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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Prufrock Magazine calling for submissions

Via PEN SA

Prufrock Magazine is calling for submissions of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction:

Prufrock magazine is calling for submissions. We have no restrictions on content or style. We publish writers from all over the world but pride ourselves on publishing the best writing by African writers.

Click here for the submission guidelines.


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2017 South African Literary Awards winners announced!

This year’s winners of the South African Literary Awards (SALAs) were announced on Tuesday night, 07 November 2017 at UNISA, Pretoria Campus.

Authors, poets, writers other and literary practitioners whose works are continuously contributing to the enrichment of South Africa’s literary landscape were celebrated in an auspicious ceremony.

The SALA Awards have honoured over a hundred individuals in the past 12 years.

The 2017 South African Literary Awards (SALAs) winners are:

Category: First-time Published Author Award

Moses Shimo Seletisha, Tšhutšhumakgala (Sepedi)

Category: k.Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

Nthikeng Mohlele, Pleasure (English)

Category: Poetry Award

Helen Moffett, Prunings (English)

Simphiwe Ali Nolutshungu, Iingcango Zentliziyo (isiXhosa)

Category: Creative Non-Fiction Award

Dikgang Moseneke, My Own Liberator (English)

Category: Literary Journalism Award

Don Makatile, Body of work (English)

Phakama Mbonambi, Body of work (English)

Category: Literary Translators Award

Bridget Theron-Bushell, The Thirstland Trek: 1874 – 1881 (Afrikaans to English)

Jeff Opland, Wandile Kuse and Pamela Maseko, William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe Esinembali, Xhosa Histories And Poetry (1873 – 1888) (isiXhosa to English)

Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko, DLP.Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange, Historical Poems (isiXhosa to English)

Category: Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Roela Hattingh, Kamee (Afrikaans)

Category: Posthumous Literary Award

|A!kunta, Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)

!Kabbo, Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)

≠Kasin, Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)

Dia!kwain, Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)

|Han≠kass’o, Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)

Category: Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, Body of work (English)

Aletta Matshedisð Motimele, Body of work (Sepedi)

Etienne Van Heerden, Body of work (Afrikaans)

Category: Chairperson’s Award

Themba Christian Msimang, Body of work (isiZulu)

Book details


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Prince Albert Leesfees: 3 – 5 November

Book lovers it’s almost time to head for Prince Albert in the Karoo.

The town’s sixth Leesfees takes place over the first weekend of November, with a list of writers, books and performers in a programme that offers something for everyone.

The theme this year is ‘The Soul of the Karoo ~ In die Gees van die Karoo’, with writers, poets, artists, musicians, a comedian and films in the lineup. The talks, presentations and stage experiences include discussions with crime and suspense writers, Rudie van Rensburg (Kamikaze) and Mike Nicol (Agents of the State), debut writers Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning) and Sara-Jayne King (Killing Karoline), as well as academic and novelist, Cas Wepener (Johanna).

Matters legal and political are the subject of Glynnis Breytenbach’s memoir, Rule of Law; she will be in conversation with Tim Cohen.

Our visiting author from Europe this year is Bart de Graaff whose book on the KhoiKhoin: Ik Yzerbek/Ware Mense (translated by Daniel Hugo) traces the experience of the earliest peoples of our land.

Artist Elza Miles has made a major contribution to the art scene of SA, with her historical works on various visual artists, she will be in conversation with writer and journalist Johan Myburg who will also speak about his new poetry anthology Uittogboek.

Rapper, Hemelbesem, Simon Witbooi will discuss his autobiography, God praat Afrikaans with Anzil Kulsen.

Joyce Kotzè and her translator, Daniel Hugo speak about her Anglo-Boer War novel: The Runaway Horses/Wintersrust, fiction based upon fact. Joyce relates how her forebears fought on different sides during the War. They will be in conversation with Carel van der Merwe, author of Donker stroom.

Local ornithologist Dr Richard Dean will launch his book, Warriors, dilettantes and businessmen – Bird Collectors during the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries in South Africa.

