative writing classes.

Galeo Saintz


Flowers and birds, like poetry speak to a super-sensible aspect of our experience of the world. They are a wild joy expressing itself endlessly without shame or fear. They are the world in love.

Time in suspension, unmet longing, awaiting, budding with the seasons, lifting on the wing, waiting out days . . .

I propose to share these works on a slow walk through the gardens of  Temenos or any other appropriate location in a nature space around McGregor. A conversation about birds and flowers and their link to poetry will be explored.


Words and Wild Love Poems

The untamed heart is a wilderness.

A place for unexpected discovery where everything comes alive through trust, reciprocity, the familiar, the unchartered and unknowable. The stories our hearts reveal are layered in myth and a language of soul, revealing ourselves to ourselves through the reflection of a beloved.

A rich subject, love’s voice is poetry. Galeo Saintz will share a collection of new poems on the themes of love, longing, nature, birds and wildness.


My name is Galeo Saintz. I work for trails, nature and peace through multiple non-profit initiatives. I hold leadership positions and engaging in innovative projects focused on the value of trails, conserving nature and species and building peace in protected areas.

I am passionate about the natural world and preserving our opportunities to experience it directly. I write poetry.

I am currently compiling my first collection of poems: Of Wild, Walking and Wondering.

Peter Vinton

Title of Reading Presentation: The “Taste” of Poetry

In the modern era of marketing, we often refer to the “personality” of a brand. With the proliferation of television programmes dedicated to cooking, taste has taken on a new importance in popular culture. And when a wine connoisseur describes the taste of a wine, they use colourful and very emotively descriptive terms to describe the experience.

Poetry, as a genre of creative art is no different to tasting a fine wine. It transcends sensory barriers and the experience of the poetry reader is no different than when sharing a great meal or a great wine. Similarly, as a total sensory experience, are we able to describe the “taste” of a poem or indeed of poetry? Peter Vinton attempts, with this presentation, to begin to build a “taste vocabulary” for poetry.

Peter takes the audience through a journey where lovers of poetry can begin to build their own “vocabulary” of the sensory experience that writing or reading poetry brings. He argues that unless, as a poet, you are able to awaken the same sensory brain centres as does a great wine or other deep sensory experience, a poet’s work may not be as broadly accepted as hoped for.

Peter makes the presentation an interactive session by inviting and facilitating debate around the ability of poetry to elicit the same sensory experiences that we typically find with other taste sensations, and even from the so-called “sin products.” This is a fun presentation aimed at stimulating thinking around the building of a comprehensive “taste vocabulary” for poetry. Because it is so enjoyable, we may even find that poetry is potentially classified as a “sin product.”

Title of Workshop: Emotiverse, Poetry in 50 Words, Or Less!

Brevity is often celebrated in many writing disciplines. But does brevity have a place in poetry? And what about highly emotive poetry that is rooted deeply in the emotions felt in our hearts? Or should we allow our creative spirit to run free and create emotive poems that can span several pages?

Peter Vinton is spearheading a new genre of poetry, namely “emotiverse” and has published a series of books in this genre. With this more “heart-based” genre, the creative accent is on saying, in 50 words or less, what we as poets traditionally say in hundreds of words. Limiting ourselves to 50 words demands a level of creative innovation that we are not typically used to in our creative efforts.

In this workshop, Peter Vinton will take the participants through the steps required to think in short Stanzas, that may be as short as one brief sentence. Peter will provide participants with a practical toolbox of principles, techniques and the different creative thinking process that is required to create poetry in this challenging genre aimed squarely at the heart of the reader.

Peter will also take his audience through the power of the word-picture confluence and how pictures, combined with emotive words, forges a level of reader engagement that words alone are not always able to capture. And this is due to the powerful effect of poetry that manages to capture the heart of the reader.

A critical part of the workshop is naturally how literary “critics” receive such brevity in poetry. If you have a literary critic who loves poems with “a simple a-a-a-a/b-b-b-b/c-c-c-c rhyme scheme” and your entire poem is only 7 words long, you are likely to receive a cold shoulder. Peter deals with this issue of critical comment on creative poetry that does not conform to the usual “rules.”

The workshop is delivered in a participative style where the participants will be provided with an opportunity to put their own “emotiverse” skills to the test in an informative and relaxed atmosphere. It is anticipated that attendees who may never have heard of or thought in “emotiverse” poetry terms will broaden their poetic repertoire. There may be poets or aspirant poets who could find their niche in the “heart-based” poetry spearheaded by Peter Vinton.

Peter guides the audience through a practical journey of creative writing that starts with the writing of traditional poetry and ends with how the participants can begin to write their own emotiverse creations rooted in the heart, which may open up new avenues for seasoned and aspiring poets who may want to extend their poetic skills and poetic writing ability.


Peter Vinton is the Nom de Plume or pen name of Peter Venter. Peter has been writing under the Peter Vinton name for many years and in 2016 the first three titles in the “Odyssey Series” were published. The fourth book in the series has been  written and is in the graphic design phase.

Peter has been writing since childhood and loved to write stories, fables and verse. This was done largely informally with the dream of doing it more formally never hidden too deeply. Since 1986 Peter has been writing under the Peter Vinton nom de plume for all non-academic work. Peter has authored or co-authored a number of academic research papers over the years and left academia to pursue a career in business. Peter holds an MPhil degree and belongs to professional bodies such as the Institute of Directors, Institute of Credit Management and the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa. Peter has also contributed articles to specialist publications such as Canopus, published by the Astronomical Society of SA.

With the Odyssey Series, Peter has finally decided to formalise his writing and to turn his writing talent into a commercial enterprise. As a newly published author, Peter is excited to present a new literary genre which has received praise from a wide reader audience.

Peter is a businessman resident in Johannesburg’s Northern Suburbs. When not writing, Peter heads up a professional services company with a national footprint.

Francois le Roux and Joke Debaere

The HA! of Music and Words

The HA!Man with his trademark spontaneous cello, keyboard and electronic accompaniments is joined by Belgian partner and word artist Joke Debaere, together criss-crossing the globe with a deeply memorable flow of heartfelt creative expressions, ever open to the moment, reflective of past experiences and hopeful towards a more connective humanity.


We both walked a path of being singled out as very gifted, often landing in positions and moments of great promise, but eventually finding ourselves at an existential sort of dead-end. My background is in music, Joke’s in theatre. My father stimulated me in the direction of spontaneous expression, before my mother (a trained pianist and music teacher) took me under her formal wing to “learn the notes.” I walked this parallel line – between piano and cello lessons, orchestra playing and formal composition, and improvisation, which i utilized being a church organist since age ten – all through my formative years in Johannesburg. Joke made theatre plays for her siblings as a child and excelled in various creative activities during her schooling in Kortrijk, Belgium, always relying on a good dose of direct expression and improvisation. My “dead-end” came after theological and music studies in Stellenbosch, as my creative breathing space in the formal environments dried up, and hers, after struggling to find room for her deeper feelings both in theatre school at Maastricht and having run her own theatre company in Antwerp for some years. I came through in 1992 by plunging myself on stage with raw improvised music performances and she threw herself into semi-autobiographical writing, while we both sustained other mediums of expression, including dancing and visual art. After almost a decade of hitch-hiking and street performances, plus another decade of being the “HA!Man,” making use of electronics to become a kind of continent marauding one-man band, and after Joke spent six years working for a bookshop while producing a small mountain of writings in her free time, we met. Within two years, Joke left Antwerp to join me on the “HA! road” as I entered a new phase of growing a full-on collaboration with her.
But what is HA!? HA! is HA! for a lack of any better description. How can i explain the moment of being creative? How can i define something that needs the nothing to be born? How can i package a performance that has no plan, no preconceived theme, a performance that in fact relies on NOT knowing what lies ahead? HA! So we enter the stage, each time with a lifetime of real and artistic experience; we enter with rich inner worlds and deep musical, poetic and dramatic languages; I also enter with a whole library of electronic accompaniments that shoots forth orchestral, band, ethnic, ensemble and experimental styles and textures and so does Joke enter with her library of writings, characters and thematic material to dip into. But it is only with the act of being on stage on strength of carrying an urge to share with an audience, that we decide, or rather feel, what it is that we will do, moment by moment, item by item, show by show. We die and get born each time we perform. As our collaboration is in process, i still carry the bulk of the performance, with the cello at the heart of it. I have played the cello for over fourty years. I stroke it, slap it, caress it and fire it up. When it becomes too small for me, i dance. Or i go over to the keyboard. Or i play both at the same time. Or i grab little flutes or go off about some human issue lying close to my heart. At times, Joke will enter. She might read a poem, tell a story, but mostly she waits for a sound from me and then find herself creating song-like poetry – in English, French or Dutch – on anything from her most intense feelings to global warming to a blind man taking a bus to nowhere, in direct flow with me, not missing one word. (Yes, WITH me, as I go along WITH her, adding this magical interactive dimension neither of us can ever offer by ourselves). Each performance becomes a journey made unique and memorable by the specific setting (whether a garden, living room, theatre or large concert hall), the people attending and one of the many hosts around the world who makes it all happening.
Needless to say, we have no managers or agents. We share, people come forward with ideas and invitations, we communicate, relationships grow. Every year we tour South Africa twice (Feb-March, Aug-Sept), Europe during April-May and North America during Oct-Nov. This cycle is an evolving story in itself, keeping us close to the ground, stimulating the sources of our creativity. Oh yes, we also came together in eating mostly raw food.. and our creative products – cds, dvds, books and other things – come without artificial colouring and preservatives. We carry all we need to live and perform where we go and from 2017 we will be based close to nature, near a town called Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape (which is close to Hogsback, where i was previously based for nine years). Apart from performances, i am still active in giving workshops in Spontaneous Creativity, where the HA! and the NOT-knowing is thrown on anyone – from toddlers to the elderly, from high-end music students to the disabled. I also love visiting schools, where i am “allowed” to be the HA!Man for real, losing my mind in order to find it again, blowing ruffling and inspiring winds of HA! energy from assembly to assembly. (How many schools have i been to? From the Leysin American School in the Swiss Alps, to Bokoro School in the Lesotho Drakensberg – and all the plains in between!) And finally, we both are keen collaborators when meeting fellow artists with kindred spirits – whether at the Center Studios in Los Angeles or in a dusty hall in Rhini township outside of Grahamstown, not to mention my own predilection to work with choirs and orchestras. Play play play! The future from here is as open and as grounded as a HA! moment. We are ready for it. In humble thanks to all – family, friends, hosts and audience members – that keep the conversation, and our journey, alive. For more, visit hamanworld.com and hamanworld.com/jokedebaere.
Francois le Roux (HA!Man) January 2016

Marike Beyers

Doors and Windows: There to Here

My poetry explores ways we try to belong beyond words – to places and people. I grew up in Pretoria, Tshwane, and now live in the Eastern Cape, but my memories are intertwined with stories of my grandfather walking with a wheelbarrow to the central market (where the State Theatre stands) as a boy to buy vegetables for his mother. Tied to the uprightness of my grandmother who read Homer and Dante against an abandoning father. How do we stand in between? How do we find words when what keeps on longing remains beyond?


My recent collection of poetry How to Open the Door by Modjaji particularly focuses on something of the in-betweenness of identity and home that both holds and pushes aside. Belonging and unbelonging. I’ve been involved with the MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University and Aerial Publishing, a local independent publisher. My poems have also been published in On Another Page and South African journals such as New Coin, New Contrast and Loop.

Some websites:

Badilisha Poetry X-change:


The National English Literary Museum:

http://www.dac.gov.za/national_english_literary_museum, or about current events:


Poetry Foundation:


Poetry International:


Richard Whitaker


with readings from the translation

This will be the South African launch of Richard Whitaker’s The Odyssey of Homer, A Southern African Translation, to be published by African Sun Press in 2017. In conversation with Patricia Schonstein, the translator will talk about his work and give readings from his translation.


In 2012 Richard Whitaker published a pioneering poetic translation of Homer’s classic epic, the Iliad, into a Southern African English idiom, using words such as assegai, induna, kloof, indaba and veld. The work was very well reviewed, and received a front-page article in the U.S. Wall Street Journal, as well as much local press attention. His companion translation of Homer’s Odyssey will appear in 2017. Richard is Emeritus Professor of Classics of the University of Cape Town, and now publishes travel writing with National Geographic and translations in the poetry magazine Stanzas, of which he is a Contributing Editor.


Wendy Woodward

Writing Home – Workshop

What places and beings do we most love—now and in our memories? Where and with whom do we feel most at ease and complete? The Spanish word ‘querencia’ means ‘a place I love or feel at home in.’ English does not have an equivalent term, but we can imagine this place, whether it is an inner space or an outer location.

In this workshop we will generate writing which expresses feelings of love: of being at home with ourselves and with the beloved, whether human of nonhuman—animal, nature, a place—in the present of in the past.

