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Archive for the ‘Open Book Festival’ Category

Leopard’s Leap, in collaboration with Open Book Fest, announces ‘Message on a Bottle’ competition!

Leopard’s Leap’s enthusiasm for literature is celebrated through its support of the Open Book Festival as well as an exciting annual competition focusing on an inventive way of combining the world of words with the world of wine. Entrants in previous years designed wine labels (2015), wrote haikus (2016) and shared delightful micro-stories in the 2017 flash fiction challenge.

The 2018 competition with the theme Message on a Bottle brings words and wine together in a way that is slightly nostalgic and promises the winning entrant exciting prizes and exposure.

“We love involving our supporters in our wine stories,” says Leopard’s Leap CEO Hein Koegelenberg.

“Sharing stories is at the heart of literature and is also such a big part of the hospitality around wine. We are delighted about our involvement with Cape Town’s Open Book Festival and would like to invite those who share our excitement for wine and words to enter the Message on a Bottle competition!”

Your challenge:

Combine words and wine and write a message for a bottle, using maximum 40 words, including at least three of the words below:

Share, Quality, Story(ies), Time, Mellifluous, Taste, Vellichor, Aroma, Journey, Serendipity

 
Your inspiration: Words and Wine

Have you always wanted to send your words into the world? Send us your entry as a Message on a Bottle – and stand a chance to win the following prizes:

• Cash prize of R5 000
• The winning Message on a Bottle will be the label for a specific Leopard’s Leap wine.
• 12 cases of Leopard’s Leap wine labelled with the winning Message on a Bottle.
• Winning Message on a Bottle to be displayed at Open Book Festival venues
• Winning Message on a Bottle to be displayed at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards in Franschhoek
• Winning Message on a Bottle to be used by Leopard’s Leap and Open Book Festival on digital platforms
• Two Open Book Festival passes
• R500 Book Lounge voucher

Share a message on a bottle with someone who enjoys what is in the bottle!

Here are the rules:

• Competition opens for entries on Monday 16 July 2018
• Entries close on Sunday 5 August 2018 at midnight
• Judging to take place on Wednesday 15 August 2018
• Winner to be announced at the Open Book Festival Opening Bash on Tuesday 4 September 2018
• Share a message on a bottle with someone who enjoys a glass of wine! Use 3 of the following words to create a message on a bottle for our back label of 40 words or less
• Words: Share, Quality, Story(ies), Time, Mellifluous, Taste, Vellichor, Aroma, Journey, Serendipity
• No limit to number of entries per person
• E-mail your entry with contact details to: mailto:messageonabottle@leopardsleap.co.za
• Competition details and terms and conditions available at www.leopardsleap.co.za/messageonabottle
• The winning MESSAGE will be used as back label copy on a specific Leopard’s Leap wine that will be available to consumers in the domestic market
• MESSAGE ON A BOTTLE entries must be in English in order to comply with Leopard’s Leap back label regulations and requirements for sale in South Africa
• MESSAGE ON A BOTTLE entries may be used by Leopard’s Leap and Open Book Festival on digital platforms (Facebook headers and posts, Twitter headers, website homepage, blog articles, newsletter and e-mail banners)
• MESSAGE ON A BOTTLE entries may be printed on various promotional items including posters, canvass and leaflets
• MESSAGE ON A BOTTLE entries may be displayed at Open Book Festival venues
• MESSAGE ON A BOTTLE entries may be displayed at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards in Franschhoek
• Judges: Hein Koegelenberg, Paige Nick, Mohale Mashigo and Pieter-Dirk Uys


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Open Book Festival announces first group of authors

Via Open Book Festival

Throwback to a panel discussion at Open Book Fest 2016. ©Retha Ferguson

 
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: Guy Deslisle (Canada) joining us courtesy of Canada Council of the Arts
Books include: Hostage, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China, Burma Chronicles, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
Why we’re excited: Guy Deslisle is a cartoonist and animator, who is acclaimed for his graphic novels about his travels. His most recent book, Hostage, was longlisted for Brooklyn Public Library’s 2017 literary prize.

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.”

Clinton Chauke’s Born in Chains: The Diary of an Angry ‘Born Free’ is a story of hope, where, even in a sea of poverty, there are those that refuse to give up and, ultimately, succeed. Journalist Rebecca Davis, author of Best White and Other Anxious Delusions will talk about her new memoir and journey on a spiritual quest.

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.

