2018 Poets2018-08-17T15:32:31+00:00

2018 Poets

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Adré Marshall and Geoff Haresnape

Adre and Geoff

SISTER WATER?

Adré Marshall and Geoff Haresnape are reading poems in which water plays a variety of roles. Francis of Assisi refers in a lyrical poem to ‘sister water who is so useful and humble, precious and pure.’  Given that it is within a range of temperature between 0 and 100 degrees C – and free from pollutants– water answers that this is true enough.  But even in its fresh form, the element is protean.  It can be as hard as glass. It can lash out with a dangerous scald, or retreat into the hiss of steam.  As cloud, it may glide overhead in puffballs of vapor. Sometimes it becomes moth-light to flutter earthward and to heap in the valleys.  Water is indeed our close relative. It becomes wholly us, sustaining our tissues, passing through our veins and lymph system. It drums endlessly in the chambers of our hearts.  Then there is salt water, which laps the planet round in seemingly endless oceans.  Although our internal fluids have more or less the same salinity as the sea, we cannot absorb its waters directly.  That way madness lies.  If Coleridge’s ancient mariner saw ‘water, water everywhere / Nor any drop to drink,’ Cape Town, a coastal city par excellence, is feeling his dilemma now.

Geoff’s poems range from descriptions of lakes and rivers in flood to the ocean in many moods. The theme of water as a sustainer of life is persistent in his work.  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.

Adré’s work also focusses on our interaction with our watery “blue planet” in its various manifestations and includes poems depicting these encounters in a satirical or amusing light. Adré Marshall was born in the Eastern Cape but is now firmly settled in Cape Town. Over the years, she has taught English at various universities including the University of Cape Town where she was awarded a Ph.D. She is the author of a book on Henry James, and her poetry has been published in numerous journals. Now retired, she does freelance translation work and enjoys being a Kirstenbosch garden guide.

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Antony Osler

Voices of Gratitude and Uncertainty

In this presentation, Antony will read extracts from his three books, Stoep Zen, Zen Dust & Mzansi Zen, as well as new unpublished material. There will be poems, stories, reflections and Zen doggerel – all of them, in some way, about the beautiful, heartbreaking and odd life we live in contemporary South Africa.

Antony Osler is a writer, Zen teacher, mostly-retired advocate, and private double bass enthusiast. He is the author of three books; Stoep Zen, Zen Dust and Mzansi Zen. His writings have been included in a number of contemporary South African poetry anthologies and have been presented at national literary festivals. He and his wife Margie have two adult daughters and they live on a small sheep farm in the Karoo where they also host regular Zen retreats. In 2016 Antony was awarded the chancellor’s medal from the University of the Free State for exceptional services to South Africa. He has a website at stoepzen.co.za.

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Archie Swanson

Archie Swanson

the stretching of my sky – water poems

My collection the stretching of my sky, published this year, contains many poems with water themes – poems like solitary maiden, carina, fat fish jumping, windpomp, lagundri bay, ombak indah rain, eternal shore, the boat race, journey and pelion. Besides the reading of the poems, the presentation also includes some background on the process involved in writing each poem and an opportunity for questions and discussion. The collection is currently on sale at the Temenos Bookshop. (Duration: 50 minutes).

Archie Swanson who lives in George was born and schooled in Cape Town. He has a University of Stellenbosch Master’s Degree in Agri Management and has spent his life farming and exporting fruit which has taken him to many countries. He has always been an avid surfer. His poems have been published in English Alive 50 (an anthology of 50 years of South African High School creative writing) and the quarterly poetry magazines Stanzas and New Contrast. They also appeared in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Best New African Poetry Anthologies and in the 2017 anthology – Experimental Writing: Africa vs. Latin America Volume 1. In 2016 three poems were translated by Spanish poet López-Vega and published in the Spanish National Newspaper El Mundo as well as the Bolivian newspaper Correo Del Sur. Two poems, labour of love and off to africa, were long listed for the 2017 Sol Plaatje Award and the poem flashback was shortlisted for the 2017 UK Bridport prize.  His poem journey was included in the anthology Absolute Africa! curated by Patricia Schonstein and published in 2018. His collection the stretching of my sky was published this year.

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Athol Williams

Athol Williams

FREE FOR A WHILE: Imagining new selves and new realities

Athol Williams has published 4 books of poetry, received 4 poetry awards (Sol Plaatjie EU Poetry Award twice, SA Independent Publishers Award for Poetry, Parallel Universe Poetry Prize, Oxford) and his poems have been published in over 40 publications worldwide. His poems explore two contrasting themes of imagined humanity and the reality of life in South Africa with its confluence of pain and hope.  www.atholwilliams.com

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Bernard Levinson

Love Poems.

My wife and I have been lovers for over 40 years. Of course there will always be a wonderful spill over of poems for her.

After practicing Psychiatry for what seems like a hundred years, I awoke one morning and cried “Enough! I have to move on…” I am now learning to read music and playing the saxophone. And wonders of wonders, my poems are now  being taught in all Gauteng schools.

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Brian Walter

Brian Walter

Allegories of the everyday

Brian Walter is a Port Elizabeth poet whose evocative works spans a few decades. Rooted in his home soil, his poetry uses mini-narratives and imagery of place to find a way through towards shreds of meaning. His “allegory of the everyday” delves for sense in the world about us, in cityscape or in the natural world. Walter will be reading from his latest work, mostly unpublished, with some throwbacks to earlier pieces.

Born in Port Elizabeth, in 1956, he taught at Chapman Senior Secondary School in Gelvandale, PE, and at the University of Fort Hare, Alice.

Currently he works on educational and community development projects. He mentors the Helenvale Poets in Port Elizabeth, and he works with the informal Ecca group of poets. 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)

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.

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.

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Caroline Lavers

Caroline Lavers Caroline LaversCreator and compiler of the book “South Africa On Poetry.”

Born in Johannesburg South Africa. 1985.

This Book:

“It began with a vision. It was a desire, to gently shake the poetic voice of South Africa. To bring breath to our words, to teach colour to our eyes, to open our minds and to touch the hearts of many.” Caroline Lavers.

South Africa on Poetry. Our Voice. A collection of contemporary poems. We are delighted to present 27 artists from different corners of our majestic South Africa. A book made from the heart where poetry weaves in with added commentary and a tale of each of these individual artists. We share with you a whisper of “Our Voice.” – The ‘Poets Wanted Dream’s’ voice. Southafricaonpoetry.weebly.com

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.

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Christine Coates

Christine Coates

Launch of my chapbook “Fire Drought Water”

A collection of poetry called “Fire Water”, deals with my experiences of the 2015 Cape Town fires followed by a three year drought. The fires roared down the mountain where I live, destroying a large part of our property. I spent the rest of 2015 and 2016 restoring and rebuilding a fynbos garden, only to have a drought of three years follow the fires.
I will read poems of fire, drought, restoration, and water. I will also talk about the ways we have learned to conserve water, hints how to be more water-wise, and how we’re managing to live almost off the grid.
The chapbook is illustrated with images of destruction and restoration.
Micro-blog: Christine Coates, a poet and writer from Cape Town, holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry anthologies 2011 – 2017, and the Best “New” African Poets 2015, 2016, 2017 Anthologies. Her debut collection Homegrown, published in 2014 by Modjaji Books, received an honourable mention from the Glenna Luschei Prize. Her second Damselfly collection will be published later in 2018.

Christine Coates is a poet and writer from Cape Town. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela, and written an account of it. 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 – 2018, and the Best “New” African Poets 2015, 2016, 2017 Anthologies. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review, Africa Focus. She was a judge in the PEN International New Voices Award 2016.

Her second collection will be published by Modjaji later in 2018.

Homegrown review in Wawa Book Review: wawabookreview.com

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Cornelia Rohde

Cornelia Rhode  Cornelia Rohde was raised in an Ohio apple orchard. She completed a master’s degree in Massachusetts, and has lived and worked since 1968 in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Haiti, India, and South Africa.  She and her husband Jon currently live in Cape Town and Spanish Wells in the Bahamas. Her poems have appeared in Heart of Africa, Difficult to Explain, The McGregor Poetry Festival Anthology 2016, in the journals: Carapace, New Contrast and Stanzas, as well as online in Aerodrome, Peony Moon,  Incwadi and Type/Cast. She is a part of the Pleached Poetry group, The Grail Writing Retreat, and Finuala Dowling’s poetry workshops.  Her two collections of poetry are Torches in Shadows and Beyond the Devil’s Backbone.  Her poems are also available at: thepoetryplatform.wordpress.com

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Cornelia Rohde Alice Sarembock Elizabeth Trew

Cornelia Rhode Alice Sarembock Liz TrewThe Sound of Water

The Language of Water: Reflections

Water speaks to us and shapes our consciousness. We respond to its sensual, vital language from oceans, rivers, lakes and rain, reflecting on its infinite sounds, rhythm, movement and stillness; water that sustains our lives and has properties to heal.

We present a poet’s view of how its different paths sound in our own poems as well as a few poems from poets we admire.

Cornelia Rohde lived and worked in Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia, India, and South Africa. After ten years in Eastern Cape she now resides in Cape Town and the Bahamas. She is a member of Pleached Poets, the Grail Writers, and Finuala Dowling’s poetry group. Her poems appear in a number of South African journals and anthologies. Her poetry collections are Torches in Shadows and Beyond the Devil’s Backbone.…

Alice Sarembock was born in the United States and has spent most of her life in Cape Town. She is a professional artist and Reiki Master. Her poems have been published in Carapace and Stanzas.

Elizabeth Trew was born in Cape Town, went into exile and returned to South Africa decades later in 1991. Formerly in adult education she language-edits and volunteers at a shelter for girls in Cape Town. Her poems have appeared in anthologies and journals in England and South Africa, selections in Isisx (Botsotso), and Prodigal Daughters: stories of South African women in exile, edited by Lauretta Ngcobo (UKZN Press, 2012).

 Additional info/interest:

  1. Members of Pleached Poets (Cornelia and Liz presented with others: How to hone a poem, McGregor, 2016). Quotidian, Pleached chapbook.
  2. Rooted in heart: tree poems, presented by Elizabeth Trew, McGregor 2016.
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Dan Wylie

Dan Wylie

“Raven Games: The games the world plays with poets”. Mostly a reading from “Raven Games: New and Selected Poems”, a distillation from seven previous volumes of Dan Wylie’s poetry.

Dan Wylie teaches in the Literary Studies department at Rhodes University, Grahamstown. He has written extensively about Shaka, Zimbabwean writing, and ecological literature. His latest books are “Intimate Lightning: Sydney Clouts, poet” (UNISA) and “Death and

Compassion: The elephant in southern African literature” (Wits). He also fields a sporadic blog entitled Dan Wylie’s Critical Diaries.

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David Tyfield

David Tyfield

David Tyfield will be doing a meditative reading of ‘Desert Rain’. ‘Desert Rain’ is the premier work of David Tyfield, an award winning poet and meditation expert. The work explores themes of human nature, reality versus individual perception and love. An author with a T.S Eliot level of skill and execution, David’s work traverses the extremes of African landscape from the depths of the Kalahari to the calm of the Cape. The presentation will incorporate photography and the art of sound; taking listeners on a journey of meditation exploring what it means to be African and what it means to be human.