Karel Schoeman’s contributions to South African literature will be the focus of a panel discussion with Nicol Stassen and Cas Wepener (author of van Die reis gaan inwaarts- die kuns van sterwe in die werke van Karel Schoeman) co-ordinated by Prof Bernard Odendaal.

New food celebrity Nick Charlie Key will reveal banting tips and how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle whilst indulging in decadent desserts, from his book Jump on the Bant Wagon with food-lover Russell Wasserfall.

Poets Gaireyah Fredericks, Daniel Hugo, Johan Myburg and local raconteur Hugh Forsyth will read some of their favourite poems in English and Afrikaans literature.

Two music and word highlights will be Tribal Echo with Huldeblyk aan Adam Small/Tribute to Adam Small and Afrika my verlange/Afrique mon désir: Laurinda Hofmeyr, Schalk Joubert, with six West African singers, in collaboration with the Cape Town Music Academy.

Our programme includes two films. Director and producer, Roberta Durrant, will attend the Karoo premiere of her award-winning film Krotoa. Eerstewater is a documentary film set in and around Prince Albert based on Hélène Smit’s book, Beneath.

We’ll look at the state of children’s book publishing in South Africa, enjoy an evening in the company of comedian Nik Rabinowitz, enjoy delicious meals at the on-site restaurant and generally savour the Soul of the Karoo.

The 2017 Leesfees is a festival you cannot miss. The full programme can be found on the festival website - www.princealbertleesfees.org – and the Facebook page www.facebook.com/princealbertleesfees – offers daily updates on the people, books, poetry and experiences which make up this great cultural event.

Tickets can be bought online at www.princealbertleesfees.org and at the Prince Albert Library, Church Street, Prince Albert. Tel: 023 5411 014. For information and enquiries: princealbertleesfees@mweb.co.za and WhatsApp: 073 213 3797.

Agents of the State

Book details

 
 

The Yearning

 
 
 
 

Killing Karoline

 
 
 
 

Rule of Law

 
 
 
 

Ware Mense

 
 
 
 

Uittogboek

 
 
 
 

God praat Afrikaans

 
 
 

Wintersrust

 

Die reis gaan inwaarts

 
 

Jump on the Bant Wagon


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Trade Secrets contributor Stephen Symons on human conflict, reconciliation, and avoiding literary cleverness

Stephen Symons is a graphic designer and poet. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Centre for African Studies (UCT). Stephen’s PhD research focuses on how former South African Defence Force (SADF) conscripts (1980-1990) navigate memories of induction into the SADF and whiteness in post post-apartheid society. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. His poetry, essays and short-fiction have been published in journals, magazines and various anthologies, locally and internationally, including Prufrock, Carapace, Stanzas, New Contrast, New Coin, Type/ Cast, uHlanga, Aerodrome, Poetry Potion, The Kalahari Review, LitNet, Badilisha Poetry, Wavescape, Patricia Schonstein’s Africa anthology series and the Short.Sharp.Stories anthologies. Stephen’s debut collection of poetry, Questions for the Sea was published in 2016 by uHlanga Poetry Press. He lives in Oranjezicht with his wife and two children.

Stephen and Joanne Hichens, curator of the Short.Sharp.Stories Award, recently discussed his Trade Secrets entry, the inevitability of politics slipping into your work, and avoiding literary cleverness.

‘My Cuban’ is a thrilling story by poet, Stephen Symons, which shows this talented writer trying out a new form. By the end of the story, I wished it was the first chapter of a 20-chapter novel. I hope this poet, now turned short story writer, might yet have a novel for the world. His craft and structure are excellent. It is a reader’s delight to encounter a writer who balances the condense power of poetry in the expanded line of fiction’ – Liesl Jobson

You have written that your commended story, ‘My Cuban’, ‘…oscillates between the lingering memory of an aerial encounter over Angola during the Border War and the difficulties of wrestling with an ambiguous present’. What do you mean when you talk of an ‘ambiguous present’?