Love, ironically – poetry reading

Instead of celebrating heartfelt love poetry, this session will focus on poems that treat ‘love’ with a certain detachment, irony and humour. These poems re-imagine Greek myths from a woman’s point of view, acknowledge the impermanence of human love, or mock romantic convention.

Wendy will read poems by Anne Sexton, Wislawa Szymborska, Philip Larkin as well as some from her own collections.


Wendy Woodward taught for twenty years in the flourishing postgraduate Creative Writing Programme in the English Department at the University of the Western Cape. Now she convenes poetry groups and has facilitated short courses in poetry writing at UCT’s Summer and Winter Schools. Her poetry has appeared in local and overseas journals and in a number of anthologies. Wendy has published Séance for the Body (Snailpress 1994); Love, Hades and other Animals (Protea 2008) and A Saving Bannister (Modjadji 2015).

Troydon Wainwright

Fires in Heaven

South Africa has its roots in all of our hearts. Yet, South Africa’s heart is deeply in need of healing. More than ever South Africans need a message that reminds us that we are all human. We need a message that brings us together and shows us how much we have in common, a message that encourages us to take responsibility instead of casting blame, a message that reminds us to laugh. Fires in Heaven is that message because as South Africans, and as human beings, we have inherited paradise and yet we have set it on fire. To save ourselves humanity needs a change of heart. Yet there is hope because the fire within us will light the way.


Troydon Wainwright is a published writer based in Cape Town. He has won a Nova Award and has been published in New Contrast and the Best New African Poets compilation and elsewhere. He has been the feature poet at the Off the Wall readings in Observatory and the Poetry Circle at Cape Town’s Central Library.  In 2016 one of his Facebook posts went viral. He believes in performing his poetry rather than just reading it off a page. www.troydonwainwright.com

The picture I sent you is the one that went viral last year. I took it after discovering students wearing t-shirts that read, ‘fuck white people,’ and ‘kill white people,’doing the rounds on social media. Here is also the link to the Facebook post featuring the picture: www.facebook.com



Reflections on Love & the Divine Mystery by the Great Sufi Poets Rumi, Hafez & Rabia al-Basri

Mavis Vermaak takes listeners on a sonic journey with her adaptations of poems by the great Sufi poets Rumi, Hafez and Rabia al-Basri. This performance will entail readings of the Sufi poets’ works to original music and soundscapes created by Mavis herself.

“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ‘you owe me’. Look what happens with a love like that! It lights up the whole sky.” – Hafez

Patricia Schonstein

Eight in Two

Douglas Reid Skinner and Patricia Schonstein will celebrate the first eight issues over two years of They will share a few words about this quarterly for new poems and give readings. Stanzas’ poets are welcome to read their own.

 Launch of McGregor Poetry Anthology 2016

Hot off the press, this, our fourth anthology, will be celebrated with poets reading their own included works. The inaugural Patricia Schonstein Poetry in McGregor Prize will be awarded.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Patricia Schonstein will read love poems from the Africa! Anthologies, reflecting on how the heart hunts for love; finds it or fails at it; relinquishes or repairs it; and why we should underpin life with love.


Patricia Schonstein is a published novelist, poet, author of children’s books and curator of anthologies. She is Poet in Residence at David Krut Projects. She lives in Cape Town.

Norman Morrissey

Poet at heart – A reading from Strandloop

 A reading from Strandloop, a selection from a lifetime of poems. After this book’s launch tour in May and August through Kwa-Zulu Natal (his birthplace), the Eastern Cape (his province of residence), and the Western Cape, Norman Morrissey is offering a reading at McGregor Poetry Festival from this remarkable collection of poems that have been described as “a revelation and a delight”.

 This collection of 291 poems from the life’s work of prolific poet, Norman Morrissey, is a landmark in South Africa’s poetic history. The title, Strandloop, suggests an imagined walk by the poet along the shoreline of his poetic creation. As he beachcombs, so he sees individual poems and clusters of poems washed up out of the ocean of his experience. The poems that he sees as most “useful” are the ones chosen for this work. Strandloop contains a preface by the author, a complete bibliography of his previous publications, a brief biography, and an inspired portrait for the frontispiece by Silke Heiss, the poet’s wife.


Famous South African artist, Norman Catherine, has generously made available an image of his work Moonshine 1, for the cover of Strandloop. Signed copies will be available at R240 each. 4 hardcover Collectors’ copies (only 10 in existence) are still available at R500 each (not R700 as indicated on the publicity sheet). For details of other works by Morrissey see www.echoinggreenpress.com

Morrissey gives writing workshops in Hogsback, see www.hogsback.co.za. Click on ‘Activities’ and scroll down to ‘Hiku Hikes’. Morrissey, together with poets Brian Walter, Basil Somhlahlo and Cathal Lagan, is a founder of the Ecca poets, see eccapoets.blogspot.com

He regularly composes superb editorials for the Give Your Writing The Edge newsletter.

Marguerite (Osler) van der Merwe


Meander with me through Temenos’ unique Gardenscape – aware of the Garden’s citizens – relating   consciously to their presence and existence in our lives  – allowing  responses in body, mind, feelings, senses, associations and  memories.  Imagining WALKING SONGLINES, we will be cultivating a vital ECO- AWARENESS  – enhancing our awareness of Self and of Nature – our potential  for creative and meaningful  living. The brilliant responses of a handful of Nature poets will accompany our Walk. Participants invited to submit a sentence thereafter which I will attempt to integrate into ‘Our Poem’.


… profound and faithful Poet of Nature, icon of our times. Readings from her poems, with music, allowing the beauty, intelligence and meaning of her work to sift into consciousness. Time to participate, to note/write down extracts that take you, through her words, deeply into your own, and her, life.  Bring notebook and pen.


Marguerite (Osler) van der Merwe – Teacher-mentor of The Alexander Technique (30 yrs) & Tai Chi.   Author of two praise-poem books: ‘EVE-OLUTION’ and ‘THE ART OF WALKING’. Longtime explorer in the body-mind-spirit-ecology domain.  Lover of the poetry of the Mystics and Nature poets. www.bodysensetechnique.co.za

Norman Morrissey and Silke Heiss

“Lovelights” – Poems to guide the heart

A display of lit ceramic lanterns – “Lovelights” – provide the stage for a reading of poems by Norman Morrissey and Silke Heiss about heart intelligence and wisdom. Leave your thinking caps outside and bring only open eyes and ears!


Norman Morrissey and Silke Heiss have published 7 books of poems on love, nature and place. They have given numerous combined readings, and run walking and writing workshops (‘Hiku Hikes’) and extended writing workshops (Give Your Writing The Edge Workshops). They produce a monthly newsletter, called Give Your Writing The Edge, promoting and reflecting on local poetry and writing in general. Silke is also active as an artist in ceramics, which often interacts with her poetry – here, each Lovelight is offered together with a poem-scroll, which reminds the reader/ viewer of the variety of hearts we encounter in life, and invites reflection on a person’s place within their own “constellation of hearts”.

Give Your Writing The Edge Newsletter www.facebook.com/highriding  Online: http://www.skambha-village.org/give-your-writing-the-edge/

Hands That Think@HandsThatThink  https://www.facebook.com/HandsThatThink/  Morrissey and Heiss are both members of the Ecca Poets http://eccapoets.blogspot.co.za/

Lise Day

Poetic Play

“The true object of all human life is play” G K Chesterton

An interactive session with some unusual and surprising writing prompts; a game of literary balderdash; a collaborative Renku and a wander down a poetic path of discovery. (Limited to twenty participants)


Lise Day has recently retired to Hout Bay after forty years of teaching English, most recently at the Nelson Mandela University. She is a member of the ‘Pleached Poetry’ writing circle and regularly attends and enjoys workshops with Finuala Dowling. Her short stories have been published in the English National Curriculum text book and in periodicals and books. She has had poems published in Stanzas, Carapace, two editions of the Sol Plaatje Anthology, New Contrast and on line in Aerodrome.  liseday@mweb.co.za

Lerato Sibanda

In an attic of antics

This 40-minute show is a journey into a purveyor’s ponderings on life: her own and in general. Using poetry, melody and the sensual art of rhythm and rhyme, Lerato writes and performs with two voices: classic and the contemporary. This poet’s Jekyll -and- Hyde persona lends to static and sporadic “outbursts” of poetry performativity converging in a unique brand of urban poetry. Lerato, who at  times writes under the pseudonym Scribess, will have you both reeling and entertained because poetry has never quite been done this way before.


Lerato Sibanda is a young, vibrant and multi-talented artist and journalist from South Africa’s jazz capital, Pretoria. She’s fascinated by the convention-challenging urban cultural styles that range from music; fashion; beauty and dance and this is reflected in her writing on the Afrocentric lifestyle publication, www.consciousness.co.za, which she’s been writing for since 2010. She believes every individual has the power to passionately pursue their purpose and it’s these same values that inform her cathartic and enriching music and poetry. It’s little wonder that she counts the Neo-royals Lauryn Hill and India Arie along with hip hop honchos Jean Grae and Tumi Molekane (of Tumi and the Volume) as her greatest influences. Just like those artists this colourful soul’s work enlightens and entertains with effortless fashion.

Kerry Hammerton and Annette Snyckers

Annette Snyckers

Love of Poetry / Poetry of Love

How do you love poetry? Is it an affectionate philia love? Or are you obsessed by it? Or it is an enduring love? Annette and Kerry will share with you poems that they have fallen in love with, poems that pushed them into love…with poetry. Annette and Kerry will also read their own poetry about… well love and writing and poetry.


Annette Snyckers is a visual artist and poet living in Cape Town. She studied literature (English, French and German) at the University of Pretoria and later Fine Art at the University of South Africa. She is a painter and graphic artist working in oils and mixed media. Her poems have been published in literary magazines and online in Aerodrome and The Stellenbosch Literary Project. Her work was selected for the following anthologies: Difficult to Explain edited by Finuala Dowling, For Rhino in a Shrinking World edited by Harry Owen, The Sol Plaatje European Union Anthology 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, McGregor Poetry Festival Anthology 2014 edited by Patricia Schonstein. Annette writes in both English and Afrikaans.

Kerry Hammerton has published poetry in various South African and UK literary journals and anthologies most recently Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe Boooks: 2015). She has two collections These are the lies I told you (Modjaji 2010) and The Weather Report (2014). Kerry has an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from Rhodes University. www.kerryhammerton.com

Laverne Schwimmbacher

Pathways of the Heart

My poetry falls into many categories, from sadness & grief, to struggles, aspirations, hope, faith, gratitude, love and success.  There is at least one poem for everyone in my ongoing collection. I enjoy challenging myself with rhyme, non-rhyme and various other forms of writing.


At the age of 58 I am granny to two wonderful grandchildren aged 8 and 10 and live in Constantia, Cape Town. My early love for writing poetry re-commenced on a larger scale after losing my husband to cancer in 2010.  I began writing as a way to work through grief but this soon opened many doors and I began writing for others who were facing difficulties, challenges and triumphant times.  In 2014 a local radio station (Smile90.4FM) offering regular evening inspirations, encouraged me to share my poetry, resulting in many of my writings being shared over the air by the presenter, Mehboob Bawa. The compliments and following received through this inspired me to self-publish my first book “Pathways Of Inspiration” in May 2016.

At present I am proud to say that my books are in over 330 homes both here and abroad and this is all through self-marketing.  I do give 1 book away to a worthy cause/person for every 10 books sold as I believe in paying it forward and a talent / gift given needs to be shared.

Book 2 is now in the process of being created and will be titled “Pathways Of The Heart” I write on a regular basis and rather than look for the poem and the words, they seem to look for and find me. Follow this link to meet me on my FaceBook page where I share many of my writings. https://www.facebook.com/PathwaysOfInspiration/



Philip de Vos received a 2015 life time KykNet award for his contribution to Music, Literature and the Visual arts. In this program he will accommodate all three with poems he wrote in English and Afrikaans for the Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, Mussorgski’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Schumann’s Kinderszenen (Scenes from childhood).

Pieter Fourie


Die digter lees ‘n groot verskeidenheid van sy verse voor. Hy gesels oor sy oorgang van dramaturg na digter en nooi die gehoor uit om vrae te stel en in gesprek met hom te tree oor gedigte indien hul dit verkies.  As iemand sy bundel wil laat teken sal hy dit met graagte doen.

Willem Fransman Jr

Sestig en stééds ‘n Bok vir ‘n gaping:  ‘n Woordkuns-aanbieding

Fransman vestig hom as woordkunstenaar sonder weerga. Sy gehoor ervaar ‘n mallemeule-rit deur die Afrikaanse- en Kaapse-Afrikaanse poësie-landskap. Met ‘n hutspot van gedigte van Adam Small, Peter Snyders, C Louis Leipoldt, Toon van den Heever en andere, wys dié sestigjarige dat hy stééds ‘n bok vir ‘n gaping is!