Signed pre-release copies of ‘Desert Rain’ will also be available for the special offer price of R150.

David Tyfield is a two time winning poet of the Heather Drummond Poetry Prize; a far cry from his humble beginnings as a high-school dropout. After returning to high school at 22, he went on to study literature at Rhodes University and in 2012, graduated with distinction from the UCT Creative Writing programme. He holds an MA in poetry writing. He is now writing a PhD in Literature and Ethics in Cape Town, where he lives with his wife, Claire-Marie Strömbeck.

Tyfield’s upcoming work draws from his tapestry of experiences which include the time he spent living in the Kalahari desert with the Khomani artist, Vetkat Rogopstaan Kruiper. His debut anthology, ‘Desert Rain’, is slated to be released in November 2018 by Shangaan Press.

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Diana Ferrus

Diana Ferrus

The title of my show: “Daar was eens….” / “Once upon a time…” – storievertel/storytelling – Die lewe van Sarah Baartman/The life of Sarah Baartman

In October 2017 this show debuted at the International storytelling festival in Noordwijk in the Netherlands, name of festival “Er was eens” – written and performed by Diana Ferrus she uses poetry and song to tell the story of Sarah Baartman. This performance will be significant as she is celebrating the 20th year since the poem “I’ve come to take you home was written in the Netherlands.

Diana Ferrus is a writer, poet and storyteller who has published two poetry anthologies, “Ons Komvandaan” and “Ive come to take you home”. She has also published in various anthologies and journals. Some of her work serves as prescribed work in schools. However she is wellknown for her poem “Ive come to take you home” which helped to have the remains of Sarah Baartman returned to South Africa after 192 years.

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Different Voices – Poems by Michelle Ainslie & Graham Dukas

Michelle Ainslie  Graham DukasThe varied poems of Michelle Ainslie and Graham Dukas open the world of poetry to those who love the written word. Here you will find humour, intensity, love and a range of emotions that affirm our common humanity.

Michelle Ainslie is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing through Rhodes University.  Her first collection of poetry, Helium, was self-published in January 2018.  You can follow her blog and musings here: www.micha.co.za

Graham Dukas is an award-winning poet and writer. His poems explore a wide range of subjects in a humorous and often unexpectedly quirky manner. He believes that poetry should be self-explanatory and so tries to avoid writing that requires the reader’s ability to fathom the unfathomable. He has self-published two short collections and is currently working towards his MA in Creative Writing through Rhodes University

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DOUGLAS REID SKINNER

The launch of Jonty Driver’s collection, Before.

Published by African Sun Press in association with Crane River.

 The Coroner’s Wife:  Listen to Douglas Reid Skinner in conversation with Joan Hambidgein a discussion on the complexities of translations, specifically aspects relating to The Coroner’s Wife (Dryad Press, 2018), a fascinating collection of Hambidge’s poems in translation. Hambidge and Skinner will read from the collection in both English and Afrikaans.

Poets on their favourite poems:  Join an interesting discussion between Michèle Betty, Stephen Symons, Kambani Ramano and Douglas Reid Skinner as they engage with Joan Hambidge on their favourite poems.

A Celebration of Twelve Stanzas

Douglas Reid Skinner and Patricia Schonstein will celebrate the first twelve issues of Stanzas, a poetry quarterly for new poems. They will give readings alongside Stanzas poets who are present.

DOUGLAS REID SKINNER has published six collections, most recently Liminal (uHlanga, 2017), and one new & selected poems, Heaven (2014). He has translated (on his own or with a co-translator) from Afrikaans, French, Hebrew, Italian and Portuguese, most recently (with Marco Fazzini) The Secret Ambition: Selected Poems of Valerio Magrelli (translated from the Italian, African Sun Press, 2016); and the English section of poems by Marco Fazzini translated from the Italian, 21 Poesie/Poemas/Poems (Amos Edizioni, Italy, 2017). He is co-editor of Stanzas poetry magazine (Cape Town) and English editor and translator for the AVBOB Poetry Project.

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ECCA Poets

  Lara Kirsten  THIS MOMENT’S MARROW

Ecca is an informal group of poets, mainly from the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Their name derives from the Ecca Pass on the R67, which connects Fort Beaufort and Grahamstown. It consists of a group of colleagues and friends who get together to work on poetry projects. They have been active since the late 1980s, when the founders of the group worked at the University of Fort Hare. They have managed to produce and publish a joint collection of their poems on a more or less annual basis. Since 2015 guest poets have been invited to contribute to these publications, and several of them will participate in this year’s reading.

Most of the poems we will bring to the festival come from last year’s Ecca anthology, This Moment’s Marrow. They share a deep sense of urgency—as if they want to distil each moment, each situation to bare essentials. They are often celebratory, even exuberant; but they also speak of loss: Norman Morrissey, one of the group’s founder members and one of its defining voices, died in July 2017, just as the text of the anthology was being finalised. Ultimately, whether reading these poems or hearing them read aloud, one has a sense that all emotions, whether exuberant or difficult, are welcome at the collective table.

Eduard Burle received a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town in 2002. Since 2005 he has been a regular contributor and reader of poems at Off the Wall, a poetry group that meets at A Touch of Madness in Observatory, Cape Town. He is a member of the ECCA Poets group, and was invited to be the guest poet for the ECCA Poets’ 2015 publication Sound Piping. Together with poet and friend, Jacques Coetzee, Eduard Burle had the honour of being asked to do a reading of the late Norman Morrissey’s poems at the McGregor Poetry Festival in 2017. He also participated in the ECCA group reading at McGregor in 2017. Eduard works in a bookshop in Cape Town. His poems have been published in New Coin, New Contrast, Stanzas, and in Patricia Schonstein’s Africa! anthologies.

Jacques Coetzee is a musician and a freelance editor. He matriculated from the Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester, and completed a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Cape Town, for which he submitted a manuscript of poems called Singing Through. 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 has published poems in New Contrast and in Patricia Schonstein’s 2014 anthology, Heart of Africa! Poems of Love, Loss and Longing. In January 2018 he and Barbara Fairhead launched their joint anthology of poems, The Love Sheet, which was published by Hands On Books, an imprint of Modjaji.

Lara Kirsten is a pianist and performance poet. She holds a BMus (Hon) from the University of Pretoria. She performs as a solo pianist and accompanist for singers and instrumentalists. On occasion she combines poetry with movement, visual art, photography and music. She has performed as a poet in the Netherlands and in South Africa, and has recorded a CD of her own poetry. In August 2007 she made her debut as a performance poet with the one-woman piece, Ingrid Jonker Dans Weer. In 2009 she made her debut in The Netherlands in the show Op het Punt van Aanraken (featuring music improvised by Francois le Roux, photography by Carmen Gonzalez and poems written and performed by Lara). She was 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. From 2010 to 2012 Lara conceived and performed one-woman poetry happenings at the annual AfrikaBurn festival hosted in the Tankwa Karoo in the Northern Cape. Since 2007 Lara’s poetry has been published in various editions of the South African Literary Journal New Contrast. In 2015 one of her poems was selected to feature in the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology.

Olwethu Mxoli from Uitenhage, Nelson Mandela Bay, is the 2018 guest poet in the Ecca group. She writes and performs poetry, and has published with the Nelson Mandela University publications from 2014 to 2017. She works with the Helenvale Poets team as a facilitator, and runs creative workshops. Olwethu was born in Port Elizabeth in 1995. She spent most of her childhood travelling between Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Kirkwood. She was raised predominantly by her grandmother; seeing her parents on weekends and school holidays. It is her grandmother who nurtured her love for reading, and later for writing. She was published in three of NMMU’S poetry collections: Beneath the Bridge of Metaphor in 2014; Poetry, piece by piece in 2015, and ‘Carved onto the Page’ in 2017. She has also had one of her poems published in the national poetry textbook, ‘Voices of the land’. Olwethu is also a performance poet and was awarded the Performer of the Year in the poetry category at the 2017 NMU Achievers Awards.

Brian Walter was born in Port Elizabeth, in 1956, and taught at Chapman Senior Secondary School in Gelvandale, PE, and at the University of Fort Hare, Alice. Currently he works 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 Leonie Williams’ Broken Living. He also works with the informal Ecca group of poets. 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). 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. 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.

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Elsebé Cronjé

Elsebé Cronjé – Lover of Gaia, food enthusiast, gardener, young entrepeneur & spiritual seeker, in awe of the inherent intelligence and wonderul sensual pleasures of the human being.

Adventurer of vibrant Earth, language, music & the energetic frequencies of all things.

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Elisa Galgut

Elisa Galgut

Musings on Poetry.

My presentation will include a reading of my poetry, with some discussion on poetic inspiration and expression, and truth in poetry.

Elisa Galgut teaches in the Philosophy Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She has a PhD in Philosophy from Rutgers University and an MA in Creative Writing from UCT.  Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. Her debut collection, The Anthology of Poetry, was published by Modjaji Press in 2015.

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Emma Oliver and Viv Stacey

Emma OliverViv StaceyConversations with Hafiz

Listen in to a conversation between Emma and Viv enjoying the sweet playful genius of the 14th Century Persian Poet Hafiz.

Emma Oliver was born in England and has lived in South Africa for the last 27 years. Sacred poets have always been an inspiration for her. She’s involved in many projects and manages Erin Hall in Rondebosch – a space for all to explore their creativity.

Viv Stacey has a home in McGregor  and offers retreats, workshops  and spiritual companionship at Temenos and in Cape Town.  For many years she has dived deep into mystical poetry  – and her own creative writing has flowed in her work in the U.K  and in South Africa.   She loves to share resources for listening  deeply  with sacred poetry, parables and wisdom sayings.  www.magdala.space

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4 Voices

4 Voices  4 Voices 4 Voices 4 VoicesWater Chronicles – science, nature and poetry of water.

An audio-visual poetic exploration of the wonder of water – its forms, power, life giving properties and symbolism. Presented by the 4 Voices – a group comprising of two thespians and two poets from Cape Town who share a love of poetry and theatre. With 2 males voices and 2 female voices this is a balanced group that brings a variety of theatrical, poetical and life experience to an exploration of the story of water

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

Jane De Sousa has always had a passion for theatre and poetry, but after many years of speech and drama at school she was “sensible” and did a BSc before abandoning the laboratory and following a career as an organisational and management consultant and trainer, sharing her love for theatre in her facilitation and training styles. She found her way back to theatre 12 years ago and has been involved in community theatre ever since. She has been writing poetry and working with Wendy Woodward as her poetry mentor for the past 2 years.

Mark Wilkes was born and raised in the United Kingdom and made the move to Cape Town 10 years ago. With no formal acting training, becoming involved in theatre was a long standing personal goal that took him some time to fulfill. November 2015 saw his stage debut in Noises Off at the Milnerton Playhouse, for which he received both the 2015 CATA and Milly’s Best Supporting Actor Awards. His has been in a number of productions since then, including Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels and Birdcage. Mark is excited to be part of the 4 Voices and is also looking forward to catching the other performances at the festival.

