Celebrating 13th anniversary of their existence, the South African Literary Awards (SALA) have shortlisted twenty three (23) authors from a total of just under two hundred (200) submissions received for 2018. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on the 6th November at UNISA.
Following the passing on of the 2nd National Poet Laureate, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, the prestigious South African Literary Awards will announce his successor as well as introducing two additional categories: Novel Award and Children’s Literature Award.
The Awards will be followed by the 6th Africa Century International African Writers Conference whose International African Writers Day Lecture will be delivered by Professor Kwesi Kwaa Prah, the renowned, highly respected scholar, prolific author and public speaker, who is also the founder of the Center for Advanced Studies of African Societies in South Africa.
The Conference is also taking place at UNISA over two days, i.e. 6th and 7th November 2018.
“We are excited that South African literature continues to flourish, with many young writers coming into the scene, sharing platforms with their more established and experienced counterparts,” said Morakabe Seakhoa, Project Director of the South African Literary Awards.
Seakhoa, however, expressed sadness and concern that “we still see less and less of works written in African languages”.
Founded by the wRite associates, in partnership with the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in 2005, the main aim of the South African Literary Awards is to pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves as groundbreaking producers and creators of literature, while it celebrates literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories, value systems and philosophies and art as inscribed and preserved in all the languages of South Africa, particularly the official languages.
With thirteen successful years of existence, thirteen categories and over 161 authors honoured, the SA Literary Awards have become the most prestigious and respected literary accolades in the South African literary landscape. SALA prides itself in not only acknowledging established authors but as a platform to budding writers through the First-time Published Author Award category.
We congratulate the 2018 nominees for their sterling work and keeping South Africa’s literary heritage alive.
Words lift off the page to animate the body, as Poetica and #cocreateSA again team up to present a phenomenal programme of readings, performances, discussions and workshops using rap, poetry and the spoken word,at #cocreatePOETICA. The event, now in its third year, runs as part of Open Book Festival, brought to you by the Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre. This year it will run from 5 to 9 September, in Cape Town.
“This year’s #cocreatePOETICA celebrates three years of partnership between the Dutch Consulate General and the Open Book Festival Poetica programme. Through our national campaign, #cocreateSA, we have established a successful collaboration. Even though our countries differ, there are many parallels in the public and cultural debates on identity, integration and transformation. By cocreating cultural interventions, we have and continue to build mutual understanding and trust between the Netherlands and South Africa,” says Bonnie Horbach, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Previous years have seen Dutch and South African artists collaborate to create performance pieces on issues pertaining to history, language and culture. Last year #cocreatePOETICA took this further with a three day series of interactions exploring place, language and identity, culminating in an event where results were shared with the public.
The #cocreatePOETICA line up once again includes a world-class selection of established and emerging artists, and partnerships with groups that are fundamental to the Cape Town poetry scene. #cocreatePOETICA is delighted to work with InZync, Lingua Franca, Grounding Sessions, and Rioters Session in 2018.
Artists not to be missed include Babs Gons, a Dutch writer, performer, theatre director and teacher of creative writing. She is part of spoken word collective De Vurige Harten Club (The Fiery Hearts Club) and Club Spoken, an agency of professional performance artists. Gons is also a juror of the J.M.A. Biesheuvel Prize for short stories and hosts various programs, including the musical-literary show Babs’s Word Salon. For many years she was the artistic director of Poetry Circle Nowhere, and before that she organised a monthly platform for young poets and writers in Paradiso, Amsterdam. She joins #cocreatePOETICA thanks to support from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
Swedish poet and playwright Athena Farrokhzad’s debut collection of poetry Vitsvit (White Blight) has been translated into 12 languages and staged several times as a play. It explores the topics of language, body and family within a context of revolution, war, migration and racism. Her second book, Trado, published in 2016, is a collaboration with the Romanian poet Svetalana Cârstean. Farrokhzad joins #cocreatePOETICA thanks the Embassy of Sweden’s support.
Dean Bowen and Sjaan Flikweert at #coecreatePOETICA 2017. Pic supplied.