The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa sees an unraveling of the life that ambitious, social climber Bontle Tau was aiming for. Makholwa’s previous books include Black Widow Society, The 30th Candle and Red Ink. The Gold Diggers is the latest novel by Sue Nyathi (The Polygamist).It is a simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming chronicle of immigrant experiences.

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

Bookings can be made at Webtickets: www.webtickets.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.

An Image in a Mirror

Book details

 
 
 
Born in Chains

 
 
 
 
 
Best White and Other Anxious Delusions

 
 
 
 

Sorry, Not Sorry

 
 
 
 

Reflecting Rogue

 
 
 
 

The Ones With Purpose

 
 
 
 

The Blessed Girl

 
 
 
 
 
The Gold Diggers

 
 
 
 
 
The Yearning

 
 
 
 
 
Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree

 
 
 
 
Jeremy vannie Elsies


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Open Box Library Project 2018

Open Book Festival has been committed to driving a love of books and reading amongst learners since its inception. Fundamental to this has been the Open Book School Library Project which has seen us put libraries into Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School, Parkhurst Primary and Westridge High School. The experience is one that has been hugely rewarding but which has also come with its own challenges.

As with all aspects of Open Book, we are constantly looking for ways to do things better and it is with this in mind that we reworked the library project to come up with something that doesn’t overwhelm, doesn’t require additional staff or space and which can be kept up to date with relatively little money. Welcome to Open Box! These mini mobile libraries are placed in classrooms, allowing teachers and learners access to the resource through the day.

St Mary’s Primary School
Located in the Cape Town CBD, St Mary’s Primary was ideally suited to be our pilot for the Open Box Project. Teachers showed huge interest in having access to books through the day in their classrooms, the school is within walking distance of the Book Lounge (which is closely associated with Open Book Festival) and learners at the school come predominantly from disenfranchised communities.

2015 – 2017:
2015 saw us piloting the Open Box project and we are delighted with how it worked. In total we placed 3 boxes at St Mary’s Primary and they are now in daily use in the Grade R, 1 and 2 classrooms. In 2016, we placed an additional 3 boxes in the Grade 3, 4 and 5 classrooms and in 2017, we placed boxes in the Grade 6 and 7 classrooms. The boxes include books, games, materials for activities and other resources that are relevant to both teachers and learners. Tied to the boxes, were the events we ran there through the year, from readings and activities through to author visits.

Selection Process:
We include at least 5 books per learner in each box. We meet with teachers ahead of purchasing so that they can outline the kinds of books that will best suit them, both in terms of their curricula and challenges faced by their learners. Those conversations enable us to stock each box with titles most relevant to both learners and teachers. The titles include a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles as well as books in different languages and aimed at different reading ages.

2018:
While we have completed the box handovers at St Mary’s, our relationship with them will continue and where possible we will organise events for learners. The focus of Open Box though will shift and we identified Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu as the school we are working with for the next few years. The school is part of the same circuit as St Mary’s (Circuit 2).

The principal is Mrs Nonkonyana. She has been based at the school for over 20 years and is excited to be working with us on this. There are 3 Grade R classes and those will be our starting point. We met with the principal and teachers at the end of 2017 to discuss what books would be most relevant to their classrooms and we will be working on getting those together in the coming months. There are roughly 35 learners in each class and we will be aiming for a 5:1 ratio of books to learners. Ideally the majority of those books will be in isiXhosa.

The proposed dates for the handovers are:
23 April 2018: 3 boxes handed over with partial supply of books to each box
7 June 2018: Partial supply of books to each box
31 July 2018: Final supply of books to each box
The dates listed above may change. Each of the handovers will be linked to storytelling

Contact Frankie Murrey (Open Book Festival coordinator) for more information: +27 82 958 7332 / frankie@openbookfestival.co.za


 

 

 

 


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A new year, a new pile of books to read…

Published in the Sunday Times

A new year, a new pile of books to read. Here are some highlights to look forward to in 2018, as compiled by Michele Magwood.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Headline)

Four siblings are told the exact date of their death by a psychic. The novel traces their lives over four decades in a story described as “a moving meditation on fate, faith, and the family ties that alternately hurt and heal”.

Under Glass by Claire Robertson (Umuzi)

The much-anticipated third novel from the award-winning author, set on a sugar estate in 19th-century Natal and chronicling the lives of the Chetwyn family. A deeply researched historical novel and an intriguing mystery, it is described as “a high-stakes narrative of deception and disguise”.

What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson (Little Brown)

A new essay collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist that examines the political climate and the mysteries of faith. She offers hope and a call to action.