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, among them, “The Lion in Winter”, “Habeas Corpus”, “Arms and the Man”, “Absurd Person Singular”, “Run for your Wife”, “An Inspector Calls”, “Macbeth”, “The Collector”, “Abigail’s Party”, “One for the Road”, “Noises Off”,  “Cock” ( Grahamstown Festival “Ovation Award” winner) and most recently “Billy Liar.” 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.

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Fourie Botha

Fourie Botha

Krap uit die see: ’n Voorlesing saam met video en ander beeldmateriaal uit die digter se bundels Donderkamer en Krap uit die see

Fourie Botha is ’n uitgewer en die skrywer van die digbundels Donkerkamer (benoem vir die Eugène Maraisprys) en Krap uit die see. Van sy werk verskyn ook in Nuwe stemme 4, Ons Klyntjie en op LitNet. Hy werk as uitgewer van plaaslike fiksie vir ’n uitgewershuis in Kaapstad.

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Francine Simon and Ariana Smit

Francine Simon Ariana Smit

South African Indian Daughters: A Poetic Conversation

Join Francine Simon (Thungachi, 2017) and Ariana Smit in discussing their poetry while reflecting on intriguing issues such as familial ties and culture, taboo subjects, marriage and much more.

Francine Simon was born in 1990 in Durban to Indian Catholic parents. She holds a doctorate in English Studies from Stellenbosch University. Her poems have been published in various South African literary journals (New Contrast, New Coin and Stanzas) and magazines (Prufrock, Ja. Magazine and The Kalahari Review). She received first prize for the 2016 DALRO poetry award for her poem ‘Nanni-ma’ and participated in the AVBOB Poetry Project in 2017. She launched her debut collection of poetry with uHlanga Poetry Press, Thungachi, in 2017. Follow her on Instagram (@francinesimon13) and Twitter (@writergirlrose).

Ariana Smit is a writer and poet from Durban. She is currently pursuing her Honours in Gender and Transformation at the University of Cape Town and tutoring in the Gender Studie’s department. She is also the Communication and Social Media team leader for the Young Wom?n’s Leadership Project. Her words have been published in Type/Cast, Ja. Magazine, AnyBody Zine and Prufrock. Follow her on Instagram (@arianamunsamy)

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Gaireyah Fredericks, Jacqueline Saaiman, Merle Danhouse en Adriaan Williams

Bot Blooei saam H20Bot Bot Blooei saam H20Bot Blooei saam H20en Bloei saam H2o

Hierdie voorlesing omvat twee sister-boeke, Bot en Bloei en H2o, twee foto-boeke wat deur middel van die natuur en mensdom in foto’s en woorde die lewe uitbeeld. Twee gesoutte digters-vriende vorm saam die vloei wat natuurlik uit hul digkuns loop. Woorde word in die natuur besproei, gesnoei en bloei in vele maniere as wat die woordeboek verduidelik. Verwag diepte, eerlikheid en egtheid uit die pen. Kameraadskap van vriende wat organies ontkiem, groei en blom, in boekdele.

Ek is Gaireyah Fredericks en skryf hoofsaaklik in Kaaps. Ek het my bundel Kaaps is Hollands en Mientjies in 2016 vrygestel en was so bevoorreg om vir die Eugene Marais literere prys genomineer te word. Ook kuier Kaaps is Hollands by die 2017 KKNK fees saam Daniel Hugo, asook die Adam Small fees 2017. In 2018 word 40 stories, 40 woorde by die McGregor fees vir die eerste keer uit voorgelees. Ek verower die Patricia Schonstein Poetry in McGregor Award 2016. Daarna ryg ek ook die Nal’ibali story Bosso storytelling prys Provinsiaal in en word vereer met die “Best Script” Award in die Cape Winelands Drama Festival 2017/2018.

Ek is Jacqueline Saaiman en skryf saam die digtersgroep, die Mengelmoesdigters, onder leiding van Diana Ferrus. Bot en Bloei is my debuut bundle. Ek was so bevoorreg om die ontwikkeling van my debuut kompilasie te doen onder die mentorskap van Gaireyah Fredericks, gesoute digter en skrywer van vele bundels en kinderverhale wat met soveel kundigheid in poppespel omskep. Die titel van die bundel, “Bot en bloei” spreek nie net tot die vlak van my ervaring in die digters wêreld nie, maar ook tot die inhoud van die samestelling. Die fotografie wat my digwerk vergesel is in baie opsigte die skelmpie wat somtyds meer bemin word, maar minder “acknowledge” word.. Die spreuke van “one picture is worth a thousand words” is getrou aan my gevoelens oor die visuele aspek van my werk. Ek skryf in Afrikaans en Engels. Die tale wat my toelaat om na insigte te luister buite geografiese en kulturele grense en wat my die geleentheid gee om ‘n “sister-friend” te word van die wat my “mind space” deel.

Merle Danhouse is deel van die Mengelmoes digters groep onder leiding van Dianne Ferrus. Verskeie van haar gedigte was reeds voorgelees, onder andere by die Woord fees, Mcgregor Poetry Festival en ook by die Digterstuin in Wellington.  Gedigte van haar is reeds in die saamgestelde bundels opgeneem onder andere die sewende reënboog sowel as `n bundel van Di mengelmoes digters. Sy het ook `n belangstelling in die skrywe van kortverhale en 2 van haar is in Drakenstein vertel , `n  projek van die Taal museum gepubliseer en honderde woorde stories in die Vonk Rapport.

Ek is Adriaan Williams. Ek publiseer my eerste dubuut publikasie Verbrokkelde papiertjie in 2016. Ook geniet ek die Genootskap vir Handhawing van Afrikaans gedigte kompetisie en dring deur as ‘n finalis in twee kategoriee. 5 Gedigte word gepubliseer in hul bloemlesing: Stemme uit die Suiderland xi. Die volgende jaar, 2017 word ek weer genooi om saam te publiseer as finalis in een kategorie, 10 Gedigte word die keer gepubliseer.

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Galeo Saintz

Galeo Saintz

Rivers of Belonging in Songs of Wild Water

Exploring a series of themes through the lens of wild water, from stories to myths of origin.

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.

galeosaintz.com

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Geoff Haresnape

Geoff Haresnape

Geoff Haresnape has been writing poetry for many years.  To date he has published  five collections, Drive of the Tide (1976)  New-Born Images  (1991),  Mulberries in Autumn (1996),  The Living and the Dead (2005) and  Where the Wind Wills (2011).   Poems selected from all the earlier collections were published together with new poems in  The Living and the Dead.   In addition to individual collections, his work has been much anthologized in titles ranging from The Penguin Book of South African Verse (1968) to The Pick of Snailpress Poems (2000) and to the widely distributed Seasons Come to Pass (2002).

Geoff taught English Literature at UCT in the 1970s, 80s and 90s and with J M Coetzee and Stephen Watson  helped to develop a Centre for Creative Writing there at the start of the 21st Century.  He retired as an Emeritus Professor in 2004. Since then he has been writing, gardening and travelling with his wife, Lesley, – not particularly in that order.  Visiting two of their four children, who live with their families in the UK and in Canada, has been his  particular experience of the South African diaspora. The problematics of colonialism have been his karma from childhood into old age.

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Godfrey Johnson

Godfrey Johnson in Cabaret

An evening of Jacques Brel, Noel Coward, Cole Porter, Leonard Cohen, Kurt Weill and more. A show filled with pathos, humor and a dash of madness . Come and enjoy this colorful musical journey of poetry and piano.  Johnson will perform some favourites such as Brel’s , “Marieke”, Cowards, “Mrs Worthington”, Cohens, “Hallelujah” and his own original songs. Godfrey has set some of his favorite poems to music, they include works by Cavafy, Byron and Parker.

Godfrey Johnson has performed in over 200 productions and has won numerous awards over the years. He was recently nominated  for Fleur du Cap Awards in three categories for his work in his one-man show, “Vaslav” (best actor in a musical, best performance in a solo show and best musical score). Recent hit shows include, “The Shadow of Brel”, “Flirting with Coward” and “Unzipped”.
In 2015 he composed the music for Pieter-Dirk Uys’ musical, “Die Van Aardes Van Grootoor.”

“Enigmatic and Brilliant…..” – Cape Argus

Nicholas McDiarmid is an award-winning writer, journalist, editor and performer, with a passion for the piano. After playing with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, he went corporate to establish a career in publishing, always performing along the way in Gauteng and Sydney.

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Harry Owen

Harry Owen

Merlin in the Car Park: a poetry reading

Harry Owen, originally from Liverpool but now firmly established in the Eastern Cape, is the host of Grahamstown’s popular monthly open-floor event called Reddits Poetry. He is the author of seven poetry collections and editor of the international anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World in support of efforts to save the rhino (and the wilderness upon which it depends) from extinction.

Harry writes a fortnightly column for Grocott’s Mail called Poetic Licence. He lives in Grahamstown.

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Helen Moffett

Opening a vein

Various writers have been credited with saying some variation of “Writing is easy. Just open a vein and bleed onto the page.”

In this reading of my own work (published and new poems) and that of others, I will explore the challenges and pitfalls of confessional poetry, especially once we consider performing it or publishing it.

How do poets turn pain or intimate experiences – theirs and those of others – into art, while not simultaneously dying of exposure or crossing ethical lines? Practical advice included.

Writing green: can art (including poetry) save our planet?

There is no doubt that we humans have done our planet serious, if not irreparable damage, and that the ongoing water crisis we face is a result, among other things, of catastrophic climate change. But what can we do with mere words on a page? Can poetry help at all? A reading of poetry (mine and others) that reflects the eco-spiritual principle of caring for the earth.

Helen Moffett is an author, editor, academic and activist. She has lectured around the world, but calls Cape Town home. Her publications include university textbooks, academic writings, a treasury of landscape writings (Lovely Beyond Any Singing), a cricket book (with the late Bob Woolmer and Tim Noakes), an animal charity anthology (Stray, with Diane Awerbuck) and the Girl Walks In erotica series. She has also published two poetry collections – Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books) and Prunings (uHlanga Press), with a third forthcoming. Recent projects include the Short Story Day Africa anthologies, Migrations and ID, a memoir of Rape Crisis, and a book on managing the water crisis – 101 Water Wise Ways.

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HUGH HODGE

Hugh Hodge

Off the Wall Open Mic Sessions

Hosted by HUGH HODGE

I’m a Baby Boomer brat. I was born in 1946 on Nelson Mandela’s 28th birthday (my closest brush with fame) at Tavistock in Devon, England. Rondebosch Boys’ High attempted to educate me without much success. Later, Essex University endured similar disappointments, but got over them. I have two daughters and three granddaughters, and a son and two grandsons. My marriages were happy in their own ways and times. The children are more beautiful than I expected. I have worked as a small, and sometimes negative, contributor to the technological revolution. Despite being commonly left-brained, and occasionally no-brained, I write poetry that is sometimes published. I edit poetry and mentor some poets. And, aside from a natural tribal arrogance, I’m kind and tolerant, even of dogs.