Contemporary ‘South Africa’ often seems like a surreal cyclic space where the histories and narratives of the past are open to a multitude of interpretations; where the cultural and historical replies and conversations of a few have suffused to many. I think this allows for an ‘ambiguous present’, which is both exciting and equivocal. Uncertainty also presents obvious challenges to artists, irrespective of their creative language, but I’d like to think it acts as fuel for increased creative scope and inspiration. I’d also like to mention there’s an element of intertextuality in that the title ‘My Cuban’ refers to Etienne van Heerden’s 1983 short story ‘My Kubaan’, written at the height of the Border War.

Although reconciliation is at the heart of your story, is it common for ex-combatants to meet their former enemies?

Indeed, there are many stories of soldiers spending the remainder of their lifetimes seeking out their former enemies, and I think those who have never experienced combat like to rationalise the quests of these men with words like reconciliation, closure and catharsis. I believe it’s a lot more complex and inherently more human than that. This is especially true for fighter pilots; as their ‘killing’ is done at a distance. Aerial combat is traditionally focused on skill, technology and the machine — not the man, reason enough to for ex-combatants to meet their former enemies in an attempt to ‘humanise’ their experiences of war.

Faced with the indescribable horrors of war, how challenging was it to humanize both parties — the South African and the Cuban?

Human conflict has always relied on binary views of an objectified enemy, which as we know have ‘oiled the gears of war’ for millennia. The problem is that the aftershocks of combat are felt long after battle, and the need for former combatants to seek out each other is born out of a shared need to ‘humanise the experience’. In some respects it has less to do with reconciliation, and more to do with simply connecting with another human who has experienced similar horrors. There is of course an element of curiosity, another distinctly human trait. Have a look at the following article that appeared in ‘Die Burger’ on the 20th of September 2017.

“Human conflict has always relied on binary views of an objectified enemy”

 

The dogfighting scenes in your story have such authenticity one wonders were you ever a fighter pilot?

I flew light aircraft many years ago, but no, I was never a fighter pilot in the SADF. I’ve spoken with many ex-fighter pilots, from the Second World War, Korea and Angolan war. I did a fair amount of technical research for ‘My Cuban’ and managed to track down a Mirage F1 operating manual and consulted a number of pilot accounts of aerial combat over Angola during the Border War, which allowed for a certain degree of authenticity. The description of the dogfight in ‘My Cuban’ is a collage of various aerial encounters, although my story focuses on a dogfight that took place on the 6th of November 1981. Two Mirage F1-CZs flown by Major JJ Rankin and Lt J du Plessis were scrambled from Ondangwa to intercept two MiG-21 MFs. A dogfight ensued and Rankin could not lock his missile, so he switched to guns and opened fire. His Cuban opponent, Lt Danacio Valdez’s MiG broke in two and then exploded. Although Valdez was seen to eject, he sadly did not survive the encounter.

Please tell us more about your recent exhibition (mixed media, including installation art, sculpture and illustration) held at the Cape Town Castle. Is the story perhaps an extension of/ or part of that work?

No, I didn’t see my story as an extension of the exhibition, but the Border War lasted almost two decades and certainly remains a largely silenced era of South African history that I’m drawn to. In June I had an exhibition titled ‘’NUTRIA’ – Imprints of Conscription into the South African Defence Force (SADF)’. The exhibition aimed to interrogate the manner in which memories of the conscription of white males into the former South African Defence Force enter a contested present. These largely silenced ‘militarised journeys’ began in childhood and have entered the present imbued with a sense of nostalgia and romanticism. I hoped that those memories could be navigated, acknowledged and disrupted effectively by means of a series of creative engagements, perhaps prompting further conversations relating to the hidden and oft silenced histories of all South Africans. (Visit the NUTRIA exhibition website here.)

Your story, ‘Red Dust’, in Short.Sharp.Stories anthology Incredible Journey, focused on an ambiguous ‘future’. Is South African political tension inherent to most of your writing?

Despite my general disdain for politicians, there’s no way as a South African, and a writer, I can ignore politics – it simply attaches itself to your story like a remora fish. If you’re writing about South Africa, the landscape has a way of writing itself into your story, with its politics, history and inevitable tensions. Even a ‘de-people’ landscape (to use J.M. Coetzee’s term), remains a contested space in itself. As much I want to run away from it, politics has a habit of catching up with me in my writing.