Ivan Words is a Dutch spoken word artist, musician and songwriter. His work explores what expression as a necessity means. Words is the co-founder of spoken word platform Spoken World and has on several occasions been a house poet for FUNX and a speaker for TEDx. In 2016, he won the House of Poets Poetry Slam in Rotterdam. He also facilitates workshops, is a presenter, and performs in theatre productions.
Canadian poet and anthropologist Roseline Lambert published Clinique, her first collection of poetry, in 2016. The sequel The Uniform was published in the magazine Exit, earning her the Félix-Antoine-Savard Prize for Poetry 2017. Her work has been published in reviews such as Estuaire, Art le Sabord and la Revue de la Compagnie à Numéro. Her approach to writing is built through the integration of ethnographic and theoretical texts in her poems.
Peruvian Jorge Vargas Prado is a poet, narrator, editor and cultural manager. He has published storybooks, poetry anthologies and a novel, and works as a translator. Vargas Prado has been part of the editorial team at Dragostea Publishing House and participated in the musical projects Chintatá and Ishishcha. The most important part of his work is related to Peru’s originary languages, endangered due to Peruvian colonial racism.
Gabeba Baderoon is the recipient of the Daimler Award for South African Poetry and is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund.She co-directs the African Feminist Initiative at Pennsylvania State University and her collections of poetry include The Dream in the Next Body, The Museum of Ordinary Life and A Hundred Silences. Her new collection, The History of Intimacy, is due later this year.
Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese won the 2018 Ingrid Jonker prize for poetry for her debut collection Loud and Yellow Laughter. Books Live called the collection ‘an uncommon balance between emotional tenderness, creative flexibility and analytical and structural integrity’. The collection was also shortlisted for the 2016 University of Johannesburg Prize in the Debut category. Busuku-Mathese has published poems in local and international poetry journals such as New Coin, New Contrast, Prufrock, OnsKlyntji, Aerodrome, Sol Plaatje European Union Anthology and Dryad Press: Unearthed Anthology.
Award-winning writer and performer Phillippa Yaa de Villiers’ poetry has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Everyday Wife won the Poetry Award at the 2011 South African Literary Awards and she was chosen as Commonwealth poet in 2014, reading her poem Courage, written for the occasion, at Westminster Abbey. Original Skin, her autobiographical one-woman show, has toured to great acclaim in South Africa and abroad. Her latest collection, Ice Cream Headache in my Bone was published in 2017.
Roché Kester’s poetry has been published in the UWC Creates anthology titled This is My Land and her prose has been featured in Powa’s Women’s Writing anthology titled Sisterhood. She currently coordinates the weekly poetry event, Grounding Sessions, and was co-curator of #cocreatePOETICA at Open Book Festival 2016.
Puleng Lange-Stewart is a writer, theatre and film maker. Her primary focus is in interdisciplinary performance and multimedia integration. She was one of three shortlisted writers in the national PEN student writing competition in 2016 and her writing has appeared in the 2017 African Literature curriculum at UCT. Her first independent short film Until the Silence Comes was selected for the Cape Town International Film Festival 2017 and was nominated for an audience award at the Shnit International Short Film Festival 2017.
Mbongeni Nomkonwana’s list of talents includes actor, playwright, theatre director, poet and standup comedian. He won the Cape Town DFL LOVER+ ANOTHER poetry slam 2012, and went on to compete in the national finals. Nomkonwana has since performed at OFF THE WALL poetry sessions, at InZync Poetry, 2012 HEAIDS Conference at UCT, Jam That Session, Brand House Marketing Campaign, and Last Poet’s: Rhythm Poetry1. He is co-founder and resident poet at Lingua Franca, and in 2013 he teamed up with Lwanda Sindaphi to coordinate the poetry for the annual Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival.
Poet and Executive Director of InZync Poetry Pieter Odendaal also works with SLiP (the Stellenbosch Literary Project). His PhD at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane centres on performance poetry as a way to promote tolerance in socio-ecological systems. Some of his poems appeared in the collection Nuwe Stemme 5 and his debut collection is out this year.
Recently named as one of Forbes Africa’s ’30 under 30’ Koleka Putuma is an internationally acclaimed poet, theatre maker and spoken word artist who has toured extensively abroad and in South Africa. Her debut collection Collective Amnesia is in its seventh print run, and is a fearless, unwavering exploration of blackness, womxnhood and history. Putuma’s numerous accolades include the 2014 National Poetry Slam Championship and the 2016 PEN South Africa Student Writing Prize.