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Ian McCallum

Ian McCallum

WHY POETRY MATTERS

Poetry is not merely the writing of verse and rhyme. It is about the way you feel about your life and how you live it. Do your words and action rhyme with the elements – with the wind and rain and fire? And are they grounded? An indefinable quality, poetry it is at the heart not only of good writing, but of good conversations and good relationships …and you know when it is missing. Its ultimate function is to stir the emotions, to leave the reader and listener with a sense of resonance, a feeling that “this has something to do with me…” It is the voice of protest and at the same time a voice of hope… and this is why poetry matters.

Ian McCallum is a psychiatrist, analytical psychologist and writer.

He is the author of two anthologies of wilderness poems: Wild Gifts (1999), Untamed (2012) and a novel Thorns to Kilimanjaro (2000). His award winning book Ecological Intelligence – Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature addresses the interconnectedness of all living things and ultimately, the survival of the human animal. It won the Wild Literary Award at the World Wilderness Congress in Mexico 2009.

In collaboration with renowned sculptor, Dylan Lewis, he was the writer/poet for the Mail and Guardian award winning ‘UNTAMED’ exhibition at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (2010-2012).

In 2012, together with friend and journalist Ian Michler, he completed a 5000 km journey through six southern African countries walking, kayaking and cycling. Following ancient elephant migration routes and clusters, one of the priorities of the expedition was to highlight the importance of elephants as keystone species in Africa’s wild ecosystems … “if we can’t protect something as big as an elephant, how on Earth can we be expected to look after the little things?”

A former rugby Springbok McCallum’s other interests include evolutionary biology, wildlife photography (he won the Agfa Wildlife ‘Man and Nature’ category in 2001). He is a specialist wilderness guide and a trustee of the Cape Leopard Trust. He is a 2016 recipient of the WESSA  Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award.

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JACQUES COETZEE & BARBARA FAIRHEAD

CLEAR WATER FROM AN ANCIENT WELL

These poems are a record of the love that blossomed between two poets, and of the life they made together. They were written as part of an ongoing conversation between us, and they call and respond to each other in ways that wouldn’t leave us alone until we published them in a single book.

Each poem is a deliberate attempt to catch time off guard and turn it inside out: to make it stand still, or to stretch it out by filling every moment with lived experience. Each poem documents a search for clarity beyond confusion; for a timeless ritual that is always fresh and new, like drawing clear water from an ancient well.

BARBARA FAIRHEAD was born in the UK, and has lived in South Africa since 1948. She is an artist, a sculptor and a writer of fiction, as well as being the lyricist for the band Red Earth & Rust. She has published two books of poetry: And Now You Have Leapt Up To Swallow the Sun (1997) and Word and Bead: The Presentation of a Journey (2001). In 2017 she published a collection of poems, prose poems and writings: In Search of the White Wolf―A Fierce Pilgrimage, together with its companion piece, The Work Book: Following the Wind. Of Death and Beauty, her first novel, was published in 2013 by Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its sequel, Whereof One Cannot Speak, was published by Sunstone Press, in 2017. In January 2018 she and Jacques Coetzee launched their joint anthology of poems, The Love Sheet, published by Hands On Books, an imprint of Modjaji.

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 was the guest poet for the 2017 ECCA anthology, This Moment’s Marrow, which collected work by poets based in the Eastern Cape. In January 2018 he and Barbara Fairhead launched their joint anthology of poems, The Love Sheet, which was published by Hands On Books, an imprint of Modjaji.

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Joan Hambidge

The Coroner’s Wife:  Listen to Douglas Reid Skinner in conversation with Joan Hambidge in a discussion on the complexities of translations, specifically aspects relating to The Coroner’s Wife (Dryad Press, 2018), a fascinating collection of Hambidge’s poems in translation. Hambidge and Skinner will read from the collection in both English and Afrikaans.

Poets on their favourite poems:  Join an interesting discussion between Michèle Betty, Stephen Symons, Kambani Ramano and Douglas Reid Skinner as they engage with Joan Hambidge on their favourite poems.

Joan Hambidge  (the English surname notwithstanding), is an Afrikaans poet, literary theorist and academic. She is a prolific poet in Afrikaans, controversial as a public figure and critic and notorious for her out-of-the-closet style of writing.

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Jo Nowicki and Mike Kamstra

 Tall Tales Around Paul Kruger’s Table

Little Lady from the Land of Faery;

Making Compost in McGregor;

Jos

Jo and Mike have spent over 30 happy years in this village and have lots to talk about.

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CJ (Jonty) Driver

The launch of Jonty Driver’s collection, Before.

Join Jonty and Douglas Red Skinner in conversation about this new book, published by African Sun Press in association with Crane River.Reading: ‘Poems from Before and afterwards’. 

Jonty will read poems from his latest collection, Before (being launched at festival), as well as others from earlier collections and poems published since 2000.

CJ Driver, usually known as ‘Jonty’, was born in South Africa. Elected President of the anti-apartheid National Union of South African Students in 1963 and 1964, he was detained in solitary confinement by the security police in 1964, before moving to England. Deprived of a passport by the South African authorities, he was stateless for five years before becoming a British citizen. In 1992, he was once again permitted to travel to South Africa.

After two years of post-graduate study at Oxford, his years of teaching included Housemaster of the International Sixth Form Centre at Sevenoaks School, Principal of Island School Hong Kong, Headmaster of Berkhamsted School, and Master of Wellington College, after which he retired from teaching to write fulltime.

Jonty has published five novels, seven collections of poems, three biographies and a memoir. He is a trustee of the Beit Trust and an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Literature and Creative Writing of the University of East Anglia. He was a judge for the Caine Prize for African Writing, held a Bogliasco Fellowship, and was a resident at the MacDowell Colony and the international writers’ retreat in Hawthornden Castle, Scotland.

He is married with three children and eight grandchildren. His latest book is Before, a sequence of 22 poems, published by African Sun Press in association with Crane River (see www.jontydriver.co.uk for more detail).

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Joseph Koetsier and Neal Alan

 Water Ways

Water is the most miraculous composition on our planet. 70 % of human bodies consists of water. Recent studies show that water has memory. Water is the undercurrent of our life. She is the precious mother of all sentient beings.

However, fresh potable water increasingly becomes a scarce commodity. No substance is so widely contaminated and abused and robbed of Her vitality by mankind.

Our water-based stories and poetry reflects on the many appearances of this precious gift of nature. I explore Her in the fluids of my body, in Her absence in drought ridden areas, in waves, rivers and oceans. She generates narratives, poems and music. The Sound of water carries the inner melody of our being and the many journeys on boats inwards, inland and on wide oceans.

We will present our own creative outpourings and some of other poets in the Helderberg Basin.

Neal Alan (1944 -) Durban born as the guns of the second great war were losing their fury, I sought adventure in life wherever work took me. Half my brain studied engineering and the other half dabbled in English and Psychology. When I follow my heart, I write short stories and I once won second prize in the” Woman & Home” annual short story competition. When I follow my soul, I write poetry. The meanderings of my mind can be found on my website thoughtsofneal.blog  There have been wives in my life, and special cats, but I now live alone in Gordons Bay with ‘Bigfoot’ my bicycle, and my bagpipes which have been insured but have yet to be named.

Joseph Koetsier (1946 -) 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 as a source for Classical Composers, 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, digital copy available with me) and some of my poems are on a blog site. kaganof.com

 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’.

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Kambani Ramano

Kambani Ramano is a poet, a photographer, and a wanderer in the world. His first collection, happier were the victims, is a meditation on the fallout of life’s unseen explosions, and will be published by Dryad Press in August, 2018. To subscribe to his latest creative outpourings, visit www.patreon.com/kambaniramano.

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Karin Schimke and Helen Walne

Karin Schimke Helen WalneBODIES IN WATER

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water — Loren Eiseley, American philosopher and natural science writer.

Immerse yourself in a world of beauty, strangeness and magic as award-winning poet Karin Schimke and freediver and writer Helen Walne present a mini-marvel show of underwater photography and poetry. Karin and Helen, the photographer of the “underwonder”, will read their own poems about water and swimming, as well as swimming poems by some of the great poets of our time.

Karin Schimke’s first collection of poetry, Bare & Breaking, won the prestigious Ingrid Jonker prize for a poetry debut in 2014, and was shortlisted for the South African Literature Prize for Poetry. She is a widely published journalist and works as a writer, fiction editor, writing teacher and a translator. In 2016, she won the South African Literature prize for translation for Flame in the Snow – The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker. An article on why she writes poetry can be read at www.litnet.co.za. An interview with her about Navigate can be found at johannesburgreviewofbooks.com

Helen Walne is an award-winning columnist, author and poet. Her memoir, The Diving, was published by Penguin in 2004 to wide acclaim. She has written for a  range of publications, including the Mail & Guardian, National Geographic Traveller UK, Getaway and the Sunday Times, and her poetry has been published in Aerodrome and Fidelities. She spends all of her spare time underwater.

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KELWYN SOLE

Kelwyn Sole Kelwyn Sole Reads from Recent Work – a poetry presentation from my latest poetry collection (Walking ,Falling) as well as more recent poems.

Kelwyn Sole was born in Johannesburg in 1951, and has lived there as well as in Kanye, Windhoek and London.  For the last 30 years he has taught metropolitan and postcolonial theory, fiction and poetry in the English Department at the University of Cape Town, retiring as the De Beers Professor at the end of 2016. He has published many articles on South African and postcolonial literature, as well as editing a selection of contemporary South African poetry for the U.S. literary journal The Common in 2012.. Among his awards are the Olive Schreiner, Sydney Clouts and Thomas Pringle Awards for poetry, and an Honourable Mention in the Noma Awards for Publishing in Africa. He has also received the Thomas Pringle and AA/Mutual Vita Life Awards for literary criticism. In addition to numerous poems in journals and anthologies, his individual poetry collections are The Blood of Our Silence (Ravan, 1987); Projections in the Past Tense (Ravan, 1992); Love That is Night (Gecko, 1998); Mirror and Water Gazing (Gecko/University of Natal Press, 2001); Land Dreaming: Prose Poems (UKZN Press, 2006); Absent Tongues (Hands-On, 2012) and Walking, Falling (Deep South, 2017). He will read from new and recently published work.

photo credit: Liesl Jobson

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Kobus Moolman

Poems of the Cape

I moved to the Riebeek valley with my wife in 2016 from KwaZulu-Natal. In my reading I will share the poems I have written here that reflect my journey in understanding issues of home and place.

Kobus Moolman is Head of Creative Writing in the department of English at the University of the Western Cape. He has published seven collections of poetry, two collections of plays, and edited a collection of poetry, prose and art by South African writers living with disabilities. He has won numerous local and international awards for his work. His first collection of short fiction, The Swimming Lesson and other stories, was published last year. He has also recently edited a special issue on contemporary South African poetry for the American journal, Illuminations. www.kobusmoolman.com

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Kris Marais

Kris Marais

Water Dance; Quick-quick, Slow

Its older than Earth and older than the Sun.  Carrying with it from where and when nobody knows, the unique potential of this universe, namely; Life. It thunders and roars and gurgles and hisses and pops. Its susurration is to be heard on all the continents and is often the sound of contentment, or danger.