With reference to Liesl Jobson’s quote, how do you as a poet ‘retain the power of the short form in an expanded line’?

I was once told that I should treat my poems as short stories and then perhaps a novel. I’m not so sure about that, but I try to avoid ‘literary cleverness’ and unnecessary embellishments that have a tendency to deplete the energy of the narrative, and shift focus from establishing a sense of rapport with the reader. I believe in accessibility, not code, but do believe that readers like to be challenged. Poetry forces one to choose carefully and avoid obvious solutions or easy exit routes, so I inevitably attempt, and mostly fail, to follow a similar approach to the expanded line.

What writing Trade Secret would you like to share?

I think Thoreau was onto something when he said: ‘Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.’

Visit badilishapoetry.com to read Stephen’s poetry.

Book details

Trade Secrets

 
 
 
 
Questions for the Sea


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Shortlist for 2017 South African Literary Awards announced

2017 marks the highest milestone of South African Literary Awards (SALA), as the shortlist includes, for the first time, the !Xam and !Kun languages.

Listed under the Posthumous Literary Awards, five legendary contributors are drawn from Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd collection of !Xam and !Kun narratives, verses, songs, chants, drawings and other materials consisting of over 150 notebooks running in some 13 000 pages which is considered a unique cultural and literary collection which has been recognised by United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Council (UNESCO) and entered into the memory of the World Register.

The materials deal with the land, the rain, the history of the first people, the origin of the moon and stars, animals, cosmology, beliefs, ceremonies, art and information of the
individual lives of the informants who had come to Cape Town as prisoners of the British Crown and were released into Bleek’s custody at his residence in Mowbray for linguistic and cultural research.

Also interesting is the shortlist list under the Translators Literary award consisting of William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe Esinembali, Xhosa Histories And Poetry (1873 – 1888), DLP.Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange, Historical Poems and The Thirstland Trek: 1874 – 1881. While the Creative Non- Fiction Award has The Keeper Of The Kumm: Ancestral Longing And Belonging Of A Boesmankind, by Sylvia Vollenhoven, My Own Liberator by Judge Dikgang Moseneke and Emily Hobhouse – Geliefde Verraaier by Elsabé Brits.

The shortlist goes on to list under the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award, South Africa’s legendary Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, who is largely respected for his predictions of world events, including the destruction of New York’s World Trade Centre in 2001, the 1976 June 16 Uprising, HIV, Chris Hani’s assassination, load shedding and the ousting of President Thabo Mbeki. Mutwa shares the category with other literary stalwarts, Aletta Matshedisð Motimele, who is revered for her Sepedi works and Etienne van Heerden, an academic and prolific Afrikaans author.

“Indeed, as its main aim, SALA continues to strive to become the most prestigious and respected literary accolades in South African literature,” says Ms Sindiswa Seakhoa, director at wRite associates, founders of SALA, in partnership with the department of Arts and Culture in 2005.

Since its inception in 2005, to date, SALA has honoured 160 authors in 11 categories in all official South African languages. SALA also boasts legacy programmes including:
- The National Poet Laureate Programme and the Keorapetse Kgositsile Lecture, in honour of the Poet Laureate, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile.
- The Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club, in honour of the late Miriam Tlali.
- Band of Troubadours, a publication comprising the work of the SALA recipients
- Africa Century International African Writers Conference and International African
Writers Day Lecture, established in 2012.

The conference is set to become a Mecca of who is who of the African literati, the Diaspora and the entire globe where the celebration of African letters occupies centre stage.

This historical gathering of literary intellectuals and authors from across the world, is, as the then-OAU’s Conference of African Ministers of Education and Culture (meeting in Coutonou, Benin, in 1991) resolved, “… to afford the African people a moment of pause within which to reflect on the contribution of African Writers to the development of the Continent”.

Both the 2017 South African Literary Awards ceremony and Conference will take place on the 7th November at Kgorong Building, UNISA. This is partnership by the wRite associates, the department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Afrikaans and Theory of Literature, UNISA.

The theme for the conference is “The Writer as a Drum Major of Conscience, Restoration & Transformation”, with the sub-theme being “The Establishment of the South African Writers Organization”.