Martjie Bosman

Die soet reuk van musiek      

Koos Human skryf in sy voorwoord tot Bosman se bundel Liggaamlose taal dat daar nog altyd ’n mistieke band tussen musiek en letterkunde was: Skrywers word deur komponiste en komposisies geïnspireer en komponiste eweneens deur literêre werke. Sy lees gedigte voor uit drie bundels en speel grepe uit van die musiek waarna verwys word.

Nic de Jager

Nic sal ‘n voorlesing van sy gunsteling hartsgebonde gedigte doen.  Die man met die goeie stem was ’n omroeper/regisseur by die destyde Afrikaanse Diens van die SAUK van 1966 tot 1974. Hy woon tans op Somerset-Wes en maak dokumentêre programme, musiek-programme en is ook ’n beroepsfotograaf.

Nick Mulgrew

The myth of this is that we’re all in this together

Nick Mulgrew performs a mix of new pieces, bound together with poems from his 2015 debut, the myth of this is that we’re all in this together. Partly-irreverant, partly-traditional and mostly melancholic, Mulgrew’s poetry explores colloquial and experimental voices and forms to create what City Press calls “a wry satire at the expense of contemporary culture”.


Nick Mulgrew was born in 1990 to British parents. He is the publisher of the award-winning poetry press uHlanga, and the author of three books, the latest of which is The First Law of Sadness, forthcoming later this year from David Philip. He lives in Cape Town.

Lunette Elle Warren

Not My Father’s Daughter/ Ek is Nie Joune Nie

Not My Father’s Daughter/ Ek is Nie Joune Nie is a bilingual poetry performance revolving around themes of childhood trauma, abuse and mental illness. Presented in both Afrikaans and English alongside video and still imagery, the poetry explores the complex relationship between loss, memory and healing.


Lunette Elle Warren is a poet, artist and photographer based in Franschhoek. She completed her PhD in Ancient Cultures in 2015, and has a special interest in women, philosophy and intersectionality. Currently, she holds a position as a postdoctoral research fellow at Stellenbosch University. She has written for SLiPNet, M&G Thoughtleader and Huffington Post SA on mental illness and gender equality.

As an artist, Warren focuses on empathy, body, and mental illness through abstract expressionist paintings. Her main medium is ink on water, though she often experiments with other media. Her poetry tackles similar issues in a more direct way, and therefore can and should be seen as a companion to her visual art. Her poetry often draws on elements of philosophy, etymology and Graeco-Roman mythology. Her work has been published locally and internationally in Type/Cast, Itch, Stanzas, Botsotso, Gravel, Third Point Press and elsewhere. Her art is available from the Leonardo da Vinci gallery in Cape Town (https://www.davincigallery.co.za/artists/lunette-elle-warren/).

Warren can often be found ranting about gender, mental illness and health, and academia on Twitter (@Persephonified), while she shares her art on Instagram (@bad.poetry_). She tries to update her website reasonably regularly (www.ellewarren.com).

Selected Publications:

The Traveller”, Itch 16:vivid

Emotions in Landscapes”, Gravel

Die Strop”, Roekeloos

Religion” and “Neurowar”, Five2One

Elizabeth Trew

Root  –  heart  –  branch:  tree poems   

Each poem moves between a physical, living tree or trees and its metaphor – symbolic meaning of time and place. I seek each tree’s stillness and power rooted within its heart and history that relates to my own or another’s experience.


Elizabeth Trew was born in Cape Town, went into exile and returned decades later in 1991. She has poems published in various South African poetry journals and anthologies in South Africa and in England. A selection is in ISISx (Botsotso) and Prodigal Daughters: stories of South African women in exile, edited by Lauretta Ngcobo.

Additional info/interest:

Member of Pleached Poets (that presented How to hone a poem, MacGregor, 2016). Quotidian, chapbook, also blog: poetryplatform.wordpress.com

Kela Griot

Mind The Trees

Mind The Trees is multi-sensory exploration of how the human mind is just like a tree. Fusing indegenous instrumentation, visual art and poetry, Mind The Trees will interrogate the seemingly passive, constant aliveness of a tree and give voice to the roots taking hold in our lives and our hearts.


Kela Griot Maswabi is a scribe, lover of humanity and an evolving creative; finding expression in poetry, playwriting, scriptwriting and freelance writing.  She has been writing for more than 15 years but it wasn’t until six years ago that she was drawn out of her shell to set foot on stage.  She has been on numerous platforms since then:  Basadi Jam with a Purpose, Writers Lounge, Kagiso Arts Fest, The Bangkok Sundays, ShowFace, Fanatic Poetry Sessions, Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards, Current State of Poetry and Love Thyself to name a few.  Kela Griot used her radio show “Juiced” to promote poetry. The show’s popularity catalysed the birth of the Juiced Poetry Sessions in 2014 which she is the co-founder and host of.   Kela Griot’s work has been published on Badilisha, Sibahle online magazine, the acclaimed Conte` Magazine #AfrikaIssue, Poetry Potion 10th Edition and the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Anthology for which she was longlisted.  Kela Griot has shared stages with Joe Ntsako Makhanza, Dudu “Uthingo” Majola, Ntate Blondie Makhene, Rre Lefifi Tladi, Sello Maake Ka Ncube, Myesha Jenkins and Natalia Molebatsi amongst a host of others. Described by Prof. Pitika Ntuli as “raw power” Kela Griot uses vivid imagery, childlike honesty and deep reflection to weave together stories. She describes herself as a deep empath and suspects that is why she is a conduit for art. She hopes to help humanity art itself to love, one poem and outlandish creative disruption at a time.

Justin Fox

Beat Routes

Join Justin Fox on a series of recent journeys across America, Europe and into corners of Africa with the Beat poets as inspiration.


Justin Fox is a travel writer, poet and photographer. He worked as a photojournalist at Getaway magazine for a decade. Justin’s articles have appeared internationally in many publications, while his short stories and poems appear in various anthologies. Justin’s recent books include The Marginal Safari, Whoever Fears the Sea and The Impossible Five. .
Website: justinfoxafrica.wordpress.com

Jos Koetsier

Heartfelt connections:

A poetic journey through Poland and the Baltic States

A journey to Poland and the Baltic States in September / October 2016 developed into an exploration of the poetic heart of these countries. In trains, busses, wanderings in cities and far off country sites poetry erupted from hidden wells connected with music, architecture and people of many walks of life.

Let us follow the itinerary of this discovery, starting in Warsaw with Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), to Kalisz Poland’s oldest city with Julius Słowacki (1809-1849) and Anna German (1936-1982).

Across the Baltic borders old and contemporary poets of note in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania carry the hearts of Nations. As illustrated by the following quote ‘If there was no Latvian literature, there would probably be no Latvians’. (http://www.latvia.eu/brochures/literature).

They saved their hearts against oppressive regimes through age old and contemporary verse and song (The Singing Revolution) and regained independence in the 1990s.

Their poetry inspired me to explore my own heartfelt connections with that part of the world.


Jos Koetsier, a Dutch national born in Nijmegen The Netherlands in 1946, retired in September 2011 as a lifelong learning specialist from the University of the Western Cape, Division for Lifelong Learning. Since his retirement in 2011 he concentrates on creative writing, Ancient Egyptian culture and Eastern European films, music and poetry. He currently explores the role of poetry in Polish and Baltic cultural and national identity.

Links to websites, publications

I have published one bundle in 2011 (own release, 100 copies) and some of my poems are on a blog site.

Creative writing: http://kaganof.com/kagablog/category/contributors/jos-koetsier/

Multimedia presentations related to Egypt:



Presentations: Jos Koetsier, Bookshops in Poland and the Baltic States. Prepared for the End of the Year Party of the Cape Bibliophiles Society, Observatory, 3 December 2016

Publications: Jos Koetsier, Trespassing into the unknown, Notes for friends to celebrate the end and the beginning of an era, Bracken fell – Somerset West – Stellenbosch – 2011,  4TH Anthology McGregor Poetry Festival: Detachment, For other publications Google ‘Jos Koetsier South Africa’.



The poems I would bring to the festival are rooted in personal experience. They are born out of moments of intimacy—sometimes with a beloved; sometimes with myself or with strangers; sometimes with music and silence, or with the natural world. They come to me at moments when the veil between myself and the world seems to be thinner than usual. Mostly they are written in my own voice, though other voices also enter the conversation. They want to capture those moments when time stands still, and you feel as if you are on the brink of discovering something new, or seeing something familiar for the first time. My intention is to lift language up until it sings; until it rises up like a tree in spite of the strong pull of gravity.


Jacques Coetzee is a musician and a freelance editor. He matriculated from the Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester, and obtained a B.A. Hons degree at the University of Stellenbosch before completing a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Cape Town, for which he submitted a manuscript of poems called Singing Through. He worked for several years as a busker at the Cape Town Waterfront, and tutored English literature to first- and second-year students at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

Since 2007 he has been the singer and one of the main songwriters in the band Red Earth & Rust, which released its fourth album of original material in 2015. He was selected to be a featured poet at the International Spier Poetry Festival in 2008, and has published poems in New Contrast and in Patricia Schonstein’s 2014 anthology, Heart of Africa! Poems of Love, Loss and Longing. He will be the guest poet for the 2017 ECCA anthology, which will collect work by poets based in the Eastern Cape.

Mary Murphy

Meet Molly, A staggered, and staggering, view of a woman’s life

It is a series of 5 monologues based on Lily Tomlin’s work.  I am writing two with direct reference to McGregor village life in the first.  It’s a fun piece charting a life from toddler to octogenarian.

Hugh Hodge and Julia Kramer

Selected Poems of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

A reading of selected poems of two of the 20th century’s extraordinary poets


‘Hidden Voice’

The ‘Hidden Voice’ is the residual nuances of experience.  Maturity allows simplicity to surface from this sifted storehouse. Compounded in moments of tranquillity, the ‘Hidden Voice’ wells for me into concrete form of pen on paper, words on a page unfurling present essence. In moments of quiet reflection I write these simple sound shapes in their original form as they grew – ‘Rooted in Heart’.


Denise is a ‘child’ from an Eastern Cape country background of bush clad hills, valleys and krantzes.  She lived and worked internationally, writes, paints, gardens, and enjoys cooking. A 146 page book of poems has been published, a number of short stories in various collections and a play, letters etc. Now in her twilight years she finds herself in a conducive life space to tackle editing, for publication, of her voluminous accumulated work written in South Africa and elsewhere.

Dawn Garisch

DISTURBANCE (taking note)

Through her poetry, Dawn Garisch demonstrates how we can take our difficulties to the page and explore them as an act of self-discovery, self-recovery and to grow awareness and compassion for others and for our home, the earth.


Dawn Garisch is an award-winning author who has published fiction, poetry, children’s stories and non-fiction. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. She is adapting her novel Trespass to be staged later this year.  Accident is her sixth novel.

Her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize in 2007, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the Sol Plaatje EU poetry competition. Modjaji Books published her poetry collection Difficult Gifts in 2011, and this year she has submitted her second collection, Disturbance (taking notes).

She teaches life writing and is a founding member of the Life Righting Collective, an NPO that promotes life writing as a tool for personal development and social cohesion. She is a medical doctor involved in medical humanities, and lives in Cape Town.

Collette Marais

A 360deg Journey of Love, Loss, Healing and Hope.

My presentation will cover a life journey which has taken me on a 360deg route. Short videos, pictures and music will be part of the presentation.


At the age of 59 I am the survivor of the suicide of my mother, have lost significant love and have sought and found healing. My poetry is inspired by these events. Although I have lived in Johannesburg for 42 years my heart is rooted in the Eastern Cape where I was born and grew up. Sunday’s River, just outside of Port Elizabeth is where my healing happened. Much of my poetry was written there while on Sabbatical there in 2015. I wish to share my journey, written in poetry, in particular with those who may have lost a significant loved one to suicide. A  Journey of love, loss, hope and healing. Emerging strong again. I am planning to publish my poetry in 2018. The title: I Am Standing on the Edge of Forever – Waiting for You. I have also written a small collection of erotica poetry.

The Ecca Poets

“Heart-routes” – poems from Gold in Spring and other books

A combined reading by Brian Walter, Norman Morrissey, Lara Kirsten and Silke Heiss (and possibly Cathal Lagan and other Ecca members) from the latest Ecca publication, Gold in Spring and other Ecca books. Gold in Spring was launched in Hogsback in September 2016 and, like the other collections, offers a “finely balanced blend of dictinctive voices from the Eastern Cape” (Andrew Stevens, Senior lecturer, Education Department, Rhodes University). Novelist, poet and teacher Peter Merrington wrote in a recent review, “[i]n the well-spring of these books there is salt or pang, of return or distance and separation, or small but striking confrontations”.


The Ecca Poets are an informal group of poets mainly from the Eastern Cape; a group of colleagues and friends who have got together to work on poetry projects for the past 27 years. There is perhaps no South African poetry fellowship more loyal in their combined questing for answers to matters of the heart on all levels. The current group comprises Brian Walter, Cathal Lagan, Norman Morrissey, Lara Kirsten, Alvené Appollis-Du-Plessis, and Silke Heiss. Guest poets include Eduard Burle (2015), John van Wyngaard (2016) and Jacques Coetzee (2017).