The sound of water and words is ubiquitous in the beginning of the story of humans, for ‘In the beginning ‘was the ‘word’ and did not the ‘word’, also eternal, inhabit the darkness above the water?

And where there is no water where it had once lived the word that describes this loss, this imminent catastrophe is, drought.  In these parts there are periods of relative abundance of life giving water and at other times there is little, or even none. This unpredictable drama lives in the dance of El Nino and La Nina. ‘Water Dance; Quick-quick, Slow’ is an exploration of the confluence of the powers of water and words.

Kris Marais’ unfolding poetry project engaging with militarism, socially constructed silence and related inherited and bequeathed traumas continues with various collaborators. He has several other writing projects which are progressing intermittently. His poetry has appeared in various anthologies and in 2017 with collaborators Maura Talbot and Tauriq Jenkins he presented readings of ‘Conscripts’ at the Castle of Good Hope, National Arts Festival and McGregor Poetry Festival and at Off The Wall in Observatory ,Cape town where he lives.

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Lara Kirsten

Lara Kirsten

The Resonating Drops

A piano recital celebrating the Resonating Drops of Water.

The program will include piano music by Claude Debussy, Isaac Albeniz, Yann Tiersen and improvisations and performance poetry on the theme of water.

Lara Kirsten is a pianist and performance poet. After completing her high school career at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg in 1997, Lara received her BMus and BMus Honours degrees, both cum laude at the University of Pretoria. Joseph Stanford and Wessel van Wyk were her mentors in solo piano and chamber music respectively. In 1999 she was awarded a SAMRO bursary for undergraduate students. In 2002 she received her chamber music licentiate from UNISA. She was appointed junior lecturer at the University of Pretoria where she taught piano from 2003 to 2005.

For the past decade Lara has been active as both a solo and chamber musician performing with musicians such as soprano Linda van Coppenhagen, tenor Sandile Mabaso, clarinetist Morné van Heerden and cellists Wessel Beukes and Francois le Roux. She often performs her poetry within her music recitals. She has performed in venues such as the Sandton Theater on the Square, the Baxter concert hall in Cape Town, the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, the Guy Butler Theater in Grahamstown and the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

Lara has performed at the Wakkerstroom Music Festival, the McGregor Poetry Festival, the AfrikaBurn Festival in the Tankwa Karoo, the Woordfees in Stellenbosch, the FynArts Festival in Hermanus and the Michaelhouse Music Festival in KwaZulu-Natal.

For the last five years Lara has been based in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal from where she travels with her concert tours. She also teaches piano from her home. From 2014-2017 Lara has been invited to serve as adjudicator for the Pietermaritzburg Eisteddfod of the South African Society of Music Teachers.

Since 2007 Lara’s poetry has been published in 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.

Lara’s poetry and creative projects can be viewed on her blog at laraafrika.blogspot.com

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Lerato Sibanda, Melissa Sussens and Laverne Schwimmbacher

Lerato Sibanda Melissa SussensLaverne SchimmbacheI Pray for Yemen

Lerato Sibanda and Melissa Sussens

Known for her high-energy rhythmic slam poetry and emotive rendering, Tshwane-based poet and freelance journalist Lerato Sibanda presents poetry with an uber consciousness on glocal current events relating to war, famine, a drug scourge amongst township youth and the water and sanitation crisis. Recited to the backdrop of rap and/or indigenous instrumentals, I Pray for Yemen will elevate your mind to primal states of purgation. Robertson local and feminist writer Melissa Sussens is to appear as guest performer.

Fruit Cocktail for My Soul

Lerato Sibanda and Laverne Schwimmbacher

A poetry lounge session fit for a lax Sunday day-out. Come enjoy a two-women presentation with Lerato Sibanda and Laverne Schwimmbacher reading from their own portraits of love, joy, peace, perseverance and more with a denouement portrait of the Sounds of Water relating to the festival theme. This is inspirational poetry that will leave you smiling and  swooning with bliss.

Tshwane native and ecletic personality Lerato Sibanda is a former cadet journalist, creative and activist. Lerato 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. Upon graduating with an Honours in Cultural and Media Studies in 2010 from the University of Pretoria, Lerato was approached to join the Afrocentric lifestyle publication,www.consciousness.co.za as a contributor. In 2013 she was elected among 15 young people all across the country as a cadet journalist for Sekunjalo Independent. Lerato has also reported for The Star and Pretoria News having op-eds published in The Star, Pretoria News and City Press. Lately raises her 2-year old son and is working on an debut anthology.

 Melissa Sussens is a veterinarian and poet who’s first poem was published at age fourteen in Teen Zone Magazine. Since completing Megan Falley’s online writing course, Poems That Don’t Suck, and participating in Spoken Sessions open mic events in Pretoria she has been trying to get back into it. Her poems are forthcoming in Germ Magazine.

At the time of the 2018 Poetry Festival Laverne Schimmbacher will have already celebrated her 60th and is delighted to share a lounge-style setting together with Lerato Sibanda, titled “Fruit Cocktail for my Soul”

Laverne has been writing poetry as a hobby for many years and since sharing through an inspirational radio station programme in 2014,  has since written for and about various causes and for others who themselves could not find the right words for situations they found themselves in.

In 2016 Laverne self-published and launched her first book titled “Pathways of Inspiration” and through word of         mouth and self-marketing, 450 books have reached many in countries abroad as well as some retirement homes and safe houses.   Book 2 is still under construction and the name will be “Pathways of the Heart”

Laverne works full time and is a proud granny to 2 children aged 9 and 11 who keep her busy. Her poetry is an easy flow of words and reaches out to the very soul and she constantly welcomes challenges to write for others, to be able to say what they find they cannot. Some of her poetry is likened to meditations and has also been shared as such. Follow this link to meet Laverne on her Facebook page where she shares many of her writings. www.facebook.com/PathwaysOfInspiration

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Lisa van Zyl-Jones

Whose poem is it anyway?  – Improvisation workshop

We will play special poetry themed improvisation games and make up extraordinary, unique and sometimes hilarious poems. The workshop will be conducted in English and can include Afrikaans if needed. It is suitable for anyone aged 12 and up who has an adventurous spirit.

Studied drama at UCT and then did professional theatre, including Theatresports, for years. Now part of a band, a choir and a theatre group and spend time catering and teaching kids music & cooking.

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Malcolm Gooding

IN THE TRENCHES.

A poetic journey, a hundred years later, where  Malcolm Gooding commemorates the bravery and challenges the madness of the  First World War 1914-1918.

 Malcolm Gooding Biography: The DStv website states: “For the past 50 years Malcolm has established himself as one of the best voices in radio and television.” Malcolm, who was born in 1946, grew up in Vereeniging and Germiston. To combat the deleterious effects of the local patois his Welsh mother insisted on elocution classes; with Mrs Steinoble, at the Sons of England Hall in Three Rivers. After school he attended Wits, where he succumbed to the temptations of university life. Forced out into the real world Malcolm joined Nedbank, where he mastered the subtle sibilance of a Dutch accent, but not the finer points of foreign exchange trading. In 1967 he auditioned for a job at the SABC. Within a year he had his own show, Going Gooding, in which he got to play the music of the Youth Revolution: The Who, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin etc. It was Malcolm’s good fortune to be able to select his own songs and provide the sound-track to the lives of a generation of young South Africans.  Going Gooding ran from 1968 to 1974 on SABC’s English Service, and boasted one of the highest listenerships in the station’s history.  In 1968 Malcolm began another important stint – this time as narrator to Squad Cars, that iconic Friday night Springbok Radio serial about police cars that, “Prowl the empty streets at night in fast cars on foot”. Squad Cars finally came to an end in 1984, and Malcolm can proudly proclaim that he voiced about 800 episodes.  In 1974 Malcolm left the SABC to pursue a freelance career. His voice, described as, “a blend of fine sand and smooth English marmalade” – was considered to have, “The right stamp of authority – with just a hint of seduction.” As Malcolm jokes, “I have done just about every soap commercial on the market. And for my shame also a few cigarette adverts. There was a time, just after TV started, when I was seen as being the right voice for the lady’s boudoir.” One reviewer at the time noted, “When he talks about toilet cleaner being ‘thick and green and clean’, he makes it sound like maple syrup.” With the advent of television Malcolm was the obvious choice to host one of the first variety shows, Good Vibrations, which flighted every Saturday night. He also continued to voice documentaries; and discussion and magazine programmes. Meanwhile his flexible schedule allowed him to take care of unfinished business and he completed his degree through Unisa; acquiring a BA Honours in history. Malcolm still makes a living by voicing radio and television commercials, as well as narrating a variety of documentaries for channels such as Discovery, National Geographic and SuperSport. His incredible voice, as well as his charming and cheerful demeanour, makes him a ‘go-to man’ in the voice industry. Not for nothing do studio engineers, and creative directors, sometimes refer to him as Malcolm Good-thing. History is one of Malcolm’s hobbies, and particularly the confusing and convoluted history of his beloved country, South Africa. In 1995 he became part of that history. Malcolm’s ‘Madiba Moment’ arrived when he was called on to announce the presentation of the William Webb Ellis Trophy after South African won the Rugby World Cup. When he told Nelson Mandela that he was there to introduce him, Mandela’s priceless reply was, “So you think I need to be introduced.” Malcolm is an eternal optimist who will attack a new venture with the same enthusiasm he tackles a commercial for the latest miracle pool cleaner. His hobbies include olive farming, architectural restoration, landscape painting and good South African wine. Malcolm is the father of two sons and two daughters and has 10 grandchildren. Links: youtu.be  www.artlink.co.za

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Margaret Clough and Stephanie Saunders

‘WHEN IN DROUGHT’

Margaret Clough and Stephanie Saunders present poems, mostly humorous, dealing with our current water challenges.

In their usual manner, they may sometimes deviate from their subject.

Margaret Clough worked as a Science teacher, soil chemist and food technologist and only started writing after moving to Cape Town fifteen years ago. She has had stories published in various journals. Her poems have been published in Carapace, New Contrast and Aerodrome. Two collections of poems, At Least the Duck Survived and The Last to Leave, have been published by Modjaji Books. She also contributed to the collection Difficult to Explain edited by Finuala Dowling. When not writing, she likes reading crime novels, walking on the beach or in the Fynbos, bird-watching and dog-training.

Stephanie Saunders wrote poetry at school, studied Fine Art at Michaelis, and only returned to poetry in the last ten years. She has had poems published in Carapace and Aerodrome and has also produced a chap book of poems entitled “The Last Fly of the Day”. When not writing poetry, she can be found on the mountain or else engaged in various creative or outdoor pursuits.

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Margot Luyt en Johann Nel

 Margot Luyt en Johann Nel toor met WOORDE

Margot en Johann is albei al dekades lank besig met die vreugde van poësie en die woordkuns in al sy vorme.