Michael K by Nthikeng Mohlele (Picador Africa)

A brilliant take on JM Coetzee’s classic that explores the weight of history and of conscience, by one of South Africa’s most compelling young authors.

Knucklebone by NR Brodie (Pan Macmillan)

Nechama Brodie is a welcome new voice on the krimi scene. This is a disturbing story set in Johannesburg that wrangles sangomas, disillusioned cops and animal poaching.

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo (Hogarth Shakespeare)

Setting aside his popular detective Harry Hole, Nesbo takes on Shakespeare’s immortal story. “It’s a thriller about the struggle for power, set both in a gloomy, stormy crime noir-like setting and in a dark, paranoid human mind,” he says.

Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Simon & Schuster)

Timely and darkly funny stories examining black identity in a supposedly post-racial era.

A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia (Umuzi)

A new novel from the award-winning Coovadia always creates a buzz. Here he imagines a futuristic South Africa, where Johannesburg has survived the end of the world because of the mining tunnels that run beneath it.

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin (HarperCollins)

Has a book ever been as eagerly awaited as this? The sixth novel in the fantasy series on which the TV show Game of Thrones is based is due for release this year. But then, it was due last year too.

Tsk-Tsk: The story of a child at large by Suzan Hackney (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

In a style reminiscent of Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Hackney writes of a childhood on the run, fighting to survive in a world of abandoned and abused children.

The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head by John Hunt (Umuzi)

Surely one of the best titles of the year, it’s the story of a boy growing up in Hillbrow in the ’60s and his friendship with an eccentric homeless person.

The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Pan Macmillan)

The acclaimed Australian author leaves his familiar coastland settings and heads for the interior to the saltland next to the desert. A young runaway is on a desperate quest to find the only person who understands him. Described as “a rifle-shot of a novel – crisp, fast, shocking – an urgent masterpiece”.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Transworld)

The popular author’s new novel is based on the life of a female former Secret Service worker. Sure to be another runaway bestseller.

A Short History of Mozambique by Malyn Newitt (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

A comprehensive overview of 500 years of turbulent history, from its modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system to the 15-year civil war that followed independence and its lingering after-effects.

Toy Boy by Leon van Nierop (Penguin)

Billed as an erotic coming-of-age tale and based on the life of a real person, this is the story of Tristan, a mysterious Johannesburg gigolo.

Homeland by Karin Brynard (Penguin)

The much-awaited English translation of Karin Brynard’s bestseller Tuisland. Captain Albertus Beeslaar is about to hand in his resignation when he is sent on one final assignment to Witdraai.

Brutal Legacy by Tracy Going (MF Books Joburg)

The shocking story of TV star Tracy Going’s abusive relationship that emerged when her battered face was splashed across the media in the late ’90s. She writes of her decline into depression and the healing she has finally found.

The Broken River Tent by Mphuthumi Ntabeni (Blackbird)

An entrancing novel that marries imagination with history, set in the time of Maqoma, the Xhosa chief at the forefront of fighting British colonialism in the Eastern Cape in the 19th century.

The Fatuous State Of Severity by Phumlani Pikoli (Pan Macmillan)

A fresh collection of short stories and illustrations that explore the experiences of a generation of young, urban South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language and relationships of various kinds.

Born in Chains: the diary of an angry ‘born-free’ by Clinton Chauke (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

Debut author Chauke shows how his generation is still affected by apartheid policies but writes with wit and a unique sense of humour about his life. It’s a story of hope and perseverance, and of succeeding against all the odds.

The Golddiggers: A Novel by Sue Nyathi (Pan Macmillan)

The Zimbabwean author recounts the experiences of her fellow compatriots trying to make a life in Jozi. The stories of these desperate immigrants is both heart-breaking and heartwarming.

Cringeworthy by Melissa Dahl (Penguin UK)

Subtitled “How to Make the Most of Uncomfortable Situations” New York Magazine’s Dahl offers a thoughtful, original take on what it really means to feel awkward, relating all sorts of mortifying moments and how to turn them to your advantage.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press)

One of the most talked-about books coming in 2018. Described as unsettling and powerful, it is an extraordinary debut novel about a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.”

The Madiba Appreciation Club: A Chef’s Story by Brett Ladds (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

A delightful memoir by Mandela’s former chef, spilling stories about meeting kings and queens, presidents, rock stars and even the Pope, as well as sharing Mandela’s favourite foods. – Michele Magwood, @michelemagwood

The Immortalists

Book details

 
 

Under Glass

 
 
 

What Are We Doing Here?