Previous publications include Unplanned Hour (2013), This Questioning Terrain (2014) and Sound Piping (2016). Together with Gold in Spring, these books will be for sale. See http://eccapoets.blogspot.com

Bernard Odendaal

Boustene vir gedigteskryf

Hoekom maak mense gedigte? Wat maak gedigte anders as ander skryfwerk? Sulke vrae vorm die wegspringplek vir nadenke oor die taal- en taalteken-elemente wat digters benut. Ons gaan kyk hoe onvergeetlike verse, vir sing én lees, aanmekaargesit is – en inspirasie daaruit put, om self sulkes te gaan skep.


Bernard Odendaal was 22 jaar lank dosent in Afrikaanse en Nederlandse letterkunde aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, voordat hy in 2012 die direkteur word van die ATKV-Skryfskool van die Noordwes-Universiteit (Potchefstroomkampus).

Sy debuutdigbundel, Onbedoelde land, het in 2007 by Tafelberg verskyn, en dit is op die kortlys vir die Ingrid Jonker-prys vir digdebute benoem. Sedert 2007 het hy ’n verskeidenheid gedigte geskep vir uitstalling of installering saam met visuele kunswerke, byvoorbeeld tydens kunstefeeste in Suid-Afrika. As liedteksskrywer en -vertaler het hy meegewerk aan die skep van ’n handvol CD’s, waaronder 2 versamelings van Jacques Brel-chansons in Afrikaans.

Hy is voorts die skrywer of mede-skrywer van sowat 50 artikels en hoofstukke wat in akademies geakkrediteerde tydskrifte en boeke verskyn het. Hierby is ’n oorsig ingesluit van ontwikkelings in die Afrikaanse digkunssisteem tussen 1960 en 2012 in Perspektief en profiel. ’n Afrikaanse literatuurgeskiedenis.

Meer as 250 boekresensies, opstelle en rubrieke van hom is oor die jare in ’n verskeidenheid Suid-Afrikaanse koerante, tydskrifte en webwerwe opgeneem. Onder die titel Woorde hul storie sien ken is ’n versameling van hierdie essays en rubrieke in 2016 deur Naledi uitgegee. Sommige hiervan het te doen met sy ervarings tydens die aanbied van skryfwerkswinkels, geborg deur onder andere die ATKV (Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging], op verskillende plekke in Suid-Afrika.

Athol Williams


As a social philosopher I have been exploring paths for South African and global society to find possible ways of living harmoniously.  My recent poetry has been exploring themes of hope – ways of fanning our spiritual flame to rise above our personal and social darkness to find new light of oneness between all living beings and all of life. In ‘Poems of Possibility’ I want to combine these two endeavours to share poems that explore and offer paths of possibility to a hopeful future.  I believe that this poetry session fits perfectly with the festival theme of “rooted in heart” since my visions of possibility for humanity are rooted in love and our connectedness.


Athol Williams has published 3 collections of poems and had his poems published in literary journals internationally. He participated in the McGregor Poetry Festival 2016. He has recently participated in literary events in England, Northern Ireland and France, as well as South Africa (e.g. Lowveld Book Festival). Athol is the only person to be awarded the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award twice and he was selected as a winner of the Parallel University Poetry Competition at Oxford University. He holds degrees from Harvard, MIT, LSE, London Business School and Wits, and is currently pursuing postgraduate research in political philosophy at Oxford. Athol is founder and Chairman of Read to Rise, a youth literacy NGO which has delivered its programmes to over 50,000 children, for which Athol has received numerous awards and accolades.



Douglas Reid Skinner

Book launch: Liminal by Douglas Reid-Skinner

Douglas Reid Skinner reads from his new collection, Liminal, out from uHlanga. This seventh collection from one of South African poetry’s under-appreciated masters is possibly his best yet. Metatextual, meticulous and steeped deeply in sentiment, Liminal is an exquisite and at-times startling rumination on lives lived, loves loved and writings written. Skinner’s technical mastery of his style and craft, honed over the decades, only brightens the emotions that run through a mélange of travel poems, remembrances, experiments and treatises on the nature of being, literature and friendship. A testament not only to Skinner’s exacting eye and appreciation of that which has (and those who have) come before him, but also to an unending adaptability and an unerring desire for growth.

Growing Poems

Individual mentoring session with Douglas Reid Skinner. Book a 20 minute slot to talk about your poems and / or writing.


Douglas Reid Skinner was born in Upington. He has previously published six collections –
Reassembling World, The House in Pella District, The Unspoken, The Middle Years, Blue Rivers and Heaven: New & Selected Poems – as well as four books of translation, most recently The Secret Ambition: Selected Poems of Valerio Magrelli, translated from the Italian with Marco Fazzini. He directed The Carrefour Press from 1988 to 1992 and was editor of New Contrast from 1990 to 1992. He is co-editor of Stanzas.

Archie Swanson

Borne of emotion

Poets find themselves compelled to capture their deepest emotions and observations stemming from personal experiences. I will read poems about music, loss, separation, desperation, human frailty, love, revenge, nature and memories.  Towards the end of the presentation, participants will be given the opportunity to write and then read their own short poems borne of emotion. Each participant will receive a chap book of the presentation. (Duration: 40 minutes).


Archie Swanson is a poet and surfer. His poems have been published in numerous anthologies including Stanzas and New Contrast and posted on a number of blogs. In 2016 three of his poems were translated into Spanish by Martín López-Vega, and published in the Spanish National newspaper, El Mundo. A poem also appears in the recently published Experimental writing: Africa vs Latin America.

Adre Marshall


Geoffrey Haresnape


Adre Marshall and Geoffrey  Haresnape will read poems both personal in character and also  concerning relationships with partners, parents, children, grandchildren and friends.   Amusement, amazement and dream are all parts of the heart’s territory and will find their places in the presentation.


Adre Marshall read English and French literature at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Paris (Sorbonne). She taught English for many years, most recently at UCT where she was awarded a PhD. Her book on Henry James was published in the USA, and her poems have been published in various journals including Carapace, New Contrast, English Academy Review and Stanzas.

Geoffrey Haresnape is the author of five collections of poetry  Drive of the Tide [Maskew Miller],  New-Born Images [Justified Press], Mulberries in Autumn [Snailpress], The Living and the Dead [Snailpress]  and Where the Wind Wills [Echoing Green Press].  He has published in numerous poetry anthologies in the UK, India and South Africa.

Graham Dukas

Poetry – the light-hearted variety

Graham reads poetry (both his own and that of others) that takes a light-hearted look at a range of subjects, some serious, some less so.


Graham Dukas is a business consultant, a corporate coach and retired architect. His poetry explores territory that ranges from the serious to the absurd, often dismantling the familiar with a subversive wit and unexpected logic. He has two self-published poetry chapbooks to his name and was the winner of Cape Town’s Open Book Festival ‘Words and Wine’ haiku competition. He lives in Cape Town.


Christine Coates


Robin Winckel-Mellish

An Archaeology of the Heart

Christine and Robin will read their own intimate work from the heart: an excavation of the ongoing narrative of love, love of the natural world, romantic love, the end of love as a calendar of pain. Christine will read from Sixty Leather Wings, her new collection; poems of a garden destroyed by fire, drought, poems of restoration.

Robin will read from her forthcoming collection Etchings in Dust, poems illustrating her connection to wilderness and the journey of losing a loved one.

“To a poet the human community is like the community of birds singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to each other, love of language, love of sound, love of singing itself and love of other birds.”  Sharon Olds.


 Christine Coates is a poet and writer from Cape Town. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her poems and stories have been published in various literary journals. Her debut collection Homegrown, published in 2014, by Modjaji Books, received an honourable mention from the Glenna Luschei Prize. Her poems have been selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry anthologies every year since inception: 2011 – 2016, Best “New” African Poets 2015, 2016 Anthologies, and literary journals. Her short stories have been highly commended; “The Cat’s Wife” in ADULTS ONLY, the Short.Sharp.Stories anthology 2014, “How We Look Now” in WATER, the Short Story Day Africa anthology 2015. “A Night to Remember” won the runner-up prize in The Short Story Is Dead! Long Live The Short Story! Vol. 2, 2016. She recently participated in the inaugural Rutanang Book Fair in Potchefstroom. She was a judge in the PEN International New Voices Award 2016.

South African born Robin Winckel-Mellish works as a freelance journalist and has lived in the Netherlands for many years. She runs a poetry critique group in Amsterdam. All the colours of southern Africa are threaded through her poems infusing both the light and shadow of life. She is widely published and is working on her forthcoming second poetry collection. Her first collection A Lioness at my Heels was published in 2011 by Hands on Books.

Jane De Sousa


Lynda Jennings

Roots Exposed

Two artists’ heart journeys reflected through their poetry and photographs. Poet Jane De Sousa and Photographer Lynda Jennings have explored the intersections between a poem’s wordscapes and a photo’s visualscapes. They have collaborated in reflecting on how their different artistic mediums merge and meld. They have explored how the wordscapes poem’s create in our imaginations can relate to visual images and how a visual image can inspire a poetic response. In working together, Lynda has created photographs in response to Jane’s poems and Jane has written poems in response to Lynda’s photographs. The poems and photographs reflect the heart journey of these two artists – from uncertain youth to adulthood with deep roots that yet allow their heart trees to bend and sway and dance in the winds of life.


Jane De Sousa has always had a passion for poetry, but was “sensible” and did a BSc before abandoning the laboratory and following a career as an organisational and management consultant and trainer. She found her way back to poetry in 2016 after completing The Artist’s Way – a 12 week recovery programme for blocked artists. Since then she has been part of a poetry group mentored by Wendy Woodward and enjoying the process of finding her poetic voice. She has always been fascinated by the wordscapes poems create in our imaginations and how these relate to actual visual images. She has found the process of working with Lynda, who is a visual photographic artist, inspiring.

Lynda Jennings grew up in the beautiful environment of Cape Town. Her interest in photography began when her parents gave her, her first camera, a Kodak instamatic, at the age of 8. She bought her first “good” SLR camera about 16 years ago and her passion for photography just exploded.  Her first endeavours were with film, before moving into the digital realm.  Digital photography brings with it the added fun and personal expression of image manipulation and enhancement.  It opened up a whole new dimension.  The collaboration with Jane for the poetry festival has been enriching and rewarding; stretching her imagination and photographic techniques.

James Skilton first appeared on stage in a 1976 production of the musical “Camelot” and he has since gone on to appear, both here and in the UK, in over fifty productions. When not on stage James can be periodically spotted on TV screens around the world, appearing in a (thankfully) “ever growing” number of TV commercials.

Mark Jennings hails from Fish Hoek and has spent his life in radio.  He is currently the station manager at Fine Music Radio.  Mark also runs a business operating in-store radio services for corporate companies, does MC work and does voice-overs for ads and audio visual productions.  He also has been involved in community theatre, and loves running and canoeing.

Leonie Williams


Brian Walter

Helenvale ‒ in words and image

Helenvale is an impoverished area in Port Elizabeth, ridden with drug and gang-related violence, with socio-economic issues exacerbated by high levels of unemployment, housing shortages, over-crowding of dwellings and a lack of stimulating and creative opportunities for the youth. The Helenvale Poets project works to provide creative space within this community.

Leonie Williams (assisted by Brian Walter) presents, in words backed up by images, the poetry of the Helenvale poets. The presentation will be in English and Afrikaans.

Leonie will discuss the Helenvale Poets project, implemented by the Southern Africa Development, Research and Training (SADRAT) Institute over the last six years. She will describe the project and its poets, and range through the work produced over the years, highlighting both the work of the late Byron Armoed and her own work. She will be backed up with photographs of Helenvale, evoking a visual context.


Leonie Williams is a founder-member of the Helenvale poets, a community group of writers formed under the auspices of Southern Africa Development, Research and Training (SADRAT) Institute.

Helenvale is an impoverished area in Port Elizabeth, ridden with drug and gang-related violence, with socio-economic issues exacerbated by high levels of unemployment, housing shortages, over-crowding of dwellings and a lack of stimulating and creative opportunities for the youth. The Helenvale Poets project works to provide creative space within this community.

Leonie Williams has contributed to three collections published by the project:

Uitsig (Port Elizabeth, SADRAT, 2011).

Tussen Straate (Port Elizabeth, SADRAT, 2012).

Kinderharte (Port Elizabeth, SADRAT, 2016).

She was co-editor of Kinderharte.

She has in 2017 compiled a solo collection, Broken Living: Poems from Helenvale (Port Elizabeth, SADRAT, 2017). She also co-edited a posthumous collection for another Helenvale poet, Byron Armoed, called Nagedagte.

Her writing, which is in both English and Afrikaans, is vibrant and “upfront”, giving her “take” on life and events in her community and the battles to raise a family as an unemployed mother of four.