Sy sê: As plaaskind het ek my tyd om gedroom oor ‘n loopbaan op wêreldverhoë as operasangeres, agter mikrofone en as ontvanger van die Nobelprys vir Letterkunde. Ná ‘n paar dekades sing ek nog steeds nie opera nie en ontwyk die Nobelprys vir Letterkunde my nog steeds. Maar ten minste is ek nog agter die mikrofoon en stuur ek Dinsdagaande hopelik baie RSG-luisteraars met ‘n glimlag na Droomland …

Hy sê: Vandat daar ‘n apie op ‘n stokkie voor sy ma se agterdeur gesit het (mét natuurlik ‘n gaatjie in sy broekie waardeur sy stertjie steek!), en vandat hy die muskiet teen die kamermuur vrugteloos gejag het, is ek mal oor die digkuns. Ek is ‘n verbete leser van die poësie – sukkel net nog ‘n bietjie met “rap”. Maar eendag as ek groot is, sal ek dit hopelik verstaan. En dankie vir Margot wat met Vers & Klank die poësie lewend hou en die siele voed.

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Marguerite (Osler) van der Merwe

WATER & US – CONSIDERING the WATERS entering US entering the WORDS

Exploring correspondences between attributes of WATER and our human life & psyche. Marguerite leads as we generate a creative lexicon of words/images to enrich & expand our consciousness into our skills & Arts – poetics, writings, visual & musical. A collaborative adventure. Bring notebook, writing materials

POETRY WALKS the WATERSCAPE of TEMENOS

In ‘HOMAGE to THE WATERS’, Marguerite guides us via the WATERSCAPES of Temenos through explorations & readings from dedicated Nature Poets to inspire, delight, and call us to conscious, poetic action .

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

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Medzani Musandiwa

Medzani Musandiwa

A Path to Lucidity

Some of the more memorable moments in life I don’t recall having words to describe. And there aren’t that many of them to be honest; these are the moments when the eternal rush stilled in spite of the need to focus on the day’s activities. These are the moments that demanded my full attention: The mist outside the window, a spider constructing a web nearby, or something else that evoked an attempt to express this moment’s emotional contours. I’d like to believe I’ve learnt something along the way, but the farther I get on this path, the farther the road seems to stretch out in front of me.

I’m originally from Limpopo, but have spent most of my life in Johannesburg. I started writing poetry and short stories in my teens, but developed a love and preference for stanzas and line breaks early in my twenties. A tech entrepreneur by day, my free time is split between reading and writing, football and cricket highlights, comedy series and meditation.

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Michèle Betty

Michèle Betty is the editor of New Contrast:  The South African Literary Journal and the founder of Dryad Press (Pty) Ltd, an independent poetry publishing company dedicated to the promotion and publication of poetry in South Africa.  She has a BA LLB from the University of Witwatersrand and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.  Her poems have appeared in various journals both in South Africa and abroad. Her debut collection Metaphysical Balm (Dryad Press, 2017) received a judge’s commendation in the 2018 Ingrid Jonker prize. See: www.dryadpress.co.za; facebook.com/DryadPress; instagram.com/dryadpresssa; www.newcontrast.net.

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Montagu A Cappella

Montagu A Cappella

Montagu A Cappella – a local group of 15 singers – will be performing poetry through song, sung in 4 or 5-part harmonies, around the theme of ‘Water’.  Whether from popular musicals of the past (Ol’ Man River), or contemporary pop (Hold Back the River), or sacred music, or African gospel, or folk songs – the theme of water/rivers is popular across many musical genres to convey diverse stories and emotions: of struggle, sadness, conflict, freedom, escape, joy, life/Life.

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Mothertongue Theatre Company

Memories of Water

A performance offering that combines poetry, physical theatre and sound.  Performed at The Mothertongue Project’s home in McGregor, Memories of Water comprises self-written poems in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Memories of Wateris inspired by this year’s Poetry Festival  theme, ‘the sound of water’.  Well known eco-feminist, Vadana Shiva’s statement: ‘Water is Peace’ was used as a provocation for creative writing, to answer the question ‘what is water asking of us?’

Directed by Nolufefe Ntshuntshe, in collaboration with Sara Matchett and featuring Jaydene Lekay, Khayalethu Mkorwana, Denise Gandu, Ashley Seconds, Sindiswa Mabadi, and Sandile Kosana.

The performers form part of the Mothertongue Youth Theatre Company, a full time performance company that employs local performers from the Langeberg region.

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Off-THE-WALL COLLECTIVE

WHEN RIVERS RUN DRY: A VOICE FOR WATER

These poems will be presented by a collective of poets, all of them regular performers at Off the Wall, a poetry group that has been running in Observatory, Cape Town, since 2000.

The poems will explore the loss or scarcity of underappreciated resources, and of difficult emotions that have become landlocked and unavailable. They will celebrate drives and forces that have been taken for granted and ignored at our peril, but which nevertheless persist, and demand to be acknowledged and understood.

EDUARD BURLE received a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town in 2002. He has been a regular contributor and reader of poems at Off the Wall Poetry Performing at A Touch of Madness in Observatory, Cape Town, since 2005. He is a member of the ECCA Poets group and was invited to be the guest poet for the ECCA Poets’ 2015 publication Sound Piping. Together with poet and friend, Jacques Coetzee, Eduard Burle had the honour of being asked to do a reading of the late Norman Morrissey’s poems at the McGregor Poetry Festival in 2017. He also participated in the ECCA group reading at McGregor in 2017. Eduard works in a bookshop in Cape Town. His poems have been published in New Coin, New Contrast, Stanzas, and in Patricia Schonstein’s Africa! anthologies.

JACQUES COETZEE is a musician and a freelance editor. He matriculated from the Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester, and completed a Masters Degree in creative writing at the University of Cape Town, for which he submitted a manuscript of poems called Singing Through. 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 has published poems in New Contrast and in Patricia Schonstein’s Africa anthologies, including 2014’s Heart of Africa! Poems of Love, Loss and Longing. In January 2018 he and Barbara Fairhead launched their joint anthology of poems, The Love Sheet, which was published by Hands On Books, an imprint of Modjaji.

HUGH HODGE I’m a Baby Boomer brat. I was born in 1946 on Nelson Mandela’s 28th birthday (my closest brush with fame) at Tavistock in Devon, England. Rondebosch Boys’ High attempted to educate me without much success. Later, Essex University endured similar disappointments, but got over them. I have two daughters and three granddaughters, and a son and two grandsons. My marriages were happy in their own ways and times. The children are more beautiful than I expected. I have worked as a small, and sometimes negative, contributor to the technological revolution. Despite being commonly left-brained, and occasionally no-brained, I write poetry that is sometimes published. I edit poetry and mentor some poets. And, aside from a natural tribal arrogance, I’m kind and tolerant, even of dogs.

TAURIQ JENKINS is the founding artistic director of the Independent Theatre Movement of South Africa, and Shakespeare in Prison South Africa. As an actor he has performed across local and international theatres, and film. His credits include Hamlet (RSC) directed by Janet Suzman, Antigone (Baxter) directed by Shaun Matthias, Antony and Cleopatra (Harlem Shakespeare Festival) directed by Patronia Paley, Ivanov (Schapro Theatre, NYC) directed by Andrei Serban. Films include Attack on Darfur, Death Race 2, A Lucky Man, Empire of Sharks, BBC SAS Heroes. Tauriq holds a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University and was trained by voice teacher Kristin Linklater. He is an IFP Alumni Fellow at the School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University, and studied Oral History at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is a recipient of the International Davis Peace Prize for his work in incarceration, training Shakespearian actors in prisons. MFA, School of the Arts, Columbia University IFP Fellow, School of  International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (nulli secundus)

JULIA KRAMER lives on the Southern tip of the peninsula, where the mountains meet the Atlantic ocean. She rearranges words in translation and poetry. Loves the outdoors.  A keen gardener and amateur botanist. So much to do, so little time.

KRIS MARAIS’ unfolding poetry project, engaging with militarism, socially constructed silence and related inherited and bequeathed traumas, continues with various collaborators. Kris’ poetry has appeared in African Sun Press’s Africa Ablaze and Heart of Africa anthologies (and will appear in 2018’s Absolute Africa), as well as Stanzas, the 2012 Off the Wall anthology and the McGregor Poetry Festival anthologies of 2015 and 2017, and possibly 2018. He read at 2017’s National Arts Festival and at the Castle of Good Hope with collaborators Maura Talbot and Tauriq Jenkins. His poetry is by turn intense, sensitive and challenging. Kris has two other writing projects which are progressing intermittently. He reads regularly at Off the Wall and lives in Observatory. Kris 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.

ARCHIE SWANSON ‘s poems have been published in various  anthologies including English Alive 50, Best New African Poets, McGregor Poetry Festival, Absolute Africa and (translated into Japanese) in the anthology – Experimental Writing: Africa vs Asia. In 2016 three poems were translated into Spanish by the poet Martín López-Vega and published in El Mundo – the Spanish national newspaper. Poems have also appeared in Stanzas and in New Contrast. In 2017 he was short-listed for the Sol Plaatje Award as well as the UK Bridport Prize. His collection of poems “the stretching of my sky” was published in 2018.

MAURA TALBOT is an emerging confessional poet exploring ways to facilitate self-connection and personal transformation through poetry, story-telling, non-violent communication & Presencing facilitation methods.  She has a Masters Degree in Human Geography and 20+ years of professional experience working as a socio-economic and environmental activist, researcher, lecturer, supervisor and consultant in South Africa.

JEAN WATERMEYER is a scientist-turned-teacher.  She wrote her first poems as a child and began reading her work in public while working in London. Her poems have appeared in Stanzas and in the 2016 McGregor anthology. She is married to Marius and they live in Cape Town.

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Leonie Williams and Olwethu Mxoli

Leonie Williams Two women voices from the Helenvale Poets group

The Helenvale Poets project was started in 2011 and has produced 5 books of poems, with two more to be launched at the McGregor Poetry Festival in 2018. The poets have spent the last 18 months working on the two new books, and readying themselves for the launches.

Helenvale, Port Elizabeth, is a vibrant but crime-torn, poverty stricken area. Young people often have no guided recreation or hobbies, and youth typically have no jobs. Many social problems emerge from the impoverished circumstances in which people dwell, including drugs dependency, alcohol abuse, gangsterism and related crimes.  For participants, the project offers a meditative, creative and productive space that members describe as “therapeutic”. Participants work on and develop their verbal art products with the help of mentors.

The Helenvale Poets work under the auspices of the Bay Creative Writing Development Project (BCWDP), implemented through the Southern African Development, Research and Training (SADRAT) Institute. Their attendance at the Festival has been made possible by a BackaBuddy funding campaign established by the McGregor Poetry Festival organisers.

Leonie Williams is a founder member of the Helenvale Poets group, appearing in four of their collection, and publishing a solo collection in 2017, called Broken Living. This volume catches the hardships and tones of life in Helenvale, where Williams lives. She will focus on poems from Broken Living.

Olwethu Mxoli has recently joined the Helenvale Poets team as a facilitator. She writes and performs poetry, publishing with the Nelson Mandela University publications from 2014 to 2017, and is a guest poet with the 2018 Ecca Group. She runs creative workshops. Olwethu will read and perform poems from her page and performance repertoire.