In her debut collection Milk Fever, Megan Ross writes about unexpected motherhood and all its emotional detritus, the angst, joy and self-reckoning that comes with the choices and misadventures of young womanhood. Ross is the 2017 winner of the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction and an Iceland Writers Retreat alumnus. She was a runner-up for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize and the 2017 National Arts Festival Short Sharp Stories Award.
Lwanda Sindaphi has an extensive career as an actor, playwright, theatre director and poet. He won the 2011 DFL + LOVER Another Poetry Slam and went to compete in the National finals. He was included in Badalisha Poetry’s Top 10 poets in Africa and is the co-founder of Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement. His play Kudu recently enjoyed a successful run at the Baxter Theatre Centre and he won best Director at the 2013 Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival for his play Death the Redeemer. Other theatre highlights include touring internationally with The Handspring Puppet Company on Warhorse.
Toni Stuart is a poet, performer and spoken word educator, working between London and Cape Town, across various inter-disciplinary collaborations with a range of artists. She has performed here and in Europe and her work has been published in anthologies, journals and non-fiction books in South Africa and internationally. Stuart was the founding curator of Poetica at Open Book Festival.
Writer and performer Adrian van Wyk became the youngest poet to win the Verses Poetry Slam at the age of 17. He is host and organiser of the InZync Poetry Sessions, events organiser for the Stellenbosch Literary Project, as well as a monthly facilitator for the InZync Poetry workshops which are focused on helping school children between the ages of 16 and 18 to become poets and tell their story.
The eighth Open Book Festival will take place from 5 to 9 September at the Fugard Theatre, D6 Homecoming Centre, The A4 Arts Foundation and The Book Lounge from 10:00 to 21:00 each day. For further information and the full programme, which will be available in early August, visit www.openbookfestival.co.za.
Open Book Festival is organised in partnership with the Fugard Theatre, The District 6 Museum, The A4 Arts Foundation, The Townhouse Hotel, Novus Holdings, The French Institute, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Embassy of Sweden, The Embassy of Argentina, The Dutch Foundation for Literature, UCT Creative Writing Department, University of Stellenbosch English Department, and Central Library, and is sponsored by Leopards Leap, Open Society Foundation, Pan Macmillan, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball, and Penguin Random House.
The first group of authors has been announced for the eighth Open Book Festival taking place from 5 to 9 September this year.
Brought to you by the Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre, Open Book Festival offers a world-class selection of book launches, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses, readings, performances, and more. The festival also hosts the popular Comics Fest, #cocreatePoetica and various children’s and outreach programmes. Venues for the event include the Fugard Theatre, District Six Homecoming Centre, the A4 Arts Foundation, and The Book Lounge in Cape Town, and are all within walking distance of one another. Selected events will also take place outside the city centre, such as at Elsies River Library and Molo Mhlaba School.
Open Book Festival has established itself as one of the most innovative literature festivals in South Africa. It has twice been shortlisted for the London Book Fair Excellence Awards. Last year, nearly 10 000 people attended the festival’s record 140 events, with ticket sales from previous years surpassed in the first two days. Open Book Festival is committed to creating a platform to celebrate South African writers, as well as hosting top international authors. The festival strives to instill a love of reading among young attendees, with the programme designed to engage, entertain and inspire conversations among festival goers long after the event.
“We are once again compiling a phenomenal line up of authors, across a wide range of genres, to join us at the festival,” says Festival Director Mervyn Sloman. “We’ve put together a short preview of some of the authors joining us, to help plan your reading.”
The international authors include:
Author: Lesley Arimah (Nigeria / USA) Books include:What it Means when a Man Falls from the Sky Why we’re excited: Lesley has been a finalist for the Caine Prize and a winner of the African Commonwealth Short Story Prize among other honors. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection What it Means when a Man Falls from the Sky won the 2017 Kirkus Prize.
Author: Jonas Bonnier (Sweden) joining us courtesy of the Swedish Embassy Books include: The Helicopter Heist, Stockholm Odenplan Why we’re excited: Jonas Bonnier is a novelist, screenwriter and journalist. His latest book, The Helicopter Heist is a gripping suspense thriller about the Västberga helicopter robbery. It has been sold to 34 territories.