She facilitates writing workshops for the Helenvale poets “New Generation” group, as well as for other poetry groups. She has recently embarked on an Early Childhood Development course.

Brian Walter is a Port Elizabeth based poet.

His poetry collections are:

Tracks, Lovedale, Alice (1999)

Baakens, Lovedale, Alice (2000)

Mousebirds, Seaberg, Port Elizabeth (2008)

Otherwise and Other Poems, Echoing Green (2014)

Poems Packed for Travel, Poetree (2016)

A collection of poems by Walter, Cathal Lagan and Basil Somhlahlo entitled Mendi ‒ a 1994 publication reflecting on the Mendi disaster ‒ has just been reprinted by the poets. His books include Groundwork: An Introduction to Reading and Writing about Poetry, Macmillan Boleswa, Manzini (1997), which he wrote with Felicity Wood. He has also edited and compiled texts for schools.

After leaving Fort Hare he worked on educational and community development projects.

He mentors the Helenvale Poets in Port Elizabeth, and he, with the Afrikaans poet Alvené Appollis-du Plessis, assisted them with two publications, Uitsig, and Tussen Strate, and ‒ with Leonie Williams ‒ with two 2016 publications, Kinderharte and  Byron Armoed’s Nagedagte, and in 2017, Leonie Williams’s Broken Living: Poems from Helenvale. He also works with the informal Ecca group of poets, who put out an annual collection of poetry. See eccapoets.blogspot.co.za

He has worked on the Rhodes MA in Creative Writing course, and has offered writing workshops for the directorate of Arts and Culture, NMMU.

He has won the 1999 Thomas Pringle Award for poetry published in journals and the 2000 Ingrid Jonker Prize for Tracks, as well as national and provincial awards for Arts and Culture.

Walter was born in Port Elizabeth, in 1956. He has taught at Chapman Senior Secondary School in Gelvandale, PE, and at the University of Fort Hare, Alice. For his PhD he worked on the writings of Sol Plaatje.


Maura Talbot,

Tauriq Jenkins

and Kris Marais

BRAVEHEARTS – THE Beats – Outlaw Poets Transcending  the Stultifying Morass of Post War Morality

This production is a celebration of the work of the Beat Poets who raised poetry from its post war torpor by reviving its throbbing, beating impassioned heart. Not for them the barely discernible pulse.  No, they reignited the heartbeat of poetry magnificently and without strictures. They liberated poetry through the inversion of structural constraints imposed on artistic work.  Unashamed of expressing their sexuality for example, they produced beautiful and brutally honest heart-speak, shifting the aesthetic of what comprises good poetry.  It was at times ugly, incomplete, chaotic, yet often reconciled the dark heart with its golden counterpart.  Opposite to controlling and cultivating nature – they sought poetic integrity through symmetry.  The influence of the Beats ran in brooks, streams and rivers through the second half of 20th century literature, indeed its flow is extant.  Like the human heart beat, their poetry is flexible and variable and responsive to all stimuli. The Beats restored the rhythms of the cold heart of mid 20th century poetry.

The BEATS, (20th Century Poets and writers) were social dissenters who significantly impacted the western world.  They questioned authority and humanity’s purpose, and turned away from conventional subject matter and methods of expression. They overcame censorship, lack of dependable communication, even incarceration, and being banned/outlawed by the ruling hegemony.  They refused to be suppressed, challenging the severe conservatism of post WW2 and McCarthyism’s America.

They abandoned the rote of contemporary literary norms and experimented with free verse, colloquial speech, and unstructured composition, spawning spontaneous prose infused with jazz and blues rhythms which powerfully expressed their unconventional ideas.  Allen Ginsbergs’ 1955 three-part poem “Howl” became a manifesto of the ideals of The Beat generation.

The central and essential tenets of Beat philosophy resonate strongly today.

“They asked the relevant question themselves. It was one of the things that united the writers and adventurers we call Beat – and their answers looked both backwards….and forwards, nostalgically (to face looming death, the rags of old age and the ruins of civilization) and heroically (to face the unknown, that which lies beyond the little bit of ourselves we know). ……..they matter because, at their best, they inspire us to look back for what’s been lost and forward to what we need to lose. (Oliver Harris)

Presented by poets Tauriq Jenkins, Maura Talbot and Kris Marais, supported by music and visuals, the audience will be taken on a 50 minute journey to various places in the BEATs’ New Vision.  Each of them will present several of their favourite Beat poets plus one of their own compositions.

Additional information on this poetry can be sourced from the following sites: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/brief-guide-beat-poets


Maura Talbot’s poems are of a deep personal and confessional nature and reflect on her experiences as a child and adult.  They give voice to her process of understanding, healing and re-parenting herself.  Maura has 25 years of experience working as a socio-economic and environmental researcher, lecturer, consultant and activist in Southern Africa, and has a Master of Arts Degree in Human Geography from Rhodes University, Grahamstown.  She is currently setting up Tri Nexus Social Capital Services and collaborating with Kris and Tauriq to explore ways poetry and stories can help people re-connect and relate with themselves, each other and the broader society in affirming ways.

Tauriq Jenkins’ vocational trajectory directly answers several calls to action. From founding the Independent Theatre Movement of South Africa and directing Shakespearean productions with incarcerated youth in Cape Town, to teaching chess classes at New York’s Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, his work traverses institutional and societal barriers to seek transformation. He has a Masters Degree in Fine Art from Colombia and is Colombia’s  2015-2016 Oral History Merit Scholarship recipient. His Shakespearean performances are legendary in Cape Towns’ Observatory his South African home. Tauriq is currently directing Tri Nexus’ “Conscripts” production.

Kris Marais’ poetry has appeared in African Sun Press’s  Africa Ablaze and Heart of Africa anthologies, Stanzas and in the 2012 Off The Wall anthology. He reads whenever possible at Off The Wall in Observatory where he lives. His poetry is by turn, intense, sensitive and at times challenging. He has recently worked for NGOs engaged in Resource Restoration and Community Development and is currently engaged in start-up projects with Tri Nexus Social Capital Services. He will be presenting his Conscripts production at the National Word Festival 2017 with collaborators, Tauriq Jenkins and Maura Talbot.






State Property: the Conscripts of Apartheid – ‘Unwrangling’ the Heart of a socially constructed silence.

Author: Kris Marais

This performance of composed and found poetry (the poetry of the spoken word) speaks to a host of post-Apartheid South African hearts that are congested – with silence.  Hearts that have haemorrhaged silently, and mostly out-of-view, for decades.  Many unwittingly bearing crudely cauterized wounds.  SA’s post-Apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, sincere as it was, was too intimidating, too premature and unwittingly threatening to Conscripts of the SADF.  This performance creates an opportunity to thaw these frozen hearts, and initiate another chapter in South Africa’s healing. In this performance, the Karpman Drama Triangle, the human drama of the oppressor-victim paradigm is revisited, to create an opportunity to stop repeating the same divisive thinking that was imposed by the old colonial oppressors. For thousands of Conscripts hiding in plain view precludes any chance to heal their trauma – the trauma of silence and secrets, and keeps them very susceptible to fearful reactions. They became an open secret, and that kind of secret is cancerous. Their silence is a deafening roar.  This performance acknowledges these perforated hearts and initiates the conversations necessary to begin the reintegration of thousands of exiled hearts, and give voice to the many many things that shaped, unleashed and shut them down. It calls on affected South Africans to begin to speak and share their stories, to heal and halt the inter-generational perpetuation of the Apartheid war.

This production is presented by Tri Nexus Social Capital Services, and is a  collaboration between Kris Marais (Author), Tauriq Jenkins (Director) and Maura Talbot (Producer). It will run for 1 hour.  Thereafter the attendees will be given an opportunity (for up to 1 hour) to discuss their experiences and what the production brought up for them.

In the 27 years between 1967 and 1994, somewhere between four hundred and eighty and six hundred sixty thousand young white men were conscripted into the Apartheid State’s Military apparatus. At the height of conscription this amounted to seven out of ten white South African males over the age of eighteen.  They were conscripted for an initial period of 1-2 years and thereafter for a further 720 days broken up into annual 3 month camps. Conscription commenced with three months of Basic Training.  Under the law, failure to report for duty could result in imprisonment for six years. Conscripts assigned to the operational area (the then South West African border with Angola were forced to sign secrecy agreements.) During the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a staggering 0.005% of Conscripts (35) made submissions.  Twenty-two of those where conscientious objectors who participated in the End Conscription Campaign and were thus “concientised”.


Kris Marais’  poetry has appeared in African Sun Press’s  Africa Ablaze and Heart of Africa anthologies, Stanzas and in the 2012 Off The Wall anthology. He reads whenever possible at Off The Wall in Observatory where he lives. His poetry is by turn, intense, sensitive and at times challenging. “Conscripts” grew from several interviews Kris conducted with South African men now in their early fifties and late sixties. He will be appearing at the National Arts Festival 2017 with collaborators, Tauriq Jenkins and Maura Talbot. He has recently worked for NGOs engaged in Resource Restoration and Community Development and is currently engaged in start-up projects with Tri Nexus Social Capital Services.

Maura Talbot’s poems are of a deep personal and confessional nature and reflect on her experiences as a child and adult.  They give voice to her process of understanding, healing and re-parenting herself.  Maura has 25 years of experience working as a socio-economic and environmental researcher, lecturer, consultant and activist in Southern Africa, and has a Master of Arts Degree in Human Geography from Rhodes University, Grahamstown.  She is currently setting up Tri Nexus Social Capital Services and collaborating with Kris and Tauriq to explore ways poetry and stories can help people re-connect and relate with themselves, each other and the broader society in affirming ways.

Tauriq Jenkins’ vocational trajectory directly answers several calls to action. From founding the Independent Theatre Movement of South Africa and directing Shakespearean productions with incarcerated youth in Cape Town, to teaching chess classes at New York’s Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, his work traverses institutional and societal barriers to seek transformation. He has a Masters Degree in Fine Art from Colombia and is Colombia’s  2015-2016 Oral History Merit Scholarship recipient. His Shakespearean performances are legendary in Cape Towns’ Observatory his South African home. Tauriq is currently directing Tri Nexus’ “Conscripts” production.

UWC Creative Writing students

poetry reading 

Come and listen to the voices of the poets of the future. A group of poets from the Creative Writing Programme at the University of the Western Cape will read a selection of their work. Dynamic, experimental and always relevant, these students are all in their postgraduate year of studies. The work they will be reading has been inspired broadly by the idea of food, food shortages and inequality. The work has emerged out of a collaborative project with the Centre for Excellence at the University of the Western Cape. The appearance of the students at the festival is courtesy of the Centre for Excellence and the Mellon Foundation.

Language: English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa


Kobus Moolman is the author of seven collections of poetry, and several plays.  He has previously won the Ingrid Jonker award, the PANSA award, the South African Literary award, the DALRO award, the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry award, and the 2015 Glenna Luschei award for African Poetry.  He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Western-Cape.  For further information: www.kobusmoolman.com.

Brian Walter

Otherwise, and packed for travel

As this would be my first visit to the McGregor Festival, this poetry reading will range through poems from my last two collections, as an introduction to myself and my verse to this community.

  • 2014: Otherwise and other poems, Echoing Green Press, Fish Hoek.
  • 2016: Poems packed for travel, published through Poetree Publications,



Brian Walter is a Port Elizabeth based poet.

His poetry collections are:

Tracks, Lovedale, Alice (1999)

Baakens, Lovedale, Alice (2000)

Mousebirds, Seaberg, Port Elizabeth (2008)

Otherwise and Other Poems, Echoing Green (2014)

Poems Packed for Travel, Poetree (2016)

A collection of poems by Walter, Cathal Lagan and Basil Somhlahlo entitled Mendi ‒ a 1994 publication reflecting on the Mendi disaster ‒ has just been reprinted by the poets. Walters books include Groundwork: An Introduction to Reading and Writing about Poetry, Macmillan Boleswa, Manzini (1997), which he wrote with Felicity Wood. He has also edited and compiled texts for schools.

After leaving Fort Hare he worked on numerous educational and community development projects.

He mentors the Helenvale Poets in Port Elizabeth, and he, with the Afrikaans poet Alvené Appollis-du Plessis, assisted them with two publications, Uitsig, and Tussen Strate, and ‒ with Leonie Williams ‒ with two 2016 publications, Kinderharte and  Byron Armoed’s Nagedagte, and in 2017, Leonie Williams’s Broken Living: Poems from Helenvale. This work is done through the NPO, Southern Africa Development, Research and Training (SADRAT) Institute.

He also works with the informal Ecca group of poets, who put out an annual collection of poetry. See http://eccapoets.blogspot.co.za

He has worked on the Rhodes MA in Creative Writing course, and has offered writing workshops for the directorate of Arts and Culture, NMMU.

He has won the 1999 Thomas Pringle Award for poetry published in journals and the 2000 Ingrid Jonker Prize for Tracks, as well as national and provincial awards for Arts and Culture.

