The first issue is titled “Stella Natalis”, and features writing from debutant poets Previn Pillay and Bob Perfect, as well as more established voices like Chris Mann, Genna Gardini, Joe Spirit and Rosa Lyster.
“uHlanga hopes to address a lack of representation for the artists, cultures and languages of KwaZulu-Natal in South African literature,” uHlanga’s editor and publisher Nick Mulgrew said at the launch. “I hope it will also become a new place for writers to find their voice and to get their names in print.
“The response to our call for submissions was incredible. We had people sending in work from just about every small town in KZN, as well as from places as far afield as the Caribbean, Kenya and New Zealand.”
Over 250 writers submitted work for the first issue, and Mulgrew says he hopes to attract even more, especially those who work in isiZulu, for the next. uHlanga aims to be an annual publication.
“The scope, quality and variety of the submissions shows how healthy writing as an art is at the grassroots,” he said. “It also shows us how important it is that there are more platforms for writers to write for.”
Copies retail at R50 each online, as well as at stockists in KZN, including Adams Booksellers and the Factory Café. Stockists in the Western Cape and Gauteng will be named soon.
Read an excerpt from the first issue, including writing by Johannes Mzwandile Spirit, Genna Gardini, Musawenkosi Khanyile and Thabo Jijana, who recently won the 2014 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award.
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