Author: David Chariandy (Canada) joining us courtesy of Canada Council of the Arts Books include: Brother, Soucouyant Why we’re excited: David Chariandy won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2017 for Brother. The Guardian UK described it as ‘breathtaking…compulsive, brutal and flawless’. David’s debut novel, Soucouyant, received nominations from eleven literary awards juries.
Author: Anna Dahlqvist (Sweden) Books include:It’s Only Blood Why we’re excited: Anna Dahlqvist is a leading voice writing about women’s and girls’ rights. She is editor-in-chief of Ottar, a Swedish magazine focusing on sexuality, politics, society and culture.
Author: Nicole Dennis-Benn (Jamaica/USA) with thanks to the University of Stellenbosch for assisting with her joining us Books include:Here Comes the Sun Why we’re excited: Her debut novel, Here Comes The Sun, received a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a NPR Best Books of 2016, an Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016, a BuzzFeed Best Literary Debuts of 2016, among others.
Author: Frankie Edozien (Nigeria/USA) Books include:Lives of Great Men Why we’re excited: Frankie Edozien is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of AFRrican Magazine. Lives of Great Men was shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award. The Financial Times called the book ‘a fine contribution to the important work of pursuing equality and social justice on a global scale’
Author: Mariana Enriquez (Argentina) joining us courtesy of the Embassy of Argentina Books include:Things We Lost in the Fire Why we’re excited: Stories by Mariana Enriquez have appeared in anthologies of Spain, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia and Germany. The New York Times Book Review called Things We Lost in the Fire, ‘[P]ropulsive and mesmerizing, laced with vivid descriptions of the grotesque…and the darkest humor’.
Author: Aminatta Forna (Scotland/Sierra Leone/USA) Books include:Happiness, The Hired Man, The Memory of Love. Why we’re excited: Aminatta Forna’s award-winning work has been translated into eighteen languages. Her essays have appeared in Freeman’s, Granta, The Guardian, LitHub, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, The Observer and Vogue. She has written stories for BBC radio and written and presented television documentaries.
Author: Adam Smyer (USA) Books include:Knucklehead Why we’re excited: Adam Smyer’s debut novel Knucklehead is a refreshingly honest, fierce, intelligent, and often hilarious read.
“By setting his novel in the ’90s, Smyer, has crafted some brutal deja vu. As Marcus reflects on Rodney King, the Million Man March and the Oklahoma City bombing, we think of Freddie Gray, Black Lives Matter and school shootings that have become a way of life… Here we are more than 20 years on, and it’s only gotten worse. We should all be furious.” San Francisco Chronicle
Author: Mariko Tamaki (Canada) joining us courtesy of the Canada Council of the Arts Books include:Skim, Emiko Superstar, This One Summer. Why we’re excited: Mariko Tamaki is an acclaimed graphic novelist and author. In 2016 she began writing for both Marvel and DC Comics.
“A key objective of Open Book Festival is to celebrate the wealth of South African talent,” says Sloman. “We have a selection of the most insightful minds and compelling storytellers joining us. Here are a few.”
“We are looking forward to The Last Sentence, a psychological thriller and the debut novel from Tumelo Buthelezi and also to welcoming Ijangolet S Ogwang, whose novel An Image in a Mirror, is a richly told African coming-of-age story.”
Sorry, Not Sorry author Haji Dawjee joins us to discuss this revealing experience of moving through post-Apartheid South Africa as a woman of colour. “We are delighted to welcome back Judith February of the Institute for Security Studies, and author Pumla Dineo Gqola, whose book Reflecting Rogue was the best selling title at last year’s Festival,” says Sloman.
Nozizwe Jele has recently released her new novel, The Ones With Purpose. Happiness is a Four-Letter Word was Jele’s debut novel and won the Best First Book category (Africa region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011, as well as the 2011 M-Net Literary Award in the Film category. Playwright and theatre director Craig Higginson whose novels include The Dream House also joins the line-up to talk about his new novel, The White Room.