Prof Zodwa Motsa, a Fulbright Scholar, a Researcher, Writer and Social Engineer, who has served as Head of the Department: English Studies (UNISA) from 2006 -2011 and currently serving as the Country Director at UNISA’s Ethiopia Centre for Graduate Studies in Addis Ababa, since 2012, will deliver the sixth International African Writers Day Lecture and Prof Nhlanhla Maake, an academician, novelist, dramatist, literary critic, and language activist will deliver the response. Prof Andries Oliphant, author, poet, literary scholar and cultural policy advisor, will lead the seminar on the establishment of South Africa’s writers’ organization.

Category: First-time Published Author Award

Amy Jephta, Kristalvlakte
Moses Shimo Seletisha, Tšhutšhumakgala
Mohale Mashigo, The Yearning

Category: k.Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

Kopano Matlwa, Period Pain
Nthikeng Mohlele, Pleasure

Category: Poetry Award

Helen Moffett, Prunings
Ronelda S Kamfer, Hammie
Simphiwe Ali Nolutshungu, Iingcango Zentliziyo

Category: Creative Non- Fiction Award

Dikgang Moseneke, My Own Liberator
Elsabé Brits, Emily Hobhouse – Geliefde Verraaier
Sylvia Vollenhoven, The Keeper Of The Kumm

Category: Literary Journalism Award

Don Makatile: His oeuvre
Phakama Mbonambi: His oeuvre

Category: Literary Translators Award

Bridget Theron-Bushell The Thirstland Trek: 1874 – 1881 (Afrikaans to English)
Jeff Opland, Wandile Kuse and Pamela Maseko William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe Esinembali Xhosa Histories And Poetry (1873 – 1888) (isiXhosa to English)
Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko DLP.Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange, Historical Poems (isiXhosa to English)

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Nick Mulgrew, Stations
Roela Hattingh, Kamee

Category: Posthumous Literary Award

|A!kunta: Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)
!Kabbo: Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)
≠Kasin: Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)
Dia!kwain: Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)
|Han≠kass’o: Body of work (!Xam and !Kun)

Category: Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa: Body of work
Aletta Matshedisð Motimele: Body of work
Etienne Van Heerden: Body of work

Category: Chairperson’s Award

The recipient will be announced at the award ceremony

Book details

Kristalvlakte

 
 
 
 

The Yearning

 
 
 
 

Period Pain

 
 
 
 

Pleasure

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Hammie

 
 
 
 

My Own Liberator

 
 
 
 

Emily Hobhouse

 
 
 
 

Keeper of the Kumm

 
 
 
 

The Thirstland Trek

 
 
 
 

William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali

 
 
 
 

DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange

 
 

Stations

 
 
 
 

Kamee


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Len Verwey’s In a Language That You Know: poetry for a troubled, complex, and vibrant SA

Poetry for a troubled, complex, and vibrant South Africa.

“Poems in this book plunge you, without warning, from a mattress on the floor, a village bus stop, or a fishermen’s boat into the depth of human aloneness.

. . . Len Verwey writes: ‘You need to breathe / in stone, breathe out a flower.’ He accomplishes this mission in his book: breathing in history and landscape, he breathes out powerful, fervent lyricism.” – Valzhyna Mort, author of Collected Body and Factory of Tears: A Lannan Literary Selection

South Africa is a complicated, contradictory, and haunted place. Len Verwey captures the trajectory of life in such a place, dealing with childhood, war, marriage, divorce, and death. He explores the challenges posed by place and history, shared identities, deep embeddedness in the continent, and the legacies of violence and exclusion, as well as beauty.

Verwey offers poems that speak of uncertainty, ask questions, and challenge simplistic and scapegoating narratives that become so tempting when living in a society undergoing intense social and economic pressure.

Dealing less with factual or political explanations of war and more with the compulsion of war, in particular, “maleness” and violence, Verwey pulls the reader into another world, opening eyes to the “crisis of men,” the violence against women, children, and the foreign in a country where conflicts are again escalating. In a Language That You Know strives to understand the complexity of one of the most unequal, violent, yet most vibrant societies in the world.

