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.