Walter was born in Port Elizabeth, in 1956. He has taught at Chapman Senior Secondary School in Gelvandale, PE, and at the University of Fort Hare, Alice, with his PhD studies being on Sol Plaatje.

Cheryl Traub Adler

Paintings, Poetry & Postcards

[ ‘n hond se gedagte ]

You are invited to an exhibition of small paintings and poems at Stillness Sanctuary.  The walkabout will include meandering through the garden and spiraling through a labyrinth towards the view of the Krans Nature Reserve.

All the while discovering artworks and poetry in unexpected places.

The artist will describe her creative process pointing out the synonymous links between nature, writing, painting and the sensory.

Visitors will be invited to select, write and send a Poetry Postcard to a loved one.


Cheryl Traub Adler is an artist, catalyst and teacher.  A graduate from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT who is fascinated by the intersection of all art forms including Painting, Photography, Installation, Land Art and Performance.

Trained as a Bridging Polarities through Art and Omega therapist, her focus is on the curative aspect of the creative process. Her work as part of ‘The Persistence of Memory’ project relates to national memory as part of the Center for Curating the Archive.

This year the group exhibition, ‘What Art is For?’ at 196 Victoria, Woodstock, challenged the viewer to think about the true value of art. Her continued studies include Medicine and the Arts, Humanizing Healthcare, The 21st Century Museum and Identity, Conflict and Public Space.

She has collaborated with the Spanish architectural collective, Basurama, Open City Project, Stories of Rain, the BlueBox project in Morocco and RoundaboutLx in Lisbon. Currently her solo exhibition ‘Anologue’ at Alliance Francaise, Cape Town, is on show until the end of August.

You can also find her on social media:

Cheryl Traub Adler (@profileview) · Instagram photos and videos


Cheryl Traub Adler (@cheryltraubad) | Twitter

cheryltraubad) | Twitter

Harry Owen

  The Cull: new and resurrected poems

Book launch: In his third visit to Poetry in McGregor, Harry Owen introduces his new poetry collection by reading from and talking about The Cull: new and resurrected poems, which is both a focus on the increasing threats facing the natural world and a celebration of the wonders that still remain.


Since 2008, English-born poet Harry Owen has lived in South Africa. Author of seven full collections and editor of two acclaimed anthologies, including the internationally admired For Rhino in a Shrinking World in support of the fight against rhino poaching, his work is widely published and commended in countries around the world.

The Cull: new and resurrected poems is Harry Owen’s seventh book of poetry. It’s central concern, as with much of his work, is the fate of the natural environment on an earth increasingly threatened by human expansion and intrusion. An advocate of life and biodiversity, he sounds an unmistakable warning while simultaneously celebrating the magnificence of what still remains to us.

More information may be found about his publications at:

For Rhino in a Shrinking Worldhttp://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com

The Cullhttp://thecullpoetry.wordpress.com

Harry lives in Grahamstown where he hosts the popular Reddits Poetry open floor event and also writes a fortnightly poetry column for Grocott’s Mail.

Pam Newham


Elaine Edwards


Two nature- lovers take a look at the birds and the beasts. Pam and Elaine will read a selection of their own and other’s works. Along the way you could meet up with anything from pink monkeys to the little-known Erythopygia Paena.


Pam Newham worked most of her life as a journalist but now writes what she really loves. She has had three children’s books published and poetry in various anthologies and journals. She lives in Hout Bay.

Elaine Edwards is a poet, teacher, avid bridge player and amateur artist who emigrated from Johannesburg to Melkbosstrand ten years ago. She has been published in several anthologies as well as producing her own collection entitled Sea Change.

Both poets belong to the Pleached Poets group, whose chapbook Quotidian was published last year. They have a blog at thepoetry platform.wordpress.com under the banner Pleached Poetry.

Patricia Hall

The Poet Chants

Give your inner poet voice through the medium of song. Together we sing simple chants from a variety of spiritual traditions. Become still, centred and filled with a quiet but vibrant peacefulness. The sessions are popular with McGregor residents so come early to ensure a place!


Patricia is a teacher who has lived in McGregor for many years. She has facilitated chanting retreats and regular chanting sessions at Temenos. She has a passion for the arts which she employs in her personal and professional life.

Harry lives in Grahamstown where he hosts the popular Reddits Poetry open floor event and also writes a fortnightly poetry column for Grocott’s Mail.

Johan Myburg


is ʼn bundel wat temas soos die mens se verganklikheid en vergetelheid aansny. Dié optekening word subtiel met ironie en humor deurspek. Die samebindende gegewe is dié van Romeinse keiser Hadrianus en die bundel open met sy bekende sterfgedig in Latyn en Myburg se trefsekere vertaling daarvan in Afrikaans.



Die verse in Uittogboek (Protea) het tot stand gekom tussen 2008, die jaar waarin Kamermusiek (Lapa) verskyn het, en 2017.

In dié tyd het Johan Myburg gewerk as kunsredakteur by ʼn dagblad in Johannesburg – tot en met 2014 – en daarna begin vryskut. Hy skryf vir verskeie publikasies, “van ‘Kuns 101’ tot kunsessays wat veel meer navorsing verg, tot resensies oor uitstallings”. Hy lewer ook weekliks op RSG se Skrywers en boeke ʼn bydrae oor internasionale letterkunde.

Nadat Myburg in 2000 ʼn doktorsgraad verwerf het, het hy ʼn paar jaar gelede by Wits ingeskryf vir ʼn meestersgraad in visuele kunste en die gestruktureerde kursus en eksamens afgehandel. “Die gestruktureerde kursus van een jaar (wat drie klasgeleenthede per week ingesluit het) was die dryfveer waarom ek ingeskryf het,” sê hy. “Wat veral van waarde was, was die module in ‘Art Critical Writing’. Ek het nie die kwalifikasie verwerf nie omdat ek nie ʼn tesis ingehandig het nie. My oogmerk was nie ʼn kwalifikasie nie, maar wel om kennis en ervaring op te doen.”

Van 2008 tot 2017 was Myburg by verskeie geleenthede kurator vir groepuitstallings asook vir feesuitstallings (onder meer vir die KKNK van 2009 tot 2011). Later vanjaar is hy medekurator van ʼn omvangryke uitstalling saamgestel uit die versamelings van MTN en die Universiteit van Johannesburg.

Fanie Olivier

” ‘The Heart of Europe’ – Pole in poësie”  

Fanie Olivier gesels oor en lees voor uit sy gedigte, Afrikaans en Engels, wat in Pole ontstaan het en oor daardie landskap en sy mense gaan. Daar is ook Afrikaanse vertalings van enkele Poolse gedigte. Foto’s sal as agtergrond geprojekteer word.

“Ou laaie”  

Fanie Olivier lees voor uit en gesels oor sy Afrikaanse gedigte rondom die liefde wat hy opgediep het uit lêers en laaie en wat in 2018 gepubliseer gaan word.


Fanie Olivier is gebore in Pretoria, word groot in die Kaap & leer skryf in Durban. Hy studeer Regte en Afrikaans op Stellenbosch en debuteer met gom uit die sipres. Verdere nagraadse studie volg in Utrecht, Nederland en hy promoveer op Potch. Hy doseer by die ou Universiteit van Natal en [eweneens] Durban-Westville, gee daarna onderwys op Graaff-Reinet en maak ‘n draai by die ou Skiereilandse Technikon. Kunsredakteur by Rapport vir drie jaar, en dan weer dosent by die [nou nog bestaande] Universiteit van Venda. Praktiseer ook om den brode daar as advokaat.

Hy werk vir amper twee jaar by Adam Mickiewicz-universiteit in Poznan, Pole en dan, die dood ter wille, weer as advokaat in Durban. Sedert einde 2007 terug by die nou nuwe Universiteit van KwaZulu-Natal, maar hy loop in Maart weer die Poolse paadjie terug. Publiseer naas die debuut vier ander bundels: om alleen te reis, paradysrigting van die wind, skimmellig en verklarings 1967-1987. Stel ‘n geleentheidsbundel of twee saam, en hou kers vas met Die mooiste Afrikaanse liefdesgedigte. Hy vertaal in 2009 JM Coetzee se Disgrace.

Shirmoney Rhode

Headlines wat vi’ poems gesmeek’it.

Shirmoney Rhode deel en gesels oor nuwe gedigte wat uitgelok was deur onlangse nuusberigte, onder andere kyk sy na die storie van Courtney Peters, die 3 jarige dogtertjie wat Mei maand in Elsies Rivier (waar Shirmoney grootgeword het) ontvoer, verkrag en vermoor was. Die gedigte is ‘n versameling van ongepubliseerde Kaapse Afrikaanse gedigte wat uiteraard sosiale kommentaar lewer op die gebeure wat die nuus haal.






Shirmoney Rhode (26), is gebore en getoë op die Kaapse Vlakte. Sy het haar BA-Honeurs en Onderwysdiploma aan die Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland voltooi en hou tans skool by Hoërskool Claremont in Kaapstad. In haar vrye tyd geniet sy dit om te hike, lees en om teater opvoerings te gaan kyk.

Shirmoney Rhode (26) is a writer and performance poet whose work is inspired by the community in which she grew up, Elsies River, and its people. She draws her strength and wisdom from her grandmother who raised her. She completed her BA, BA-Hon (Afrikaans) and PGCE at the University of the Western Cape. She is a champion for Kaapse Afrikaans, which is the dialect of Afrikaans spoken mostly in the Western Cape. This young and spontaneous wordsmith started writing at the age of 13. She is passionate about telling the stories of the people in her community and she performs her work on different platforms in Cape Town. She participated at events such as the Open Book Festival, Franschhoek Literary Festival, Prince Albert Lees Fees and more. This is her second year back at the Poetry in McGregor weekend. She is currently teaching Afrikaans at Claremont High School in Cape Town. When she is not writing or teaching she hikes and reads.

Toni Stuart


Poet Toni Stuart performs new work from a collection-in-progress, Somnambulism. This live poetry performance is an exploration of identity, grief and returning home to oneself, as the poet writes through her own questions around her ancestry and her mother’s death. Questions turn in on themselves, walking through loss is likened to walking blindfolded, and the still quiet of the night seeps through the words, lyricism and voice of the poetry and the poet. The performance will also experiment with live music and sonic landscapes.


Toni Stuart is a South African poet, performer and spoken word educator. Her work has been published in anthologies, journals and non-fiction books locally and abroad. Her performances include, a group show at the Paris Autumn Festival 2013 (as part of France South Africa Seasons 2012/2013), poetry installation Here To Listen (London, 2015), poetry & film exhibition From My View with filmmaker Shelley Barry (South Africa, 2013); Stretching Silence with visual artist Firdous Hendricks (South Africa, 2013); sound installation Between Words and Images with curator & visual artist Ernestine White (South Africa, 2013), and I Come To My Body As A Question with flamenco dance company, dotdotdot dance Sampled at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London in 2017.  In 2014 was part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Commonwealth Poets United exchange.  In 2013 she was named in the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 inspiring Young South Africans. She has an MA Writer/Teacher (Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was a 2014/2015 Chevening Scholar. She is one half of international poetry/music duo Gertrude & Jemima with UK poet/drummer Remi Graves.

twitter: @nomadpoet

website: www.tonistuart.com

Photograph: Amaal Said

Vangile Gantsho


Sarah Godsell

holding. and. silence

Coming from very different bodies and backgrounds, how do we hold each other? Who does the work of holding who? When is silence powerful, liberatory, and when are people violently silenced through others’ words or bodies?

We also explore poetry as resistance… to persistent forms of relationships, interweaving and interrogating the voices that pick apart at the smallness and bigness of our lives with the underlying question of survival. Who survives, how, and in what forms of personhood?


Vangi Gantsho is a poet and cultural activist. Truthful and, at times hard-hitting, she has participated in poetry events and festivals around the world, as well as a number of poetry plays. As a producer, Vangi has put together shows such as Katz Cum out to Play, The State Theatre’s Night of the Poets, and Human4Human.  Her work has been published in literary publications including The Agenda (2004), Sabel (UK, 2010), Wits Press (2011), Botsotso (2015), New Coin (2017) and Illuminations (2017). Vangi released her début collection:  Undressing in front of the window (2015) and holds an MA, with distinction, from the University Currently known as Rhodes (2016).

Sarah Godsell is a Johannesburg-born South African poet with a PhD in History from Wits University. She began performing in 2009, and since has performed on various South African stages, including SANAA Africa festival 2013 and the Out There Jazz and Poetry sessions at the Orbit. She has been featured on SaFM, PowerFM and 702 as well as SABC’s Shift and Morning Live. She has been featured in publications such as “Home is Where the Mic is (Botsotso 2014) and “Marikana: a moment in time” (Geko 2013). Her first collection of poems “Seaweed Sky” was published by Poetree Publications in 2016.


A decade of performance poetry: A slideshow and overview of Lara’s performance poetry

This slideshow is a celebration of Lara’s performance pieces she has presented with costume, nudity, found objects, water, fire, soil and body paint. It is theatre, colour, movement, expression made tangible. The photos will be accompanied by the relating of where, when and how these performances were presented.