Len Verwey is a South African poet. He was born in Mozambique in 1973. His chapbook Otherwise Everything Goes On is included in the boxed set Seven New Generation African Poets, and his poems have been published in various journals including New Coin and New Contrast.

Book details


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Literary Crossroads: Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Tania Haberland, Xabiso Vili (10 October)

Literary Crossroads is a series of talks where South African writers meet colleagues from all over the continent and from the African diaspora to discuss trends, topics and themes prevalent in their literatures today. The series is curated by Indra Wussow and Sine Buthelezi.

The guests for the October edition of #LiteraryCrossroads are:

Writer-performer Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is the author of three collections of poetry and lectures at Wits University. Her autobiographical play Original Skin toured South Africa and Germany between 2008-2012. Her work has appeared in local and international journals and has been translated into Burmese, Mandarin, German, Italian, Flemish and Dutch. She is on the judging panel of African Poetry Book Fund (University of Nebraska) and is part of the South African Poetry Project (Zapp). She performs her poetry internationally and locally.

Tania Haberland (BA, HDE, MA) is a Mauritian-German-South African hybrid poet-artist-teacher-bodyworker. Her book Hyphen won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. Tania’s work brings poetry into educational and therapeutic contexts. Artistically, she loves to co-create multidisciplinary pieces exploring ‘carnal poetics’. Her current projects include The Technology of Tenderness with movement artist Fabrizio Dalle Piane, JazzGa: creating & singing poem-songs with musicians, translating Dome Bulfaro’s poetry… Mille Gru will publish an Italian anthology of her poems in 2018. Her second book, Other, is searching for a home.

Xabiso Vili is a performer, writer, social activist, TEDx speaker and soul collaborator. His writings explore his inner world to relate to the outer world. He is the champion of multiple slams and WordNSound poet of the year 2014 and 2015. Xabiso has performed all over South Africa, in Scotland, UK, the U.S. and India. As part of his activism work, Xabiso works with Mthubi the Hub, an organisation that takes over abandoned buildings and transforms them into art hubs for the community. Xabiso also runs writing, performance and event organizing workshops through Scribe Rites, a performance writing collective he co-founded that has produced other award-winning writers and performers. He released his album, ‘Eating My Skin’, created with Favela Ninjas. His one-man show ‘Black Boi Be’ has travelled extensively to critical acclaim.

Event details

Date: Tuesday, 10 October
Time: 19:00
Venue: Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood


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Teenager’s poem illustrates power of literacy at National Book Week launch

A sobering poem by primary school learner Mbali Mabangula (12) highlighting poverty and the importance of education stole the show at the launch of National Book Week at the Despatch Community Hall today.

Even though the grade 5 teenager is a literary novice, she managed not only to trump esteemed speakers; her turn of phrase encapsulates the importance of establishing a culture of reading.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Head of Libraries, Bongiwe Chigumbu, said prior to the implementation of National Book Week (NBW), a national study showed that only 14% of South Africans read. NBW takes place from 4 – 10 September this year and the theme is #OurStories.

“Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality became part of this national promotional week in 2012. It is based on the premise that the country will ultimately benefit with improved literacy levels.

“Like Mbali, we are not only encouraging writers to put pen to paper, we also endeavour to promote their stories as well.

“Last year Eastern Cape author Unathi Magubeni launched his novel Nwelezelanga The Star Child at the Nelson Mandela Bay rendition of National Book Week. This year his book is used as part of a reading and comprehension competition between Bay High Schools,” Chigumbu said.

She said activities for the week include a train ride by librarians from Uitenhage to Port Elizabeth from 07:00 tomorrow morning and a return trip from 13:00 to encourage commuters to read and write.

A workshop highlighting mobi sites also takes place at the Zwide Library from 09:00 today (Tuesday, 5 September).

Residents can also attend an e-media workshop at the Gelvandale Library from 10:00 to learn how to get free access to newspapers, magazines and e-books by having a valid library card.