Siya Khumalo’s debut memoir, You Have to be Gay to Know God, is a powerful book dealing with gay identity. In Becoming Him, Landa Mabenge explores his own journey that includes being the first transgender man in South Africa to successfully force a medical aid to pay for his surgeries.
Singer-songwriter and author Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning) returns to talk about her new collection, Intruders while in Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree, another festival regular Niq Mhlongo brings the complexities of Soweto to life on the page.
Zuki Wanner’s books include Men of the South which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize Africa Region for Best Book; London – Cape Town – Joburg and children’s book Refilwe. Her recent Hardly Working: A Travel Memoir of Sorts explores the politics of nations, and the ‘burden’ of travelling on an African passport.
SAPS Major General Jeremy Vearey also joins us to talk about Jeremy Vannie Elsies which chronicles his journey of growing up in Elsies River, from rough-and-tumble youngster to the head of the anti-gang unit in the Western Cape. Along the way he mastered the Communist Manifesto in Afrikaans, joined MK, and was sent to Robben Island for his role in the struggle.
The eighth Open Book Festival will take place from 5 to 9 September at the Fugard Theatre, D6 Homecoming Centre, The A4 Arts Foundation and The Book Lounge from 10:00 to 21:00 each day. For further information and the full programme, which will be available in early August, visit www.openbookfestival.co.za
Open Book Festival is organised in partnership with the Fugard Theatre, The District 6 Museum, The A4 Arts Foundation, The Townhouse Hotel, Novus Holdings, The French Institute, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Embassy of Sweden, The Embassy of Argentina, The Dutch Foundation for Literature, UCT Creative Writing Department, University of Stellenbosch English Department and Central Library and is sponsored by Leopards Leap, Open Society Foundation, Pan Macmillan, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball and Penguin Random House.
Exclusive Books, South Africa’s leading bookseller, celebrates South African authors this June with the launch of its annual Homebru campaign. There are more than 50 books in this year’s Homebru selection, and the languages represented include, in addition to English and Afrikaans, isiZulu, seSotho, isiXhosa and Sepedi.
Homebru 2018 features great fiction, biography, history, politics and current affairs, engaging children’s books, comics for young adults, poetry, cookery and more. Fanatics members earn double points on all titles, and the official 2018 Homebru catalogue is available to all members of the public for free in stores.
“Without local writers there would be far fewer local readers,” said Ben Williams, GM: Marketing for Exclusive Books. “It’s a great privilege to be able to promote these titles, and Homebru is always one of the most exciting times of the year for those who love great reads.”
Browse the 2018 Homebru selection at Exclusive Books Online:
Exclusive Books is planning more than 30 events during the month of June to showcase its Homebru selection: watch out for invitations to its stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Bloemfontein. The full list of events will be online here:
Published in the Sunday World: 27 May 2018; Daily Dispatch: 28 May 2018; Herald: 31 May 2018)
By Carla Lever
Lara Krause, language activist and PhD researcher into mother tongue education. Photo supplied.
You’ve specialised in language and education in South Africa for many years now. What gets you so passionate about these topics?
It’s always struck me that something as universal as language, which was never an obstacle in my own education, can make life so difficult for millions of children at school. So there’s a social justice agenda that gets and keeps me passionate about this work. I’m also excited by the idea of debating what language really is – what counts as a ‘proper’ language and what gets dismissed as unacceptable or informal.
There is a big and important movement fighting for access to mother tongue education, but your research suggests it’s a complicated issue. Why is that?
Well, one issue is that South Africa is a country where most children grow up speaking more than one neat language category – they mix isiZulu, English, isiXhosa and maybe Afrikaans as a normal part of everyday life. They communicate just as efficiently as everyone else – perhaps more efficiently! – but what is their mother tongue? It shows the shortcomings of our thinking.
Can you give us some practical examples where school language policy doesn’t always help children?
Well, the numbers used in everyday isiXhosa are mostly adapted from English – the formal isiXhosa words for numbers are almost never used. When children learn maths in ‘mother tongue’, though, they are often taught standard isiXhosa words for numbers – words that are actually foreign to them! This sometimes has children being marked down in tests if, for example, they can’t write a number like 153 out in standard isiXhosa words. These children can often count and work with numbers perfectly well – it’s just that the words they know are not acknowledged because they don’t fit into one language category. That’s not a failure of thinking, it’s a failure of policy.