 Die gedig as spieël

Lara Kirsten bied aan ‘n dramatiese optrede met ‘n installasie van spieëls en digkuns geskryf deur haarself en ander digters. Die digkuns is ‘n spieël vir/van die digtershart. Verwag ‘n visuele fees met spieëls en wilde weerspieëlings! Gedigte in Afrikaans en Engels.


Lara Kirsten is a pianist and performance poet.

As performance poet: Lara balances the strict discipline of the art music with the writing and performance of her own poetry in Afrikaans and English. On occasion she combines poetry with movement, visual art, photography and music. In August 2007 she made her debut as a performance poet with the one-woman piece Ingrid Jonker Dans Weer.

In 2012 a highlight was performing in the Guy Butler theatre at The Settler’s Monument in Grahamstown. She has been invited to write and perform poetry for part of the opening ceremony for the International Aquarium Congress hosted at the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre) in September 2012. In 2014 to 2016 she performed at the McGregor Poetry Festival. At the Poetry in McGregor weekend in 2016 she performed one of her most significant pieces mond: asemrowende spelonk where Lara’s body was calligraphed with excerpts from her Afrikaans poetry by calligrapher Andrew van der Merwe.

As published poet: Since 2007 Lara’s poetry has been published in various editions of the South African Literary Journal New Contrast. In 2008 she became part of the Eastern Cape poet-group, Ecca, who presents readings and publishes collectively each year. In 2015 and 2016 poems by Lara have been selected to feature in the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology.

More about Lara’s career as pianist, her poetry, photos and creative projects can be viewed on her blog at http://laraafrika.blogspot.com/


Droom Martha Droom

Êrens wag Martha vergeefs dat hy wat gekom het en gesê het hy kom weer sy beloftes sal hou. ‘n Ander troebadoer wens Katrien was nie die flerrie wat sy is nie.  Elders besing ‘n verowerde weer hoe ‘n somerrok van fyn katoen met hom maak as dit om háár lyf is..

In Droom Martha Droom kry jy Koos se kenmerkende poëtiese aanslag, maar verwag ook ‘n paar verrassende energieke en stomende liedjies soos Katoen, Vat Aan My en Hart Van Afrikaans.

Droom Martha Droom is ‘n album met gewig, tog is dit dromerig en speels. Jaques Brell se klassieke Marieke en Laat My By Jou Bly pas soos ‘n hand in ‘n handskoen by Koos en Matthys se oorspronklike skeppinge. Met Neem Die Wals bring Koos vir oulaas ook ‘n huldeblyk aan Leonard Cohen wat in 2016 weggeneem is van ons wat altyd na hom sal verlang


Nagverse, Koos van der Merwe se nuutste digbundel, is sopas vrygestel. Die luukse koffietafelbundel is geïllustreer deur Claudi van der Merwe. As jy na ‘n woord soek wat beide die gedigte en kunswerke kan beskryf: Betowerend!

Koos neem jou op ‘n poëtiese reis na veral vier bestemmings van die hart. Jy sal woorde vind vir die liefde en ook vir die lig en skadu’s van menswees. Jy sal kan stil word by heilige plekke, en natuurlik sal jy ook woorde vind vir die skoonheid van die aarde en ons reis daarop.

Maak gereed om met rym en vrye verse na plekke geneem te word waar jy sekerlik sal wil vertoef.


Koos van der Merwe, bekroonde liedskrywer en digter, asook vir meer as 12 jaar rubriekskrywer vir SARIE tydskrif, is ook predikant en leierleraar van Eden Gemeente in George. Koos het reeds 3 suksesvolle digbindels uitgebring: ‘Optelwoorde’, ‘Pelgrimverse’, ‘Rympies in die Vliet’ en het gedurende Mei 2017 ‘n splinternuwe bundel uitgebring –‘Nagverse’ met illustrasies deur sy dogter Claudi van der Merwe.

Koos is ‘n gerekende liedjieskrywer en vertaler met die treffer ‘Houtkruis’ sekerlik die bekendste lied uit sy pen. Sowat 30 jaar lank was Koos lid van die sangdue ‘Prophet’ en het meer as 50 000 albums en verskeie SA musiekbenoemings en pryse ingepalm. Met suksesvolle vertaalprojekte soos Leonard Cohen en Bob Dylan se vertalings in Afrikaans, is Koos tans een van Suid-Afrika se mees gerekende en veelsydigste Afrikaanse kunstenaars.

In Mei 2017 bring Koos ook ‘n splinternuwe album uit met liedjies oor die liefde en die lewe – uit sy eie pen. Met Koos se bekende droë, sielvolle stem beloof ‘Droom Martha Droom’ om Afrikaanse gehore te betower.



Seebamboes is my ‘poetree’ of gedigteboom wat my anker aan die see.  Die bamboes is ook die wortels wat my siel aan die gees van die see verbind, soos aortapype my lyf aan my hart koppel.  Die see is waarvan my hart die volste is.  My bamboes-menswees is waaroor ek dink, voel, dig.


Hermien de Vos studied drama at Stellenbosch.  She did various parts as actress in film, television, theatre and radio.  She did camera work, filming fynbos and other subjects for the former 50/50 TV-programme on SABC.  She also filmed penguins for TV and short film – link:  Filming and co-directing ‘Op Theefontein’ documentary.  Link: Solo art exhibition as BamboesinaDe Vos is also an activist for water and wild nature and sea plastic at fb-@bamboesina vd see; and @Penguinsos – for the fenced african penguins of stony point.

Hermien de Vos (or Bamboesina) is rooted to the ocean. Her little sea-house is on the almost wild Stony point, and this is where she breathes in the sea-air and (when not surfing) spends her time fighting for the freedom of the encaged penguins and cleaning up the beach from the destructive plastic excrement of man’s un-humble and wasteful lifestyle. The kelp (or “see-bamboes”) are the roots tying her soul to the spirit of the water.  And this is what she writes about. Returning to McGregor for the second year she shares her most intimate words, showing us the sea as she sees it – the source of her life.

Lungiswa Nyatyowa


Mia Arderne


We explore the tension between Coloured and Black people in South Africa. Through interactive poetry, we address complexities around proximity and aspiration to Whiteness, the question of Blackness and anti-Blackness. Most significantly, we explore a unified Black and Brown power come-up that will happen together or not at all.


Lungiswa Nyatyowa and Mia Arderne naturally gravitated to each other when they met in a Stellenbosch office. Their passion for words, the arts, and the need to engage through various forms of expression is what weaves their talents together and inspires their creations. With a keen interest in current affairs, equality, race, gender and how these impact the lives of people, this collective provides thought-provoking insight, products and projects underpinned by the philosophy of DWYM (Dala What You Must).

  • Mia Arderne Portfolio LINK:




Gaireyah Fredericks

40 stories, 40 woorde op “40”

Hierdie boek is humoristies met lekker-lees staaltjies en het baie entertaining stories. Dit handel oor ware stories uit my avontuurlustige kinderjare en kenmerk die ankers in my lewe en waar my wortels geanker lê.


Ek is Gaireyah Fredericks en skryf hoofsaaklik in Kaaps. Ek het my bundel Kaaps is Hollands en Mientjies in 2016 vrygestel en was al bevoorreg om dit by vele literêre feeste voor te lees, asook die McGregor Poetry Festival. Ek het by die 2017 KKNK fees saam Daniel Hugo oor my bundel ‘Kaaps is Hollands’ gesels en beide bundels, ‘Kaaps is Hollands’ en ‘Mientjies’ was genomineer vir die Eugene Marais Literêre prys. Ek het sopas die Adam Small fees en die Wellington se Stasiefees in May 2017 geniet. My huidige boek ‘40 stories, 40 woorde op “40”’ was betyds vir die Stasiefees gedruk.

Diana Ferrus

“Waar die hart van vol is loop die mond van oor”

Voordrag van gedigte wat handel oor die liefde, geskiedenis, hedendaagse politiek en allerlei onderwerpe wat die hart raak.

Optrede deur Diana Ferrus en mededigters van die groep “Mengelmoesdigters”

Diana Ferrus is ook op Facebook as “Diana Ferrus”

en ook as “The Diana Ferrus Pages”


Diana Ferrus  is in Worcester in die Wes-Kaap gebore en is ‘n skrywer, digter en storieverteller van Khoisan en slaafse afkoms.  Haar werk is in Afrikaans en Engels gepubliseer.  Sy bied skryfwerkwinkels in Kaapstad aan terwyl sy as administrateur by die Universiteit van die Wes-Kaap gewerk het waar sy einde 2016 afgetree het.  Ferrus word veral geken vir haar gedig Sara Baartman, ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse vrou wat in die vroeë 1800’s na Europa geneem is onder vals voornemens en daar geparadeer is as ‘n rariteit.  Dit word alom geglo dat die gewildheid van hierdie gedig, daartoe gelei het dat Sara Baartman se oorskot uiteindelik teruggebring is na Suid-Afrika waar ‘n gedenksteen in die Gamtoosvallei, haar geboortewêreld, opgerig is. Die gedig is in Frans vertaal en is deur ene Senator Nicholas About in die Franse Senaat voorgelees. Die gedig is ook gepubliseer in die Franse wet, ‘n eerste in Franse geskiedenis.  Ferrus het ook ‘n uitgewersmaatskappy genaamd Diana Ferrus Publishers en sy is ‘n  stigterslid van die Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging, Busch Poets en Women in Exchains.

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway


Hester van der Walt

Growing a book

In die kleigrond van ons werf het ‘n saadjie ontkiem. Na jare se watergee en vertroeteling het ‘n  boom gegroei.   In 2017 het my buurvrou vroedvrou gespeel. Sy het gesnoei en bemoedig en geprys en vandag is hier ‘n boom van ‘n boek.  We will share stories from the book which is about Hester’s life and about the lives of those who have touched her life, punctuated by poems about growing up and growing old together.


Suenel Bruwer-Holloway lives in McGregor.  Her plays have been published by Junkets and her poems by Quickfox and Jacana in the Sol Plaatje Anthology.

Hester van der Walt
lives in McGregor. The detail of everyday life interests her.  She writes poetry and short stories, mostly in Afrikaans. She is a passionate crafter of bread.  Her memoir will be launched at this event.

Bob Commin

The path is beautiful and pleasant and joyful and familiar.

A Meditation on the words and insights of Meister Eckhart, entitled Breakthrough, a German theologian, philosopher and mystic 1260-1328).

I have created a meditation from the words of Meister Eckhart as translated by Matthew Fox in Meditations with Meister Eckhart.

A Poetry Eucharist of the Heart or The Mass of the Empty

The Revd Bob Commin will preside at a  Eucharistic Service, in which we offer ourselves in the ancient “Greeting of Peace” instead of the bread and the wine. A Eucharist of the Heart, or a ‘Mass of the Empty Hands’ as it is sometimes called.

This form of the Eucharist was first used in the prisons of South and Central America, when Christian activists were imprisoned and denied the ministry of the Church, and in the 1970’s was even celebrated in the Victor Vester Prison, here in South Africa. The Collection will go to one of the needy projects of the town.


Bob Commin is a poet, priest, storyteller and life-coach. He grew up in Woodstock, Cape Town and acquired degrees at UCT and University of South Africa. He has grown into his work through pastoral care in the Western Cape, and England, and has taught at Loretto school in Scotland, at Bishops and Herschel Girls School, Cape Town.  He has run workshops on Creativity, Storytelling and Poetry. He and Dorian Haarhoff, writer and storyteller ran a very successful poetry e-mail course. Bob has also developed a poetry course for teenagers, and runs creativity courses for young people.  He has the following publications: From a Still Point (Meditations), Someone Dreaming Us (Poetry), Becoming Human (Poetry), Meditations on the way of the Cross, and Under the IIex Tree. He also plays Grand Master’s hockey for South Africa.

Kat Mansell

Simple Poetry & Dragon Lights


My late father nick named me Putzy. My Roof of Africa friends used to call me klapmutz! At the age of 72 I remain a rebel, none-conformist and a revolutionary.

I am Master of myself. I am Master of my writing & my poems. A relief when my late mum took me out of boarding school aged 12…among things she taught me never to be afraid & to stand with the Best. Thank you Mum. Years of writing poetry & short stories based on fact rounded with some fiction to balance; are the Essence of my life, past & present.

Provocative, giving me an understanding of rogue science & learning throughout my life’s 13000 year journey from Atlantis, to this present day

The Mothertongue Theatre Company

Ebusweni Uthando – Ons is Hier

A performance offering that combines poetry, physical theatre and sonic-scapes that speak from/ to the heart.  Performed in The Mothertongue Project’s new theatre space, Ebusweni Uthando-Ons is Hier comprises self-written poems in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.