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Pamela Newham, Lise Day, Annette Snyckers, Kerry Hammerton

Fountain of Ageing

water is associated with youth and life, but what happens when the water starts to dry up? Who passes on wisdom to help you navigate this new (ageing) life? Join poets Pam Newham, Lise Day, Annette Snyckers and Kerry Hammerton as they tell the truth about ageing through poetry and humour.

Pamela Newham is a journalist, author of youth fiction and a poet. Her poetry collection, Washing Day in the Bush was published in 2017. Lise Day is a retired English lecturer who has had poetry and short stories published in a variety of textbooks, anthologies and journals. Annette Snyckers is a poet, a translator and a visual artist. Her poetry collection Remnants Restante Reste was published in 2018. Kerry Hammerton has an MA in Creative Writing (with Distinction) from Rhodes University. Her latest collection is Secret Keeper (2018).

thepoetryplatform.wordpress.com/pam-newham

https://thepoetryplatform.wordpress.com/lise-day

thepoetryplatform.wordpress.com/annette-snyckers

www.kerryhammerton.com

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Patricia Schonstein

A Celebration of Twelve Stanzas: Douglas Reid Skinner and Patricia Schonstein will celebrate the first twelve issues of Stanzas, a poetry quarterly for new poems. They will give readings alongside Stanzas poets who are present.

 Launch of McGregor Poetry Anthology 2017: Hot off the press this, our fifth anthology, will be celebrated with poets reading their own included works. The 2018 Patricia Schonstein Poetry in McGregor Prizes will be awarded.

Poetry as Scaffolding in the Human Heart: Patricia Schonstein will present the newly published Absolute Africa! This is the fourth in the Africa! series. She will reflect on how the human heart hunts for love and meaning and why we should underpin life with poetry and prayer.

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.

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Peter Merrington

A two-hour workshop. 40 minutes’ shared informal reading of TS Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ (1922), followed by a short break, then an illustrated walk through the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The Rider-Waite Tarot was designed by a colleague of Eliot’s elder contemporary WB Yeats, in the Order of the Golden Dawn, in London in 1910. Copies of ‘The Waste Land’ are provided to participants. The theme is transpersonal text – views on archetypal images and the stories they weave. We focus on the four elements – earth, air, water and fire.

Peter Merrington has an MA on the poetry of Thomas Hardy and a Phd on the public cultural vision of the Union of South Africa in 1910. He has published essays, poems and two books of fiction with Jacana Media (Zebra Crossings: tales from the shaman’s record – 2008 and The Zombie & the Moon: more tales from the shaman’s record – 2011).

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Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa

The Heart is a Lizard’s Tail

Philippa uses poetry and song to tell stories of uprootedness, and starting over, of disappointment and hope. Using the lizard’s tail as a metaphor, her performance asks questions like,  “What stills the longing of the heart?” “Can one ever really belong?” “Does the heart, like a lizard’s tail, grow back?” She brings together new work, and some poems from her memoir, Flame and Song.

The Story Club Cape Town

The theme of the Story Club Cape Town’s open mic event is ‘Water’. The format is story telling:

  • no reading;
  • stories must be 8 minutes long, or shorter;
  • all languages are welcome.

 Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa was born in Uganda, and grew up between Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. As an adult she has lived in various parts of East and Southern Africa, working in the fields of Education and Development. In 1993 she came to Cape Town and stayed. Philippa is first and foremost a Storyteller. A published author of a memoir, poetry and children’s books, she also works as an executive coach and facilitator, with clients in South Africa and abroad. She has presented, on story, at TEDx Table Mountain (2012), and TEDx Prince Albert (2012). Philippa says, “When a story gets my heart beating faster I know it has come to teach me.” She believes that stories – folktales or personal, fictional or true – come into our lives to heal us, reconnect us with our humanity, help us understand our past, create community, and to remind us of who we are and who we can be.

Her first full-length book, Flame and Song: a memoir, was published in Cape Town, South Africa by Modjaji Books in August 2016.  In April 2017, Sooo Many Stories (Uganda) acquired the East African rights and published it in Kampala, Uganda. She has presented at the Open Book Festival – 2016, The Artscape Women’s Humanity Festival 2017, Frantisek Literary Festival – 2017, Storymoja (Nairobi, Kenya) 2017, Franshoek Literary Festival 2018.

Philippa is a co-founder of The Story Club, Cape Town and a founding member of Woman Zone Cape Town. en.wikipedia.org

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Phillippa Yaa

Phllippa Yaa

Padkos and Playlist: A road trip takes you much further than A to B. Ho tsamaya ho bona, as baTswana and baSotho say, to go is to see. Native English poet reading from new and published work; improvisation and conversation with audience.

Phillippa Yaa writes, performs and teaches Creative Writing at Wits University, Johannesburg.

She studied Journalism at Rhodes University, Grahamstown and Theatre at the Lecoq School in Paris. She performed with the Theatresports company for ten years, wrote extensively for the television industry, and now serves on the Editorial Board of the African Poetry Book Fund. Her one-woman show exploring identity and transracial adoption has performed locally and overseas, and she has read and performed at poetry festivals in Germany, Denmark, UK, Cuba, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Ghana. en.wikipedia.org

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Rachel Ferriman, Sue Woodward and Hazel Woodward

‘between the bite and the apple’

 Rachel Ferriman, Sue Woodward and Hazel Woodward make art, write poetry and exchange ideas in an informal group called painting, poems, dog walking and wine. In this visual and auditory presentation they look at the idea of the exquisite moment in time between the choice and the action. In water-related terms this is the moment or point before water ‘breaks’ to become a flow or a flood. Through paintings and poems they explore the consequences of making a choice, particularly for women in a man’s world.

Rachel was born in Johannesburg and studied art at the National School of the Arts and Wits University.  At art school she focused on painting and printmaking, and at university on painting and sculpture.

Sue is a writer and editor of educational materials and children’s fiction. She is passionate about reading and writing poetry and has been published in several journals and anthologies.

Hazel paints to try to examine the stuff of her life and morph this into some kind of expression. Usually only after she’s finished a painting does she understand what the work is saying and sometimes she interprets it with words.

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Roché Kester

Roché Kester

Grounding Sessions Open Mic

Hosted by Roché Kester

Grounding Sessions is an intimate space for poetry, music and reflection. It is a place for community, where words are the connector.

The sessions host a featured poest and an Open-mic where poets are given the opportunity to share writing related to chosen.

We are happy to be returning to The McGregor Poetry Festival in 2018!

Roché Kester is a writer and who resides in Cape Town. Her poetry has been published in the UWC Creates anthology titled This is my land (2012). Her prose has been featured in Powa’s Women’s Writing anthology titled Sisterhood (2012). She has performed at various events and locations in Cape Town. She currently coordinates the weekly poetry event called Grounding Sessions. She was the co-curator of #CocreatePoetica, at Open Book Festival 2016.

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Sandra Hill

Sandra Hill

WordSplash:

a light-hearted workshop playing with the sound of words.

The sound of language is where it all begins and what it all comes back to. The basic elements of language are physical: the noise words make and the rhythm of their relationship. Ursula Le Guin

This is not a lesson on sound devices and effects, but a soaking in an aural ocean of words. Submerge yourself in the musicality of the words you love, and of the ones you’ve not yet heard. Stream them together into poetry or prose. Write for the ear.

Sandra Hill is a writer and writing facilitator with many years’ experience working with civil society organisations and with groups of people who write for the love of it. Her flagship creative writing course, Write Through Your Heart, is named after a firm belief that good writing requires you to route your writing through your heart as much as it requires mastery of the craft. Sandra’s debut collection of short stories, UnSettled and other stories, was published by Modjaji Books in 2015 and won the SALA Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award in 2016. Her poetry has been published in New Contrast, Aerodrome, Harvest (UWC) and volumes 3 & 4 of The Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Anthology (Jacana). Sandra has a Master’s Degree (cum laude) in Creative Writing from UWC.

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Stephen Symons

Stephen Symons is a practising graphic designer and poet. He holds an MA in Creative Writing (with distinction) from the University of Cape Town and is currently completing a PhD in Historical Studies at the University of Pretoria (visit: www.stephensymons.co.za). His poetry, essays and short-fiction have been published in journals, magazines and various anthologies, locally and internationally, including Prufrock, Carapace, Stanzas, New Contrast, New Coin, uHlanga, Aerodrome, Poetry Potion, Type/Cast, The Kalahari Review, LitNet, Badilisha Poetry, Wavescape and Patricia Schonstein’s Africa anthology series. His award winning short stories have also appeared in the Short Sharp Stories anthologies (2015, 2016 and 2017), amongst other anthologies and magazines. His unpublished collection, Spioenkop was listed as a semi-finalist for the Hudson Prize for Poetry (US) in 2015. A selection of his poems was selected for an international anthology of contemporary poetry, titled A World Assembly of Poets (2017). Stephen’s debut collection of poetry, Questions for the Sea was published in 2016 by uHlanga Poetry Press and received an honourable mention for The Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry in 2017, and was mentioned appreciatively for the 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize for Poetry. Stephen’s upcoming collection A Short History of Remembering is due for release in September 2018, and will be published by Dryad Press. He lives in Oranjezicht with his wife and two children.

Reviews for Questions for the Sea: stephensymons.co.za
Poems: badilishapoetry.com and twitter.com/defendtherealm

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The Creative Sisterhood – Sue Woodward, Carri Kuhn, Clare Manicom and Jane De Sousa

The Creative Sisterhood The Creative Sisterhood The Creative Sisterhood 4 VoicesShifting Courses

An exploration through poetry of life’s shifting courses from bubbling brook, to a deep wide river that finally surrenders its individual channel to become one with the ocean. A look at these transitions in life’s course and the interplay between the conscious and the unconscious. The presentation will be underpinned by the soundtrack of a river’s course from source to ocean, linking the poetic life journey to that of a river through the sound of water.

Carri Kuhn has always loved words, loved the sound of beautifully written stories and thoughts. Writing poetry is a way for her to unravel the looping threads in her mind, to make sense of the beautiful paradoxes and ambiguities of life, and to learn to love what it means to live in the midst of them. She is often surprised by the way a poem starts in one place and lands somewhere unexpected, and the power that the act of writing has to bring to the surface the hidden treasures of the soul.

Clare Manicom worked as a social worker for many years, having obtained degrees from UCT and UNISA.  She left formal employment last year to experience a more balanced life.  She has listened to and lived stories all her life, with her love of English and language fuelled by her parents and her high school teachers.  Presently Clare is joyfully exploring various creative pursuits, including participation in the Creative Sisterhood poetry group.

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The Life Righting Collective

FINDING WATER : THIS IS HOW IT IS

The Life Righting Collective supports creative growth in people who have been starved of opportunity. This is like finding water when you are extremely thirsty. Our first collection of true South African stories called This Is How It Is contains poems as well as prose. We are proud to present the anthology at the Poetry in McGregor Festival 2018. Ten poets will read their work from the anthology.