On Wednesday, 6 September a parent and child interactive reading session starts at 09:00 at the Walmer/Gqebera Library. At 10:00 library staff will be competing in a comprehension competition at the Kwadwesi Community Hall after reading Zakes Mda’s Rachel’s Blue.

On Thursday, 7 September book donations to specially selected primary schools take place at the Newton Park Library from 09:00 and the Colchester Modular Library from 11:00.

Following a brisk walk, starting at 08:30 on Friday from Allanridge Library to Uitenhage Market Square, Nal’ibali storytelling takes place at 09:45 at the Uitenhage Town Hall. The closing ceremony takes place at the Uitenhage Market Square from 10:00 with a myriad activities including a book launch, an award ceremony and a motivational talk.

My dear future

by Mbali Mabangula

Hello, hello, hello!
I greet you my dear future.
I hope you’re bright and full of opportunities
Just like I’ve imagined being alive with possibilities.
And be equipped with new responsibilities
I am three steps ahead at reaching new frontiers
Escaping the heavy poverty left by my forefathers
Who said no to school, but yes to slavery!
That caused their death at Calvary

I’ve learned my A.B.C’s
And counted my 1.2.3’s
But still there’s no shadow of hope under my tree
Only leaves falling for me to see, that with no education you’re not free
Instead you’re like a person who’s walking on knees,
Trying to flee from poverty through the grace of the almighty.

I say to you my dear future
Be my teacher and make my life more richer.


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Nick Mulgrew awarded 2016 Thomas Pringle Award for his short story ’1-HR FOTO’


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nick Mulgrew has been announced as the winner of the 2016 Thomas Pringle Award for his short story ’1-HR FOTO’, published in Oppikoppi’s annual zine, Ons Klyntji (2016), and his short story anthology, Stations.

The Thomas Pringle Award is an annual award for work published in newspapers, periodicals and journals. The awards are allocated to either a book, play, film or TV review; a literary article or book review; an article on English education; one or more poems; and – in Nick’s case – a short story or one-act play.

Congrats, Nick!

Book details


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Getting to grips with memory in Wings of Smoke: Dave Mann reviews Jim Pascual Agustin’s new collection

There are moments in Jim Pascual Agustin’s latest collection that will test both mind and memory and, really, that’s what makes it so good.

Titled Wings of Smoke, the collection comprises 41 poems spread across four parts and features both new and previously published works by the Philippines-born, Cape Town-based writer and translator.

To take a leisurely read through Agustin’s works is no easy task. His writing is the kind that encourages you to stop and consider what you have just read, and in this way, you’ll find yourself combing through the same lines and picking out newer and more complex treasures each time. This is not to say that a cursory read of Wings of Smoke isn’t possible. Rather, it’s a flexible read – you pick it up and take what you want from it.

Structurally, Agustin’s collection is considerate. There are small poems early on, such as ‘Pause’ and ‘Midnight Bugs’ that read like exercises in the senses, full of new smells, tastes, and sounds. Pieces such as ‘Unbearable’, also early on in the collection, play around with space and movement so viscerally and succinctly that you’ll need to backtrack a good few times in order to grab hold of the piece in its entirety.

In the sections that follow, you’ll traverse the ephemeral and intangible, the humorous, the horrific, the political, and even a touch of the lyrical. Read in succession, the poems tend to dart from tone to tone, almost intentionally cutting the tension between each other, rather than expanding upon any singular, thematic thread. Pieces such as ‘Armed Response’ for example, with its somewhat reflexive and cheeky take on suburban living, come just before the painfully visceral ‘Red Letter’.

Altogether, Wings of Smoke reads like a spell of nostalgia or recollection – (Ten. Or nine. / Memory plays with me. / Stillness was a butterfly carefully settling on skin.) – the way a sound or smell may break the floodgates on a set of memories, or how a dream you don’t remember having will revisit you the following afternoon. Agustin’s writing is sharp and measured, each line plump with thought and vivid remembrance, relentless in its delivery, but light enough in its form to keep you pressing on, keenly.

***

International orders may be placed via Onslaught Press, and SA orders and queries can be coursed on Jim’s blog, Matangmanok. PS – Fixional recently conducted an interview with Jim; read it here.

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