 
 
 

Macbeth

 
 
 
 
Heads of the Colored People

 
 
 
 
The Winds of Winter

 
 
 
 
The Shepherd's Hut

 
 
 
 
Transcription

 
 
 
 

A Short History of Mozambique

 
 
 
 
The Broken River Tent

 
 
 
 

Freshwater


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Record numbers at Open Book Festival 2017

It’s been a record breaking event for the seventh Open Book Festival which took place from 6 to 10 September.

The Festival is presented by the Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre, with venues also including the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre, Central Library, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library, and PH Centre.

With more than 140 events on offer, making it the biggest festival yet, nearly ten thousand people attended the Festival with last year’s ticket sales figures surpassed in the first two days.

The Festival presents a world-class selection of panel discussions, workshops, readings, performances and more, designed to inspire, stimulate and entertain audiences, featuring more than one hundred local and international authors.

“We are overwhelmed at the phenomenal response to this year’s Festival,” says Festival Director Mervyn Sloman. “One marker of the enthusiasm people have for the festival and its participants can certainly be seen in what books have been bought and it comes as no surprise to us that holding the number one position is Pumla Gqola’s brand new title, Reflecting Rogue.

“Our off-programme schools line up has also proved a great success this year. Learners at Camps Bay and Groote Schuur schools were captivated by Alex Wheatle, the winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award 2016. They didn’t want to move when their morning break bell rang marking the end of the session!

“Once again the generosity of the authors with their time has been incredible – Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty spent more than two hours signing books and talking to audience members despite being sick. The willingness of audiences to openly engage in the topics being discussed is also inspiring,” adds Sloman.

Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty signs copies of his book The Sellout

 

Events at Central Library for younger visitors were sold out and the organisers will be looking at adding additional events next year.

The partnerships with PLAAS presenting a series of events on access to land, and the discussions around cities curated by the African Centre for Cities, were all engaging and insightful. Following the huge success of #cocreatePOETICA last year, the 2017 line-up included Dutch poets Akwasi, Dean Bowen and Sjaan Flikweert. Poet Riyo from Kuils River was the winner of the Cape Town Poetry Slam.

“Congratulations also to Verushka Louw, who won the #FlashFiction #Twitterature competition, run by our fabulous sponsor Leopard’s Leap Wines who have supported us since year one of the Festival. Their #WordsforWine initiative was a great success and collected hundreds of books for the Open Book Library Project,” says Sloman.

The eighth Open Book Festival takes place from 5 to 9 September 2018. For further information visit www.openbookfestival.co.za


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Comics Fest programme is cooking at Open Book Festival

Brought to you under the Open Book Festival umbrella, the popular Comics Fest takes place on 9 and 10 September. With an array of activities, workshops, discussions and demonstrations, the sizzling hot programme is cooking with events that will delight fans of comic books, illustration and design – professional or amateur, young or old. The Open Book Comics Fest will again be running from the D6 Homecoming Centre and surrounding venues in Cape Town.

Seasoned illustrator Andy Mason will be hosting the Monster Battle Draw Off throughout the weekend, a friendly competition that starts on Saturday where you will be drawing flat-out for 6 rounds! Aspirant comic artists are welcome. The winner will go through to Monster Battle 3 on Sunday. Drawings will be auctioned to raise funds for future drawing workshops for young artists. Spectators are welcome.

Animation guru Mike Scott shares some skills in the Comics Fest Demo session on Saturday 9 September, or catch Hugh Upsher and Martin Mezzabota on Sunday 10thto learn how to create a zine from start to finish, and try your hand and making one.

On Saturday 9 September, Jess Bosworth (Unblush) and André Bozack (Art Facilitator at Heal the Hood, schools & Community Centres) speak to Kay Carmichael about challenges under-represented groups face entering the world of illustration and comic book creation in Skills and Space.

Schools learners should catch Draw Your Own Superhero on 7 September with Roberto Millan and Su Opperman to create a super-hero of your very own, and lose yourself in a word of comic books, original artwork and zines at the Open Book Marketplace that weekend.

“Comics Fest has been an integral part of the Open Book Festival programme and has proved to be a melting pot of ideas, connections, opportunities and inspirations and we are delighted to welcome the creators to the 2017 edition,” says Festival Co-ordinator Frankie Murrey. “Look out for our limited edition bags for sale on the Comics Fest Marketplace floor, which are the result of an initiative with uHlanga Press. Artists were asked to create an original artwork inspired by the words of some of the local poets they publish, which were transposed onto the bags. Funds raised go towards Open Box Library Project.”

