Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

“One would be remiss to sleep on this collection” – Russell Grant reviews Megan Ross’s Milk Fever

It would be easy to write about Megan Ross’s Milk Fever as strictly a collection of poems about young motherhood, and while yes, this is the case, and a very good collection about young motherhood it is, I feel there is much more to this collection than its subject matter.

Not more in the sense that its subject matter is somehow trivial or incidental, but more in the sense that, technically, Ross is a very good poet, and just what makes her poems good should not be something that we ignore.

Milk Fever is published by uHlanga Press, a name which has been doing remarkable things in the South African poetry scene of late. They are responsible for bringing to the world Koleka Putuma’s Collective Amnesia, a book which is breaking records in the South African poetry publishing game. Alongside Putuma, uHlanga have an impressive roster of poets including Genna Gardini, Douglas Reid Skinner, Francine Simone and Nick Mulgrew. Amongst these bright lights of the South African poetry scene, Megan Ross’s flame does not dim. Her work is mature and confident, despite this being her debut collection, and her growth as a poet is something we should look on with optimism.

It is almost a backhanded compliment in some ways to write of a woman poet that her work is Plathian. Whilst Sylvia Plath was a brilliant writer of verse, it can be a cliched and reductive comparison.

I do think Ross is Plathian, not because she is a woman writing about the deeply personal with a great degree of angst (which she is), but rather because the two both have a similar gift for effective, hard hitting imagery, and a knack for making the personal universal; for connecting the things that happen to us as individuals with the great big cogs of history, science, culture and language.

Ross’s opening poem, “Object” sets the scene:

“At night when it is the city’s turn to light the sky,
She dreams of creation splitting open under teacher’s pen,
Ink-spliced parts dictated by biology, geography, mathematics, cosmology.
(as if time really is an endpoint a corporeal destination as if seas really do part)”

It is a testament to the immense confidence that Ross has as a young writer to open with a poem that is so confrontational.

In it Ross lays down a challenge both to society in general (“even without sons we still are…”), and to language and poetry in particular: “punctuate us if you dare”. It reads like the voice of a woman claiming space for herself in a space which is yet to fully understand or accept her. In it the poem itself becomes a metaphor for an inadequate world in which, despite its inadequacies, one still wants to live.

Ross is trying to write herself both into and out of language and history. This ironic tension gives the poem its power, and lays down the themes of futility intermingled with hope that dominates this collection.

The groundwork for the collection’s focal imagery and symbolism is laid in the first few pages. Imagery and symbolism which is, arguably, exploded as it progresses. The middle part of this book is kaleidoscopic, as Ross fiddles with (nay, ratchets) form and meaning, diction and syntax, until the very fabric of the universe starts to come apart at the seams. For instance:

“Your milk comes apart   so it can   be held
Like soft frangipanis   inking   your skin”

Ross’s allusions and associations are strange, yet they are held together by an imagistic vocabulary that develops as the book proceeds. Images of dryness, wetness, bodily fluids, flowers, blades and a host more are developed and re-used and re-contextualised as the book goes on. The effect is surrealist stream of consciousness that somehow retains a sense of central logic.

These images and themes are used as vehicles to confront a range of topics, of which young motherhood is but one. Old relationships, platonic and otherwise, familial bonds, love, death, self-harm… these are all dealt with in this book, and it would be a crime to ignore all of these things in favour of the book’s supposed selling point, that is, a book about young motherhood.

There is a great deal to love about the middle portion of this book but also a great deal to miss if one is not careful.

Ross’s diction can be deceptively simple, and to truly do it justice would require several readings. Here, in the belly, Ross masterfully weaves a web of interconnected images and allusions which connect like strings on a conspiracy theorist’s pin board. It would take far too much time to break it all down here.

One simply has to dive in and trust that one will emerge unscathed on the other side. Or not. I don’t think unscathed is what you want to be when you emerge at the end of this collection, and I doubt that anyone actually would.

Ross manages to take us a fair distance from the shore in this collection, and the effect can be disconcerting. However, she does a good job of reeling us back in whilst doing minimal damage to the integrity of our psyches.

Whilst the middle of the book has a quality of formic dissonance to it, the end resolves like a melody settling on the first note of the scale. There are some truly memorable lines here, like, “In the drying there is life”, and “I know genesis has its place”, both from subsections of “Love in the Year of Bleeding”.

Both go a long way to heal the wounds inflicted by the beginning and middle. Dryness is synonymous with death in most of the book; the dryness of ageing, of the vast salt plains of youth we mistook for flavour but which ultimately drain us of our vitality; but here she offers us hope.

The same goes for “I know genesis has its place”, a deceptively simple, almost tautological line that alludes to the genesis of the bible, but also to genesis as a kind of change; change which can be violent but ultimately necessary and productive.

Admittedly, sometimes, Ross’s lines can get caught up in themselves, and some may find in this collection the kind of baffling deliberate opaqueness that makes much modernist and post-modernist poetry inaccessible. There are certainly instances of lines falling flat, or syntactic structures that repeat themselves just once too often, breaking the spell (“refrigerator eggs stained to teeth and bone” is one such syntactic device).