The Life Righting Collective is an NPO founded in 2017 by author and doctor Dawn Garisch. We run courses for anyone who wants to learn to write about their experiences, promoting self-discovery, self-recovery and more effective communication. We raise funds to make courses available to those in need of sponsorship and to provide platforms for these life stories to be published. Sharing experiences with a wide readership can help reduce discrimination, heal trauma and promote social cohesion. www.liferighting.com

web.facebook.com/liferighting/

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The Helenvale poets

helenvale-may2018-049

The Helenvale Poets project was started in 2011 and has produced 5 books of poems, with two more to be launched at the McGregor Poetry Festival in 2018. The poets have spent the last 18 months working on the two new books, and readying themselves for the launches.

Helenvale, Port Elizabeth, is a vibrant but crime-torn, poverty stricken area. Young people often have no guided recreation or hobbies, and youth typically have no jobs. Many social problems emerge from the impoverished circumstances in which people dwell, including drugs dependency, alcohol abuse, gangsterism and related crimes.  For participants, the project offers a meditative, creative and productive space that members describe as “therapeutic”. Participants work on and develop their verbal art products with the help of mentors.

The Helenvale Poets, as well as the younger New Generation writers, work under the auspices of the Bay Creative Writing Development Project (BCWDP), implemented through the Southern African Development, Research and Training (SADRAT) Institute.

Their attendance at the Festival has been made possible by a BackaBuddy funding campaign established by the McGregor Poetry Festival organisers.

Helenvale New Generation Poets:

Latifah Hoffman;  Patronella Basson;  Nathersia Fillis; Cher-Leigh Rhodes;  Alethea Rhodes;  Rahneisha Jackson;  Shenesia Booysen;  Charmilla Bosman; Anastacia Williams; Darrielle Rhodes;  Caslynn Rudolf;  Leigh-Anne Flux; Carlo van Rooyen

Helenvale Poets:

Anastacia Williams; Shenesia Booysen (these poets write for both groups); Patrick Palmer, Dennis Fillis; Margaret Armoed;  Leonie Williams (poet and facilitator); Olwethu Mxoli (poet and facilitator); Shanice du Preez.

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Toast Coetzer & Erns Grundling

Van Vioolsdrif na Finisterre

Reisskrywers Erns Grundling en Toast Coetzer bespreek die uitdagings van hul beroep: hoe som jy die grootsheid van ’n landskap op? Hoe pas jy ’n dorp en sy mense in ’n paragraaf in? Hoekom is verdwaal belangrik? Erns en Toast lig die praatjie toe met vertellings uit hul reise deur Suider-Afrika vir Weg-tydskrif, die Weg Agterpaaie TV-reeks en ander, verder reise, soos Erns se lang camino-stap deur Spanje.

Erns Grundling is an author, journalist, TV presenter and producer of stand-up comedy. He worked for 9 years as a photojournalist for Weg/Go magazine and won several national awards for his writing, including three Pica’s for Profile Writer of the Year (2011-2013). He co-presented the first two series of Weg Agterpaaie with Toast Coetzer. He published his first book, Elders, in March 2017. The book is a bestseller and currently in its 5th print run. The English translation, Walk It Off, will be published in April 2019. He was also co-producer and presenter of the TV series Elders: Die Camino, which aired earlier this year on kykNET. He is co-editor of the literary magazine Ons Klyntji and a volunteer DJ for The Unhappy Hour Show on Bush Radio 89.5 FM. Erns and his girlfriend will soon move into a new house in Brooklyn, Cape Town, and look forward to raise a black Labrador puppy and a ginger kitten.

Toast Coetzer is Travel Editor at Weg/Go magazine and presenter of the Via travel show Weg Agterpaaie. He is the frontman of spoken word act The Buckfever Underground, co-editor of the zine Ons Klyntji and sometime host of The Unhappy Hour Show on Bush Radio 89.5 FM. He has published poetry in Afrikaans and English in various anthologies and an Afrikaans novella, Naweek (Tafelberg, 2009). He was born in Cradock but now lives in Cape Town. Find him on Instagram @toastcards

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uHlanga Press

Nick Mulgrew Helen Moffett Megan Ross Francine SimonuHlanga Press

Poets: Nick Mulgrew, Helen Moffett, Megan Ross, Francine Simon

uHlanga Press showcases their new and upcoming books, with appearances and readings from uHlanga Press authors and special guests.

uHlanga is South Africa’s progressive poetry press. Through the uHlanga New Poets series, uHlanga publishes debut collections from South Africa’s most promising young voices. uhlangapress.co.za

Nick Mulgrew was born in Durban in 1990 to British parents. He is the author of two books: a poetry collection, the myth of this is that we’re all in this together (2015), and Stations (2016), a collection of award-winning short fiction. He is the Deputy Chair of Short Story Day Africa, the founding associate editor of Prufrock magazine, and the publisher of the poetry press uHlanga. Websites: www.nickmulgrew.co.za  www.uhlangapress.co.za  www.prufrock.co.za

Helen Moffett is a poet, editor, academic, researcher, feminist and environmental activist. She has authored or co-authored seventeen books (on very diverse topics), along with academic pieces and short stories. She blogs at helenmoffett.com

Megan Ross was born in Johannesburg in 1989. She is the author of Milk Fever, a collection of poems published by uHlanga. She is the 2017 winner of the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction, for her short story, Farang, which was a runner up for the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize. Megan is an Iceland Writers Retreat alum. She currently lives in East London with her partner and son.

Francine Simon was born in 1990 in Durban to Indian Catholic parents. She holds a doctorate in English Studies from Stellenbosch University. Her poems have been published in various South African literary journals (New Contrast, New Coin and Stanzas) and magazines (Prufrock, Ja. Magazine and The Kalahari Review). She received first prize for the 2016 DALRO poetry award for her poem ‘Nanni-ma’ and participated in the AVBOB Poetry Project in 2017. She launched her debut collection of poetry with uHlanga Poetry Press, Thungachi, in 2017. Follow her on Instagram (@francinesimon13) and Twitter (@writergirlrose).

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Vinette - Nomashenge & Lunette Elle Warren

Vinette  Vinette Synopsis

Nomashenge and Lunette Elle Warren present a lyric poetic musing navigating the consequences of race and history in a relatively recently desegregated society, whilst exploring society and its obligation to heal. Vinette exposes us for what we are, raw and beautiful, and what we think we should be. It lays bare the responsibility of being the bearer of batons we didn’t ask for and often don’t agree with, and the subsequent neglect of what could be true to the moment in order to deal with centuries of status quo. Vinette is the beckoning of those truths, and the yearning for resolution. Presented in isiZulu, Afrikaans and English.

Nomashenge is a Ladysmith born and Durban bred poet-vocalist, and chemist. She began her poetry journey in 2005 as a writer and 2007 as a performer. Having shared her work across the country including the Arts Alive, Essence, and Open Book International Festivals, Nomashenge believes poetry to be an Alchemy that continually transforms the world. Her work focuses on themes of self-exploration, blackness and femininity. Nomashenge’s blend of music and poetry brings forth a hybrid of performance-poetry that speaks to the heart of the zeitgeist.

Lunette Elle Warren is a semi-nomadic poet and scholar of ancient philosophy and culture. Her work centres around gender, mental illness, whiteness, trauma and abuse. In 2017 she was longlisted for the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award for her poems “Boys” and “Naguil”. Lunette’s art and poetry has been published locally and abroad, and she has written for SLiPnet, M&G Thoughtleader and HuffPost SA. Her greatest achievement to date is being branded “too feminist” by Reviewer

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Wendy Woodward and Christine Coates

4 Voices Christine CoatesHaunted by water

Wendy will read her poems in which water recurs as a shimmering, ritualised presence, sometimes perilous, occasionally healing. Crossing water, whether an apparently innocuous stream or a vast ocean, holds dangers as well as the lure of transformation.

Christine will read her poems of fire, drought, and restoration, drawn from her experiences of the 2015 Cape Town fires followed by a three year drought. She spent two years restoring and rebuilding her fynbos garden, only to have a three year drought follow the fires.

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

Christine Coates, a poet and writer from Cape Town, holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her poems have been published in various literary journals and selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry anthologies 2011 – 2017, and the Best “New” African Poets 2015, 2016, 2017 anthologies. Her debut collection, Homegrown, published in 2014 by Modjaji Books, received an honourable mention from the Glenna Luschei Prize. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review, Africa Focus. She was a judge in the PEN International New Voices Award 2016. Her second collection will be published later in 2018.

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Willem Fransman jr, Edward Jenneke en Jeff Lakey

  Oumense moettie mettie wate’ mossie…

Hierdie is ‘n woordkuns-aanbieding deur Willem Fransman Jr, Edward Jenner en Jeff Lakey.

Die aanbieding bied die gehoor vyf-en-veertig minute van woordpret! Gedigte handel óór en ván water wat natuurlik die deurlopende tema van die McGregor Poësiefees ook is. Maar gedigte wat ook op die gevolge van ‘n tekort aan water,word ook aangebied. Die digters dra gedigte van hulself, maar ook van ‘n paar uitgesoekte gevestigde digters voor.  Wat veral beindruk is die parodie van Jenner op ‘n gedig van Peter Snyders. Die invloed van water op die mens en sy omgewing…maar ook in die letterkunde, word bekyk. Want as ons nou met die kosbare vloeistof mors, gaan ons nageslagte niks het nie!

Oumense, moet nie met die water mors nie…want ons kinders moet daarvan drink!

Inligting oor Deelnemende digters:

Willem Fransman jr: Dié woordkunstenaar sal verskeie van sy eie gedigte asook gedigte oor water van gevestigde Afrikaanse digters by die pruduksie inwerk en aanbied.

Edward Jenneke: Hier het ons jong opkomende plaaslike digterstalent. Verskyn in verskeie versameldigbundels en het ook onlangs ‘n digterswerkswinkel bygewoon. Sy treffende gedig, ‘n parodie op ‘n gedig van Peter Snyders, word by hierdie aanbieding ingevoeg en deur die jong digter self voorgedra.

Jeff Lakey: Hierdie selfgepubliseerde plaaslike digter van Robertson is ‘n oud onderwysman en ook plaaslike geskiedkundige. Lakey sal van sy eie skeppinge met die water-tema voordra.

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Worst End Theatre Company

Worst End Theatre Company

Songs of Water

presented by: Worst End Theatre Company

McGregor’s Worst End Theatre Company, which has delighted local audiences with its productions of The Rocky Horror Show, Guys & Dolls, Cabaret, My Fair Lady and The Wizard of Oz, will present a selection of songs about rain and water.

www.facebook.com/WorstEndTheatre

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Zama Madinana

Zama Madinana

Sharpen your Spears

The poet delivers poetic lines that carry a positive message.  The poet basks the wounded soul of the nation in the sun.

The intention is to break the shackles of poverty, ignorance and mental slavery.

Sharpen your Spears also captures the poet’s personal struggles.

Zama Madinana is a Johannesburg-based performer, poet and writer. His work has appeared in The Afropolitan, Botsotso, The Stanzas, Carapace, The Thinker, Newcoin and other literary publications. In 2016, he published his own poetry collection called A Womb of Time. His work focuses mainly on love, politics and social issues.

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