Artists participating in Comics Fest include: André Bozack, Andy Mason, Ashe Ah-Sing, Ben Geldenhuys, Ben Winfield, Caitlin Mkhasibe, Carla Botes, Clyde Beech, Danelle Malan, Daniël Hugo, Danielle Albertyn, David du Plessis, Deon de Lange, Dianne Makings, Frank Lunar, Gabriel Metcalfe, Gabriella Jardine, Hugh Upsher, Jess Bosworth Smith, Karl Schulschenk, Kay Carmichael, Kit Beukes, LoyisoMkize, Martin Mezzabotta, Maya LeMaitre, Moray Rhoda, Nick L’Ange, Nina Pfeiffer, Readers Den, ReeTreweek, Roberto Millan, Robyn-Jade Hosking, Sector Comics, Sjaka S. Septembir, Su Opperman, Unblush Collective, Wessie van der Westhuizen, Zapiro and Ziyaad Rahman.

For full details see http://openbookfestival.co.za/events/comics-fest. Visit the individual author pages on the website for a list of the events in which they are participating.

Comic Fest will take place on 9 September from 09h30 to 18h00 and on 10 September from 09h30 to 17h00.

All tickets for events on the Comics Fest programme need to be booked through Webtickets (www.webtickets.co.za) unless otherwise stipulated.

The seventh Open Book Festival will take place from 6 to 10 September at The Fugard Theatre, District Six Homecoming Centre, A4 Arts Foundation, Central Library Cape Town and The Book Lounge from 10:00 to 21:00 each day. For further information visit www.openbookfestival.co.za

The Open Book Festival is made possible thanks to the support of its sponsors and partners: Leopard’s Leap, The Fugard Theatre, The District Six Museum, Snapplify, Open Society Foundation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, City of Cape Town, Townhouse Hotel, Penguin Random House, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Pan Macmillan Publishers, The French Institute of South Africa, The Canada Council for the Arts, African Centre for Cities, PLAAS, NORLA, the Embassy of Finland, the Embassy of Sweden, Dutch Foundation for Literature, PEN SA, the Confucius Institute and the Goethe-Institut.


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Open Book Fest’s #cocreatePOETICA – celebrating the spoken word through collaboration

Following the enormous success of the collaboration between Poetica and #cocreateSA last year, #cocreatePOETICA will once again be part of the seventh Open Book Festival.

The Open Book Festival is hosted by the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre with events also taking place at the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre and Central Library Cape Town. It runs from 6 to 10 September.

#cocreatePOETICA provides a platform for readings, performances and poetical discussions and features a diverse range of poets from established names through to those at the beginnings of their careers.

The aim of the partnership with #cocreateSA and Poetica is to use the art form of RAP and the spoken word to co-create solutions to mutual challenges by providing a platform that voices the concerns of the youth, by the youth.

Last year saw Dutch and South African artists collaborate to create a shared experience and performance pieces on issues pertaining to history, language and culture. In 2017, #cocreatePOETICA takes this further with a three day series of interactions exploring place, language and identity. This will culminate in an event on the programme where those involved can feed back to the public about the process.

#cocreatePOETICA is delighted to welcome Dutch artist, songwriter, actor and director Akwasi back to Cape Town, and privileged to host fellow Dutch poet, performer and actor Dean Bowen, as well as dancer, poet and theatremaker Sjaan Flikweert. All three artists are attending the Festival courtesy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Consulate General in Cape Town and the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

Catch these three artists at events including Journeys With Poetry on Saturday 9 September, sharing experiences of their three day exploration, facilitated by Adrian ‘Diff’ van Wyk, and on Sunday 10 September, they are in conversation with Siphokazi Jonas about the nature of performance and international audiences.

“With the inaugural run of #cocreatePOETICA last year, we saw how the power of the spoken word can break down language and cultural barriers and unite us in our differences, to celebrate our identity through the art of poetry,” says Dutch Consul-General, Bonnie Horbach. “In particular, poetry provides an outlet for the voice of a younger generation who are often marginalised or misunderstood.”

“Working with #cocreateSA has allowed us to grow what is a vital part of the festival in very exciting ways. #cocreatePoetica is all about meaningful collaboration and exploration,” says Frankie Murrey, Festival Coordinator.

The popular favourites on the programme, that are always a sell-out, include the electric Inzync Sessions closing off the Festival on Sunday 10 September. Grounding Sessions will be owning the stage on Thursday 7 September with featured artists as well as open mic opportunities. The Open Book Poetry Slam with various poets competing for the title this year takes place on Saturday 9 September.

The Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement also join the line up this year, bringing a Naked Word Poetry Session on Friday 8 September. Naked Word is a collaboration of poetry and music, weaving spoken word with dynamically Afro-futuristic sound to produce a uniquely South African poetic and musical experience. In addition, Lingua Franca will present the Magnifying Glass session on 6 September, with featured artist, acclaimed theatre maker Mandla Mbothwe.

A handful of the other highlights include joining Toni Stuart for an hour of poetry translated into film on 9 September, Nick Mulgrew speaking to Rosa Lyster, Koleka Putuma and Francine Simon about their debut poetry collections on 10 September and Siphosethu Phikelela, Lwanda Sindaphi and Athol Williams in conversation with Roché Kester about working to drive social change.

Artists taking part in #cocreatePoetica include: Adrian van Wyk, Akwasi, Ashley Makue, Athol Williams, Christine Coates, Dean Bowen, Francine Simon, Gabeda Baderoon, Genna Gardini, Jolyn Phillips, Katleho Kano Shoro, Kim Windvogel, Koleka Putuma, Liu Waitong, Lwanda Sindaphi, Nick Mulgrew, Pieter Odendaal, Roche Kester, Rosa Lyster, Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese, Siphokazi Jonas, Siphosethu Phikelela, Sjaan Flikweert, Stephen Symons, Toni Stuart, Upile Chisala and Vusumuzi Lovejoy Mpofu.

Follow @cocreatePoetica on Twitter

Tickets to events range from R45 to R100. Day Passes (which provide one access ticket to six events per day) are R150 and Festival Passes (5 Day Passes with one ticket access to six events per day) cost R600. There are also a number of free events but tickets must still be booked for these events to secure a place.

Bookings are through Webtickets: www.webtickets.co.za

The Open Book Festival is made possible thanks to the support of its sponsors and partners: Leopard’s Leap, The Fugard Theatre, The District Six Museum, Snapplify, Open Society Foundation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, City of Cape Town, Townhouse Hotel, Penguin Random House, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Pan Macmillan Publishers, The French Institute of South Africa, The Canada Council for the Arts, African Centre for Cities, PLAAS, NORLA, the Embassy of Finland, the Embassy of Sweden, Dutch Foundation for Literature, PEN SA, the Confucius Institute and the Goethe-Institut.


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Open Book Festival 2017 (6 – 10 September)

The full programme of events has been announced for the seventh Open Book Festival. The Festival takes place from 6 to 10 September, and this year there are more than 140 exciting events to choose from.

Brought to you by the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre, venues also include the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre, Central Library, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library, and PH Centre. The Festival presents a world-class selection of panel discussions, workshops, readings, performances and more, designed to inspire, stimulate and entertain audiences, featuring more than one hundred local and international authors.

“We are proud to be announcing our biggest Festival yet, and we thank everyone who supported our Thundafund campaign, which has, in part, enabled us to compile this year’s extensive programme,” says Festival Director Mervyn Sloman.

“We have once again worked hard to bring you a phenomenal line up of South African and international authors across a range of genres talking about topics that are engaging, relevant and thought-provoking,” says Sloman. “The nature of the open discussions and debates between authors and audiences and the conversations that continue beyond the event, are what make the Festival unique.”

Key to the success of the festival has been collaborations with partners and 2017 is no different. There is a series of four events focusing on access to land curated by PLAAS and audiences can look forward to a similar segment of programming themed around cities curated by the African Centre for Cities. In addition to the strong political content the festival has become known for, there are multiple opportunities to engage with your favourite local writers as well as some exciting voices from around the world. Paul Beatty, the current Man Booker winner will be a highlight for many. A strong selection of writers from other parts of the continent will also be featured – names to look out for include Chibundu Onuzo, Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Ayobami Adebayo.

There are several books that will be launched at the festival, including Bonang Matheba’s From A to B, Pumla Gqola’s, Reflecting Rogue, Glynnis Breytenbach’s Rule of Law, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh’s Democracy and Delusions, Mark Shaw’s Hitmen for Hire and Prince Mashele’s Fall of the ANC Continues.

Following the huge success of #cocreatePOETICA last year, this year’s line-up includes Dutch poets Akwasi, Dean Bowen and Sjaan Flikweert, headline names such as Koleka Putuma, Toni Stuart, Gabeba Baderoon and Jolyn Phillips. InZync returns to the Open Book stage as does the Open Book Poetry Slam. Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement is also joining the line-up.