Overall, however, I think one would be remiss to sleep on this collection. Dive in, get lost, find yourself, and don’t for a second try to punctuate any of it.

Book details


» read article

“Storytelling is a powerful communication tool for social cohesion, recording history and development” – a Q&A with Zimbabwean protest poet and playwright, Bhekumusa Moyo

By Carla Lever

Bhekumusa Moyo, Zimbabwean protest poet and playwright

 

What role do you think storytelling – in communities, families or even individually – can have in creating social change?

Storytelling is a powerful communication tool for social cohesion, recording history and development. It can inspire change or incite a people to act on a social issue. Our personal stories are also a source of energy. Each story told has the potential for inspiring the next person. The experiences we go through can be used as a learning tool by those who haven’t experienced those things. I derive my own personal mojo from stories of key pioneers of pan-Africanism.

Tell us a little about your own experience with writing and performing in Zimbabwe.

Writing and performing in Zimbabwe is a life-changing experience. It certainly has its ugly phases – the darkest corners being draconian laws inherited from colonial Rhodesia. The laws that make the lives of critical and protest artists like me hell are the Public Order Security Act and the censorship board. These have curtailed any work which challenges those in power. Minus these challenges of arrest, persecution and banning, though, Zimbabwean audiences are supportive of art that speaks truth to power.

Which of your works are you most proud of having written?

I am proud of 1983-The Dark Years. This is a politically charged play on the Gukurahundi genocide which swept Matabeleland from 1980 through to 1987, leaving a trail of sorrow and deaths numbering around 20 000. The play was banned in 2010 but, with support from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, we managed to stage it in various places. This year, after Mugabe, the play had a week of full houses at Theatre in the Park in Harare. I’m also proud of one of my poems called They Shall All Fall. This poem speaks of how people will dethrone dictators no matter how strong they are. Here’s an extract – “All that flies lands sometime / one by one in no particular order / they shall all fall.”

What language(s) do you use to write and perform in? Do you think choice of language is a political act for artists?

I write in Ndebele and English. Ndebele is my mother language. I will not stray far from it, as it carries rich idioms, proverbs and expressions of my people. Even when I perform, I juggle English and Ndebele. Language is a political act. My English must have deep roots to the imagery of my community so that I don’t struggle. Language, like culture, carries the essence of the peoples’ struggles. Language is the heartbeat of a community and yes, it’s a political tool too for engagement or disengagement.

There are many ways of protesting. Using literature – both written and oral – has a long and powerful tradition in Africa. Who are some of the protest writers who have inspired you?

I am greatly inspired by Athol Fugard, Professor Chinua Achebe, Christopher Mlalazi and the general struggles of my people, especially the women and mothers of my village who always show resilience even in the face of travesty.

Have you ever found it difficult to be a politically active writer in Zimbabwe?

Yes, Zimbabwe has very draconian laws, as I alluded to earlier. The censorship board is the biggest culprit – a club of old men who make it difficult to be politically active as a writer.

Of course, the elections are coming up very soon in Zimbabwe. What role do you think writers – whether they are poets, singers or journalists – play in this important time?

Chinua Achebe says that ‘writers give headaches.’ I feel it is important for artists at this time to inspire debate on the elections and comment strongly on institutions and individuals who can make or break the election. Artists must motivate citizens to vote, inspire peace as well as play the watchdog role and whistleblowers in cases of human rights abuses.

What kinds of opportunities would you like to see for African writers and storytellers in the future?

I am hoping that universities will embrace storytelling as a medium of passing on information. This can be done in formal learning spaces or creating festivals within academic years for African writers to bring their wisdom. I’d also love to see more writing residencies and literature festivals for different language activists. Storytellers must be brought to the table as much as other professionals to educate and speak openly on issues of social change.

Reading and telling stories with your children is a powerful gift to them. It builds knowledge, language, imagination and school success! For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, or to access children’s stories in a range of South African languages, visit: www.nalibali.org.

 

 


» read article

Cape Town Poetry Slam returns to the Mother City in 2018

This year in another collaboration between InZync Poetry, the Stellenbosch University Museum, the Bellville Public Library, Cape Town Central Library, the Fugard Theatre and Open Book Festival, the Cape Town Poetry Slam returns to Cape Town, with three prelim slams and a final slam at the Fugard Theatre on 8 September.

In 2018 we are looking for the second Cape Town Poetry Slam Champion! There will be three prelim slams, one in Stellenbosch, the second in Bellville and the third in Cape Town.

The top three poets from each of the prelims will move onto the second round, which is the final, at the Fugard Theatre in collaboration with the Open Book Festival, and the poets will battle it out for the title of Cape Town’s Poetry Slam Champion!

All of the prelims and the final will be hosted by amazing local poets such as Allison-Claire Hoskins, Roché Kester, Samora Magwa, Quaz Roodt and there will be live beats by DJ Deco.

The judges for this year’s slam are Cape Town rapper Jitsvinger, poetry slam champion, writer and performer Siphokazi Jonas and Lingua Franca spoken word movement director Mbongeni Nomkonwana. The final will also include a short performance by each of the judges.