Directed by Thapelo Hlongwane and Sara Matchett, and performed by the Mothertongue Theatre Company, a full time performance company that engages young local performers from the Langeberg region. Performers:

  • Jaydene Lekay
  • Sandile Skosana
  • Ashley Seconds
  • Kayalethu Mkorwana
  • Denise Gandu

Dr. Jade Gibson (PhD)

‘The Uprooted Heart’

I am going to turn things on their head and present a session on the ‘Uprooted Heart’  – what happens when one has broken roots, broken hearts, moments of disconnect and disturbance when one is pulled from the self and faced with the contrast between the yearning for connection, and the spilt from and conflict with who one is? How can being true to one’s heart separate one from others? Of course, underlying all internal conflict is the deep need for connection and trust ‘rooted in heart’ between persons, belonging and society. I will also read a very short excerpt of my lyrical novel ‘Glowfly Dance’, in the form of poetry.

The desire for inherent human-ness and connection informs all my work – as in my novel ‘Glowfly Dance’ (Penguin Random House Umuzi 2015), longlisted in the Barry Ronge Sunday Times 2016 Prize and shortlisted in international Dundee and Virginia Prizes (see attached information). I am a regular guest poet at Off the Wall, Cape Town, and have been a guest poet in London, 2nd Prizewinner of Inglis House poetry ‘Bone and Tissue’ international competition, US, as well as being fellow co-ordinator of the Cape Town Writer’s Network.

I have also combined poems with artwork and short art films such as “Rootless’ (academic paper), and exhibited in Cape Town as part of the Slavery Remembrance Day Walk, as well as internationally. I may also be able to exhibit some artworks that combine poetry and art if you are interested.

Glowfly Dance

By Jade Gibson

An extraordinary tale of migration, love and loss

Based on a true story, Jade Gibson’s Glowfly Dance focuses on the survival and resilience of the child Mai, who learns that freedom comes at a bitter price, in this tale of the failure of society to shield women from violence while protecting the perpetrators.

With intriguing characters, exotic landscapes and lush description, Glowfly Dance depicts the complexity of domestic violence and its devastating impact on the entire family. The novel has been short- and long-listed in three international literary prizes, and reviewers have described the book as both harrowing and beautiful.

Told from Mai’s perspective, a young girl of mixed heritage, the story spans three continents and deals with issues of migration, identity, women’s refuges, abuse of women and children, law courts and violence. It exposes flaws in the ability of the authorities – legal, social, psychological – to protect, and thereby raises questions on policy and social responsibility. In depicting the failure of the law and society to protect women and children in danger, the novel aims to stimulate debate and ultimately bring about awareness and positive change.

Gibson says, ‘I have written a prize-shortlisted book on a childhood life story of domestic abuse and violence that encompasses intimate partner femicide. I would like to share this story with you, which I fully believe will help save women in similar situations in the country through spreading much-needed awareness, and the survival and resilience of children.’

Glowfly Dance has been featured widely in the press, book fairs and talks, including the Sunday Times, Business Day, Kingsmead Book Fair, Open Book, Nancy Richards’ SAfm literature show and Artscape Women’s Festival, among others. Formally certified by the SA Department of Education as useful for education on domestic violence. Glowfly Dance is available in bookshops across southern Africa.

Glowfly Dance’s story continues to be of ongoing relevance to the following media, literary and educational interests/campaigns — Child Protection Week, – International Woman’s Day – Women’s Month – 16 Days of Activism – Intimate Partner Femicide –  Child Resilience and Survival

ISBN: 978-1-4152-0751-2 (print) I ISBN: 978-1-4152-0654-6 (e-pub) I ISBN: 978-1-4152-0655-3 (PDF) I RRP: R240 I CATEGORY: Fiction

For an interview with Jade Gibson, cover images and / or author photographs, contact Ryno Posthumus at RPosthumus@penguinrandomhouse.co.za / 011 327 3550. For more information, visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.za


Dr Jade Gibson (PhD) is a half-Filipino, half-British interdiscipliinary anthropologist, author of the prize short-listed novel ‘Glowfly Dance’ (Penguin Random House Umuzi 2015) and visual artist who has lived and worked in South Africa for over 16 years. She has a PhD and masters in Anthroplogy, hons degrees in both fine art and medical science, and has retained a sense of humour. For her, poetry is a way to dance, with words, with her audience.


Bob Commin


Jane Dean

Stone-Light and Starlight: Touching the luminous 

Father/daughter team Bob Commin and Jane Dean present readings from the poetry and prose of Stephen Watson, Cape Town’s internationally acclaimed poet and writer. Watson’s poems evoke the many moods of the city, its people, the sea, Table Mountain and the mountains of the Cape, particularly the Cedarberg, and the stories of the /Xam. Watson was also a professor in the English Department at UCT and headed up the Centre for Creative Writing where he mentored many students in the Creative Writing Programme. He died in 2011 at only 56 after a brief battle with cancer. We celebrate Stephen’s legacy, his wonderful reflective poetry and his fascination with light.


Bob Commin is a poet, priest, storyteller and life-coach. He grew up in Woodstock, Cape Town and acquired degrees at UCT and University of South Africa. He has grown into his work through pastoral care in the Western Cape, and England, and has taught at Loretto school in Scotland, at Bishops and Herschel Girls School, Cape Town.  He has run workshops on Creativity, Storytelling and Poetry. He and Dorian Haarhoff, writer and storyteller ran a very successful poetry e-mail course. Bob has also developed a poetry course for teenagers, and runs creativity courses for young people.  He has the following publications: From a Still Point (Meditations), Someone Dreaming Us (Poetry), Becoming Human (Poetry), Meditations on the way of the Cross, and Under the IIex Tree. He also plays Grand Master’s hockey for South Africa.

Jane Dean is a former English teacher, current poetry lover, artist and illustrator.

Leon Gropp

ROOIDAG – NP van Wyk Louw getoonset en gesing

Leon Gropp (voorheen van die kitaarduo, CH2) vertolk  gedigte van NP van Wyk Louw op musikale wyse met selektiewe uittreksels uit sy prosa wat hoofsaaklik dien as die bindingsteks. Die instrumentasie bestaan uit kitaar, klavier, tjello en perkussie. Buiten die intellektuele aard van die teks, word temas van verganklikheid, afwagting en die mistieke deurgans ondersoek.

Gedigtoonsettings sluit in: “Grense”, “Daar is geen woord”, “Rooidag”, “Gebed” en “Ons liefde is ‘n uur se ydelheid”.


Ashley Dowds


Ashley Dowds qualified and worked as a high school teacher (English and Drama), before becoming a theatre actor in Durban. He has since performed in a range of local TV series and in international film, as well as presented TV Travel, Wildlife, Lifestyle and Design shows. He is the author of the book: RED CAR DIARIES. He has just recently moved to Cape Town.


Duduzile Uthingo Majola

Duduzile Uthingo Majola graduated from the Market Theatre Lab. She went on to work with Pops Mohammed, focusing extensively on indigenous instruments.

Uthingo has done international tours with FIOEN. Uthingo was called to be a youth ambassador in Chile for “Africa Chile Day”

representing South Africa. Uthingo works with children introducing them to and teaching them “umbheleza” and small percussions.

Uthingo has dedicated her life to making sure indegenous instruments are preserved by engaging children en and inviting the world to learn about the divinity in the indegenous music.

Uthingo has travelled to places like Holland championing this cause. She is currently part of the ensemble that is part of the the “Graceland Tour” with Paul Simon in Belgium.”


Grounding Sessions

Poets from Grounding Sessions will be reading their poetry at “Poetry in McGregor” this year.

The Grounding Sessions is an intimate space of poetry, music and reflection. It is a place for community, where words are the connector.
Every Thursday there will be an open mic as well as a featured poet . A theme will also be chosen each week as a writing prompt for the next session.

Come share in on the poetry, because why wouldn’t you?

Let’s get grounded! Fill your Thursday with poetry & music. Featured artists + Open Mic.8 PM at The Drawing Room Café (87 Station Road, Observatory, Cape Town)




As editor at New Contrast:  South African Literary Journal, I am often astounded by the quality of the submissions that New Contrast receives – not necessarily in the content of the work but in the manner in which the work is put together for submission.  Although the format of the submission is not necessarily the determining factor in the selection process, a properly thought out and carefully worded submission will lend the submission greater credibility and can make the difference between selection or not.  This workshop will cover how to best format your submission in order to give your application the greatest chance of success.  It will cover, inter alia:

  • The nature of the journal;
  • The covering letter;
  • When you should submit;
  • What you should submit;
  • Compiling your biography;
  • Liaising with the editor. 


Michèle Betty is currently the editor of New Contrast:  The South African Literary Journal and the founder of Dryad Press, a bespoke poetry publishing company dedicated to the promotion and publication of poetry in South Africa.  She obtained a BA LLB at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where she practiced as an attorney for many years.  In 2015, she graduated cum laude from the University of Cape Town with an MA in Creative Writing.  Her debut collection Metaphysical Balm, is due for publication in March 2017.

Links that you may find useful:

www.draydpress.co.za and in particular the blog page, where I am in the process of researching and discovering forgotten South African poets.  On a bi-monthly basis, a new forgotten South African poet is revealed and on a weekly basis a poem from that poet is featured.

www.newcontrast.net where you will find information regarding New Contrast, including some content pages from the last few issues to see what we have been publishing.

Pat Louw

Journey through Haiku

Description: This presentation combines haiku with photographs. It is a journey through word and picture through far-away places such as New Zealand, Canada and Thailand, in search of the Heartland, a sense of belonging. This, we will find, is Rooted in Fynbos. These haiku were written as part of a travel journal and the fynbos haiku as a record of wanderings in the Cape mountains.


Pat Louw used to teach English at the University of Zululand where she also did research in Place-based Literary Criticism and Animal Studies. She now lives in the Cape where she is learning about fynbos and has started a Facebook Page entitled Scarborough Flora.

Francine Simon

“Akka and Thungachi: a querying of familial history and identity in Francine Simon’s Thungachi“

Apart of Thungachi is to explore different ascepts of the so-called South African Indian identity through the voicing of family. These voices fell between character and accurate representation. In reading poems from the debut collection, Thungachi, Simon will discuss how familial identity intersects with personal history.


Francine Simon was born in 1990 in Durban, South Africa to Indian Catholic parents. After completing a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing, she spend a year in Hefei, China teaching English as a foreign language. Several of her poems have been published in South African literary journals such as New Contrast, New Coin, Aerodrome and Type/Cast. Her poetry has appeared in three volumes of the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology. She launched her debut collection of poetry, Thungachi, in March 2017. She is currently a doctoral student at Stellenbosch University. Follow her on Instagram (@francinesimon13) and Twitter (@writergirlrose).

Ilse Salzwedel


In ʼn variasie op die bekroonde RSG Kunstefees-produksie DIE WOORDKETTING, bring RSG se Ilse Salzwedel en twee van die gereelde Woordketting-deelnemers, Diana Ferrus en Philip de Vos, hierdie heerlike woordspel na McGregor. Johan Myburg (digter) en Nic de Jager (bekende radiopersoonlikheid) sluit by hulle aan. Jy sal hierna beslis met ander oë na ʼn gedig kyk!


Ilse Salzwedel is ʼn bekroonde joernalis, skrywer en omroeper van Johannesburg. Nadat sy ʼn graad in politieke wetenskap aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch behaal het, het sy vir ʼn paar jaar allerhande werk gedoen vir oorlewing. Sy het onder meer ʼn gastehuis en koffiewinkel bestuur, pannekoeke vir ʼn tuisnywerheid gebak en selfs vis verkoop! Op 28-jarige ouderdom het sy eers die geleentheid gekry om haar liefde vir woorde en nuus te begin uitleef toe Rapport ʼn streekskorrespondent in Noord-Natal gesoek het.

Sedertdien het haar werk al in die meeste Afrikaanse publikasies verskyn, maar die afgelope twaalf jaar skryf sy veral vir Rooi Rose.

Daar het al vyf boeke uit haar pen verskyn, onder meer die baie gewilde Bloedsusters (wat sy ook in Engels vertaal het) en Oscar Pistorius: Van sprokie tot tragedie in die kollig, ʼn finalis in die 2015 kykNET-Rapport Boekpryse vir nie-fiksie. Ilse is sedert 2013 die aanbieder en vervaardiger van Skrywers en Boeke op RSG, en in April 2017 het sy ook die redakteur van Afrikaans.com se boekeblad geword.

Sy is al met verskeie joernalistieke pryse bekroon, onder meer twee ATKVeertjies (een vir beste radiojoernaalprogram), ʼn PICA, verskeie Caxton-toekennings en die FAK se H.B. Thom-toekenning vir ʼn besondere bydrae tot die Afrikaanse joernalistiek. Die Cordis Trust het die Orde van die Beiteltjie in 2015 aan haar toegeken vir haar bydrae tot Afrikaanse letterkunde.
Sy woon in Johannesburg saam met haar twee tieners en ʼn miniatuur-dieretuin. Wanneer sy nie werk nie, lees of fliek sy graag.


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