There’s plenty of excitement and entertainment for the younger visitors – Central Library will be home to a range of events for children on Saturday the 9thSeptember. Don’t miss ‘Storytime in the Gardens’ on Friday the 8th September, an initiative between Central Library and Open Book which will feature a host of local storytellers. Alex Wheatle, winner of the 2016 Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, will be at the festival doing events at schools, public libraries as well as on the main festival programme.

Comics Fest takes place on 9 and 10 September with an array of activities, workshops, discussions and demonstrations for illustrators, designers and comic book lovers. This year seasoned illustrator Andy Mason will be hosting the Monster Battle Draw Off throughout the weekend.

“Our partners Leopard’s Leap Wines will again host their fantastic #WordsforWine. Bring a pre-loved or new book to exchange for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine.Books will be donated the Open Book Library Project and other charities. Check the programme for times. They will also be announcing the winner of their innovative Flash Fiction competition,” adds Sloman.

The 2017 programme is now available at www.openbookfestival.co.za.

Visit the individual author pages on the website for a list of the events in which they are participating.

The seventh Open Book Festival will take place from 6 to 10 September at The Fugard Theatre, District Six Homecoming Centre, A4 Arts Foundation, PH Centre, Central Library Cape Town, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library and The Book Lounge from 10:00 to 21:00 each day. For further information visit www.openbookfestival.co.za

Tickets to events range from R45 to R100. Day Passes (which provide one access ticket to six events per day) are R150 and Festival Passes (5 Day Passes with one ticket access to six events per day) cost R600. There are also a number of free events but tickets must still be booked for these events to secure a place.

Bookings are through Webtickets www.webtickets.co.za

The Open Book Festival is made possible thanks to the support of its sponsors and partners: Leopard’s Leap, The Fugard Theatre, The District Six Museum, Snapplify, Open Society Foundation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, City of Cape Town, Townhouse Hotel, Penguin Random House, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Pan Macmillan Publishers, The French Institute of South Africa, The Canada Council for the Arts, African Centre for Cities, PLAAS, NORLA, the Embassy of Finland, the Embassy of Sweden, Dutch Foundation for Literature, PEN SA, the Confucius Institute and the Goethe-Institut.


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Pretend you are in a dark room: Elnathan John presents 3 questions to ask yourself to avoid the pitfalls of identity politics in writing

Writers should pretend they are going into a dark room and move delicately, slowly, carefully so that they do not disrupt the balance of things. – Elnathan John

Elnathan John’s 3 questions to avoid the pitfalls of cultural appropriation in writing

 
Born on a TuesdayElnathan John shared his three rules for writing about other people’s experiences and communities.

John was a guest of the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, to chat about his debut novel, Born on a Tuesday.

Born on a Tuesday is a coming of age tale about a young Muslim boy who left his home to study Islam and ended up joining a gang of street kids. He and his friends are recruited to cause trouble during an election, and when violence breaks out he is forced to flee. He finds shelter at a mosque run by a kindly imam who takes a liking to him.

The book has earned praise all over the world and from some high profile authors and critics, including Petina Gappah, Taiye Selasi and Uzodinma Iweala. John was also recently shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature – along with Chika Unigwe for Night Dancer and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim for Season of Crimson Blossoms – an award worth $100,000 (about R1,4 million).

John grew up in northern Nigeria, but is not Muslim himself. At a panel titled Notions of Nationhood, where he shared the stage with Danish-Norwegian novelist Kim Leine, chair Andrew Brown asked him: “Are we entitled to write about other communities, other nations, from our own perspective?”

The question was topical, as We Need to Talk About Kevin author Lionel Shriver had caused a walkout just days before at the Brisbane Writers Festival in Australia with her keynote address, “Fiction and Identity Politics”, which many other writers considered culturally insensitive.

Elnathan John at the 2016 Open Book FestivalIn answering Brown’s question, John asked: “Is anyone entitled to anything? Does any experience belong solely to one person?”, and shared a story from his childhood to illustrate his point.

“My brother died in 2003. One of the biggest issues I had with my family was that at some point my parents were upset that I seemed to be grieving more than other people. It was almost like they were saying, ‘He was our child, we raised him, we gave birth to him, we put him through school. We have a greater loss than you. You cannot mourn more than us. Stop being a complete asshole.’

“And so the question that has always been in my mind is, to whom does any experience belong?

“I didn’t think I owned this experience, but I thought I was an integral part of it, being that I removed his body from the water, I did mouth to mouth; the last moments of his life were in my hands. I thought, well, I certainly should have a right to this experience. But even in this very close experience, I was being challenged. So you can challenge any experience.