MCs and judges at Cape Town Poetry Slam 2017

 
There are lots of prizes up for grabs for the winners of the prelims and the final, all to the value of R14 200. Cape Town’s Poetry Slam Champion will walk away with R2 500 in cash, a R500 Book Lounge voucher and a video poem to be produced by InZync!

The winners of each prelim will also participate in a workshop to prepare them to battle it out for the title of Cape Town’s Poetry Slam Champion. Budding poets can sign up on the day of each prelim, it is first come first serve, with a maximum of 25 sign ups per prelim.

The details of the three prelim slams are as follows:

Prelim 1: 11 August – Stellenbosch University Museum, 13:00
Prelim 2: 18 August – Bellville Public Library, 13:00
Prelim 3: 25 August – Cape Town Central Library, 13:00

The final is on 8 September at the Fugard Theatre at 20:00.

Tickets will be on sale for R50. Bookings will be open from early August and can be made at Webtickets.

For more details check out the InZync Poetry Sessions social media platforms:
Facebook – InZync Poetry Sessions, Instagram – @inzync_poetry, Twitter – @InZyncPoetry

About InZync Poetry

InZync Poetry is a Non-Profit Organization based in the Western Cape dedicated to the expansion of multilingual and multimodal poetry platforms in the Cape.

Our founders are Adrian ‘Diff’ van Wyk and Pieter Odendaal and together our team run poetry workshops with emerging poets called the INKredibles, and host poetry shows. In 2016 InZync collaborated with Koleka Putuma to create a video for her poem ‘Water’ and released an EP of poems called InterVerse. In 2017 InZync Poetry hosted the Cape Town Poetry Slam, and in 2018, we published the multilingual poetry anthology ConVerse in collaboration with Woordfees.

InZync has collaborated with many local and international poets to bring multilingual poetry to Cape audiences.


» read article

Launch: Milk Fever by Megan Ross (26 July)

In an extraordinary debut, Megan Ross writes the uneasy truths about unexpected motherhood and all its emotional detritus. In deftly and experimentally navigating the angst, joy and self-reckoning that comes with the choices and misadventures of young womanhood, this is a collection that brings together the evocative with the provocative, and the feminist with the personal, in a bold and startling poetic style. Hallucinatory, image-wet, and navigating the eternal tides of spirit and body, Milk Fever is a chimeric dreamscape in which a woman reconfigures, remembers and rebirths herself.

Event Details


» read article

#cocreatePOETICA – celebrating identity, culture and history through the spoken word

Via Open Book

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.

British born dancer Ella Mesma is a curator and choreographer who draws from a number of styles and traditions in her work. In 2011 she formed Ella Mesma Company: an Afro-Latin and Hip Hop dance theatre company that undoes limiting beliefs by exploring and celebrating identity. She also enjoys mentoring, teaching and directing roles, and loves art, poetry and books.

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.

Allison-Claire Hoskins is a popular part of the InZync Poetry Sessions Collective, Rioters In Session Collective and the student art collective called Open Forum. Her works include powerful pieces such as Red Tape and Mirror.

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.

Bookings can be made at Webtickets www.webtickets.co.za

Follow @cocreatePoetica on Twitter

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.

White Blight

Book details

 
 
 
The Dream in the Next Body

 
 
 

A hundred silences

 
 
 

Loud and Yellow Laughter

 
 
 

The Everyday Wife

 
 
 

Ice cream headache in my bone

 
 
 

Nuwe Stemme 5

 
 
 

Collective Amnesia

 
 
 

Milk Fever

 
 
 


» read article

Ons Klyntji is calling for submissions!

Via Ons Klyntji

Deadline: 31 May 2018, midnight CAT

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.

Send in:

  • 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)

 
You can submit in any language to either info@toastcoetzer.com or sendusyourpoems@gmail.com


» read article

Oorhandiging van UJ-pryse vir Afrikaans (11 Mei)

Sluit Vrydag, 11 Mei by ons aan vir die oorhandiging van vanjaar se UJ-pryse vir Afrikaans!

SJ Naudé en Jolyn Phillips word afsonderlik vereer vir Die derde spoel en Radbraak.

Boekbesonderhede

Die derde spoel

 
 
 

Radbraak


» read article

Daniel Hugo se vyftiende digbundel tref die rakke

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.
 
 
 
 
 
Boekbesonderhede


» read article

Jong musikant verras met bundel wat hartsnare roer

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.

Boekbseonderhede


» read article

Wenners van die 2018 UJ-pryse bekend!

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.

Die wenners!

Jolyn Phillips. (©Naomi Bruwer)

 
Die wenner van die UJ-debuutprys is Jolyn Phillips vir haar digbundel Radbraak.

Radbraak is Jolyn, kortverhaalskrywer van Tjieng tjang tjerries, se digdebuut in Afrikaans.

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.

SJ Naudé. ©Liné Enslin.

 
Die wenner van die UJ-prys is SJ Naudé vir sy roman Die derde spoel.

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.

Boekbesonderhede


» read article