In your experience, what creative things are teachers doing in practice to help students with this?
Teachers work a lot with visual aids, I find. Even though resources are often hard to come by, they print posters, bring pictures or postcards to continuously illustrate what is being spoken about. I’ve also seen teachers physically act out vocabulary that they are teaching and integrating little jokes to make learners remember things better. I’ve been really impressed by the creativity teachers bring under very difficult circumstances!
Obviously it’s important that we turn around our literacy rates in South Africa. Do you think a more flexible approach to language use might help with this?
Yes! If I could decide, I would relax language restrictions when it comes to writing in content subjects in primary school. Children should be free to use whichever language resources they have to show their knowledge. We should also stop worrying so much about teachers mixing languages in the classroom – research suggests it’s one of the most efficient ways of helping students understand. We should legitimise and support any practices which help our children learn and develop a love of using language to express themselves. As they are exposed to standard ways of saying and writing things in the books they read, children absorb the formal rules if they’re allowed to grow into them.
You’ve done some work with picture stories to see how children naturally write. Can you tell us about why you did this and what you discovered?
I wanted to see how children choose to write if they are allowed to use any mix of languages they like. It looks as if children write more courageously and freely when not restricted to ‘one language’. This data is my current project so the insights are not very detailed yet.
How can parents and communities best support children to become curious, creative readers and thinkers? Are there any tips you’d give on supporting how children close to us talk and write?
I think it would be great to start early to expose children to different types of texts. Reading books together with children and talking about them is incredibly valuable and conducive to any sort of learning activity. However, if books are not always at hand, a whatsapp message with lots of emojis that mom just got from dad can be turned into a resource for learning about reading, writing and creativity as well, just like the writings on the wall of the spaza shop and the lyrics of children’s favorite songs.
From Sunday April 15, Nal’ibali will be publishing its supplements in two new languages. An English-Setswana edition will be published in the Sunday World in the North West, and an English-Xitsonga edition will be donated to reading clubs in Limpopo. Clubs in both provinces will collect their copies from select post offices. The post offices (10 in each province) will also have 50 additional editions each to give away to member of the public.
Ons Klyntji, a magazine published and launched every year at the Oppikoppi music festival is looking for submissions “written or visual”.
There is no set theme, but we do appreciate material that concerns the here and now: love & politics, drought & roll, the road & the verge, music & the movement, spirits & genes, the city & the land, origins & myth, cursor & click, if you liked this you might also like & suggested for you. (This means: you write what you left swipe.) Writings about South Africa, Africa, South Africans and Africans will be appreciated.
Your three best poems
Short stories no longer than 2500 words
Photographs, graphics, sketches, images, doodles etc that work in black and white, and smallish (Ons Klyntji is printed the size of your back pocket)
Book and CD reviews of no longer than 150 words a shot (focus on South African and African material, fiction or non-fiction, poetry or non-poetry)
Interviews with a creative of your choice (max 2000 words)
A short thesis on why South Africans consider the orange traffic light to be an invitation to speed the hell up (max 100 words)
Openbare domein, Daniel Hugo se vyftiende digbundel, bestaan uit toeganklike gedigte vir gewone lesers en letterkundiges.
Hugo is een van Afrikaans se voorste en gewildste digters. Hy is ook een van die bekendste radiostemme in die land.
Hugo het al meer as vyftig werke uit Nederlands in Afrikaans vertaal; dit sluit in romans, digbundels, asook kinder- en jeugboeke. Hy is in 2014 en 2017 deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns bekroon vir sy vertaling van onderskeidelik Tom Lanoye se Sprakeloos en Stefan Hertmans se Oorlog en Terpentyn.
Hugo het in 1987 sy doktorsgraad in die letterkunde aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat ontvang vir sy ondersoek na die vernufsvers in Afrikaans. Na ’n tydperk as lektor in Bloemfontein was hy twintig jaar lank radio-omroeper by RSG en daarna uitgewersredakteur by Protea Boekhuis. Deesdae is hy voltyds ’n vertaler en vryskut-taalpraktisyn.