“For me, what is important is not whether a person owns an experience they want to write about. Most experiences are external to us. If you have a female character and you are male, that experience is external to you. If you are writing about other nations, they’re external to you. Even if you are writing about your own nation, most of the experiences will be those you’ve not had.”

John said that instead of agonising over who the experience belongs to, writers should consider three questions before they start writing a story.

“What a writer needs is a certain level of empathy that allows us to show respect for the subject. That empathy, normally, would lead people to determine for themselves: One, if they should write a story. Two, if it is time to write that story. And three, how that story should be written, with the respect that it deserves. And if one cannot answer these three questions, then one should not write the story.

“Often people tell writers to write what they know. I like to say the writer should write what they want to know. What that does is that it pushes you into a dark space. And in a dark space you are more careful.

“Writers should pretend they are going into a dark room and move delicately, slowly, carefully so that they do not disrupt the balance of things.”

Read an excerpt from Born on a Tuesday here

Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer) tweeted live from the event:

Main author image courtesy of Elnathan John on Twitter; image composite by Books LIVE/Secondary author image Retha Ferguson

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‘The Zulu part of me was taken’ – Nomavenda Mathiane tells her grandmother’s story, beginning as a child during the Anglo-Zulu War

nomavenda mathiane

 

Eyes in the Night

In Eyes in the Night, respected journalist and author Nomavenda Mathiane tells the story of her grandmother, who was a child during the Anglo-Zulu War.

Mathiane is at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, where she shared a panel with Daniel Browde, author of The Relatively Public Life Of Jules Browde, and Marianne Thamm, whose memoir Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and Me was recently released.
 

Mathiane explained how she “stumbled” into her grandmother’s story.

“My mother died when I was about 66 years old,” she said, “and after her funeral we were seated at the table with my brothers and sisters, and casually I turned to my older sister, and I said ‘Mum never used to tell us about her mother, why is it so?’ And frankly I didn’t think she was going to answer me, but lo and behold she said, ‘It’s because her mother’s story was too sad.’”

Mathiane says she remembers her grandmother as an imposing and capable presence, but her early years were far more precarious.

“I knew gogo as this big woman who could make cheese, could make butter, could make soap. All the things we could not afford, because my parents were officers in the Salvation Army, so there wasn’t much money around.

“But my sister told me that gogo was 10 during the Anglo-Zulu War. She was hiding in the caves with her mother and her little sister. Her father, who was the chief inDuna of King Cetshwayo, was killed during the war, and when they went back their land had been taken, their homes had been destroyed, she doesn’t have a father, her mother doesn’t have a husband. Then the Zulu culture kicks in. The brother must marry her mother. She says, no ways. They make her uncomfortable, and they flee the homestead.”

There began an extraordinary story, and Mathiane says she felt shocked that she had never heard it before.

“My sister was telling me this, and I couldn’t take it. My mother had died without telling us these stories. When you look at how her mother suffered, you realise that the story was too painful. But more than that, we were growing up in the 70s and the Struggle was gaining momentum. Between themselves my father and my mother decided that they mustn’t tell us the story, because because we would get so angry that we would walk straight into the liberation movements. But we ended up getting involved anyway; you couldn’t live in the township and not get involved.”

Mathiane says at times while writing the book she felt angry that a part of her culture and history had been denied her.

“The story of my grandmother has been a journey for me. I grew up in the townships, and I knew very little about Zulu ways. I’d never been to Zululand except on the occasional visit. Even Zulu language, I knew Zulu as a spoken language, but in a language there are idioms and expressions that I wasn’t familiar with. Of course I had heard of the Battle of Isandlwana, but I never knew about the warriors, the generals, what actually happened.

“The sad part is that our parents didn’t talk to us about these things. So the book took me to various areas. Sometimes I would get so angry that I was denied, I was impoverished by being raised in the township. Because there’s a part of me that was cut off, that I didn’t know about. It was just a Christian upbringing, period. And yet there was the other side of me, the African in me, that was never discussed. None of the Zulu rituals were performed. We were Christian girls. The Zulu part of me was taken.”

Mathiane says she hopes her book helps to “inculcate a sense of questioning”.

“Young children, both black and white, must question their parents, their grandparents: where do we come from? You cannot know where you are going, if you don’t know where you come from. It’s time that we told our own narratives. This is the first book of the victims of the Ango-Zulu War. Nobody has ever written about what ordinary Zulu people went through. I would implore you to talk to your children.”

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