Die jong Johannesburgse musikant, Almero Welgemoed, het onlangs sy aanhangers verras met ’n kortverhaal- en digbundel wat roerende temas bevat. Hy skryf oor onderwerpe waaroor mense moeilik in die openbaar praat, maar wat tog soms baie gesinne agter toe deure raak, soos onder andere huishoudelike geweld.
“Ek het gevoel dis belangrik om te skryf oor die lelike dinge in die lewe en ek hoop mense sal besef hulle is nie alleen nie,” sê hy.
Die bundel, Donderweer Gedagtes, bestaan uit ’n reeks briewe (gerig aan onder andere God en ook aan homself), gedigte, aanhalings uit gesprekke wat ’n bepaalde indruk op hom gemaak het en ook kortverhale, wat alles saam ’n geheelbeeld vorm. Die karakters in die boek worstel met verskeie vrae en innerlike konflik. Elke karakter hanteer dit op ’n unieke manier, wat dan natuurlik weer ’n invloed op ander karakters het en sodoende ’n (somtyds onbewustelike) rimpel-effek veroorsaak.
Kwessies soos depressie, selfskending, selfmoord, sosiale aanvaarding en geloof word aangespreek in die boek. Welgemoed sê hy hoop om veral tieners en studente wat soms in die geheim met hierdie probleme sukkel, te bemoedig en aan te moedig om hulp te kry.
Welgemoed was ook die mede-samesteller van die populêre digbundel Liefde Wen saam met kunstenaar Bouwer Bosch. Donderweer Gedagtes word uitgegee deur Naledi en is beskikbaar by www.naledi.online.
Die wenners van die gesogte UJ-pryse vir letterkunde is onlangs bekendgemaak.
Dié pryse woord jaarliks in twee kategorieë toegeken vir uitsonderlike Afrikaanse boeke wat in die vorige kalenderjaar gepubliseer is. Genre word nie in ag geneem nie met die beoordeling van die boeke nie.
Prysgeld vir die UJ-debuutprys beloop R30 000 terwyl die wenner van die UJ-prys met R75 000 beloon word.
In dié digbundel verbrokkel sy taal, draai sy rug op haar vel-taal, pleeg sy ‘radbraak’ op haar eie taal. Dit is die enigste medium wat sy het, maar sy breek dit, sy vernuwe dit, sy ‘ont’taal dit.
Phillips is ’n nuwe stem in Afrikaans – by tye liries maar deurgaans skreiend en ook uitdagend.
Volgens bekroonde digter Petra Müller is Radbraak ’n ‘klein aardbewing van ’n bundel’.
Ook uit Müller se keurverslag:’Hierdie skrywer het die engel in die klip beet.’
Jolyn Phillips, 27, is gebore en getoë in Blompark, Gansbaai. Haar debuutkortverhaalbundel, Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories, verskyn in 2016. Sy is tans besig om met haar doktorale tesis aan die Universiteit van Weskaapland (UWK). Sy beskryf haarself as ’n woordswerwer maar werk ook deeltyds as ’n dosent en sangeres.
Etienne is twee-en-twintig en studeer filmkuns in London nadat hy uit Suid- Afrika gevlug het om diensplig te vermy. Dit is 1986, die tyd van Thatcher, optogte teen apartheid, en Vigs, maar ook van eksperimentele kuns, postpunk en die Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Etienne raak verlief op ’n Duitse kunstenaar in hierdie skadustad waar mense in bouvallige kunstenaarskommunes woon.
In Londen kom Etienne af op die eerste van drie filmspoele wat tydens die dertigerjare in Duitsland verfilm is. Etienne begin na die verlore spoele soek, ’n soektog wat ’n obsessie word wanneer sy geliefde vermis raak in Berlyn. Terwyl Etienne die gevaarlike ruimtes weerskante van die Muur navigeer, begin die verhaal van ’n groepie Joodse filmmakers in Nazi-Duitsland vorm aanneem.
Etienne word egter teruggeruk na die hede en na Suid-Afrika, maar sy soektog na die vermiste film duur voort.
Argitektuur, kinematografie, seks, musiek, siekte, verlies en liefde deurweek SJ Naudé se kosmopolitaanse en roerende Die derde spoel, waarmee hy nuwe grond vir die roman in Afrikaans breek.