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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

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.

Book details

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Die Woordenaars dig & drink weer saam volgende Sa’erdag

Met ’n slagspreuk wat “robbish het ook ’n stem” heet, lede wat uit Johan Jack Smith, Kabous Verwoed, Niel van Deventer, Gérard Rudolf en Paul Riekert bestaan, en ’n wedersydse voorliefde vir Bacchus en poësie ’n gegewe is, is die Woordenaars ’n span om mee gereken te word.

Saterdag 26 Augustus gaan dié gedugte woordsmouse om agt namiddag by Shadowboxer byeenkom vir hulle volgende sessie van digkuns voordra en diep (genoeg) in die bottel tuur.

Luidens die Vleisbroek-event kan jy vlamme en f-bomme, liefde en verlange, en vrees en hoop verwag – en dit alles onder een dak.

Ja-nee, kyk. Stiek uit, want die poppe gaan dans.

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Kortlyste vir die kykNET-Rapport Boekresensent van die Jaar-toekennings 2017 bekendgemaak

Die Afrikaanse resensiebedryf kan homself op die skouer klop te oordeel na die gehalte van inskrywings wat vir vanjaar se kykNET-Rapport Boekresensent van die Jaar-wedstryd ontvang is.

Die kortlyste is pas bekend gemaak vir dié pryse, wat ingestel is om die belange van boeke en die leesgenot van boekliefhebbers te bevorder deur die wêreld van Afrikaanse boeke vir die breë Suid-Afrikaanse publiek toeganklik te maak. Dit dien ook as aanmoediging om hoë standaarde in die Afrikaanse boekjoernalistiek te handhaaf.

Altesaam 33 van die voorste resensente in Afrikaans het vanjaar ingeskryf, tien meer as verlede jaar. Twee pryse van R25 000 elk word toegeken vir die beste Afrikaanse resensie wat in 2016 oor Afrikaansie fiksie en niefiksie onderskeidelik verskyn het. Die kortlyste, wat uit 90 inskrywings saamgestel is, is soos volg:


Danie Marais: “Die ‘Kook en Geniet’ van oneerbiedigheid” (oor Anton Kannemeyer en Conrad Botes se Bitterkomix 17, Media24-dagblaaie, 4 Julie 2016)
Charl-Pierre Naudé: “Digterlike afdruk van ‘n lewe verbeeld” (oor Bibi Slippers se Fotostaatmasjien, Media 24-dagblaaie, 5 Desember 2016)
Elmari Rautenbach: “Debuut se stiltes ’n elegie aan verlore liefde” (oor Valda Jansen se Hy kom met die skoenlappers, Media 24-dagblaaie, 18 Julie 2016)


Reinhardt Fourie: Vlam in die sneeu: Die liefdesbriewe van André P. Brink en Ingrid Jonker (geredigeer deur Francis Galloway, Tydskrif vir letterkunde, September/Oktober 2016)
Daniel Hugo: “Een van die heel grotes” (oor Om Hennie Aucamp te onthou, saamgestel deur Danie Botha, Rapport, 14 Februarie 2016)
Emile Joubert: “Die afkook van ’n vol lewe vind hier beslag” (oor Wat die hart van vol is deur Peter Veldsman met Elmari Rautenbach, Media24-dagblaaie, 31 Oktober 2016)

Die keurders was boekjoernalis en digter Bibi Slippers (sameroeper), senior joernalis en skrywer Jomarié Botha en digter en dosent Alfred Schaffer. Aangesien ’n werk van Slippers geresenseer is, is sy vir die finale keuring deur die redakteur van Huisgenoot, Yvonne Beyers, vervang.

Die keurders was dit eens dat die inskrywings deur die bank van ’n baie hoë gehalte was en werklik leeslus aanwakker.

“Daar was heelparty gevalle waar ek nie noodwendig onder normale omstandighede in ’n sekere boek sou belangstel nie, maar die resensent se entoesiasme en insigte het my genoeg geprikkel om dit ’n kans te wil gee,” sê Slippers.

“Dit was ook veral heerlik om verskillende resensies van belangrike boeke soos Die na-dood, Vlakwater en Koors te lees, en uiteenlopende interpretasies en leesbenaderings te kan ervaar via die resensente.”

Daar was vanjaar heelwat nuwe name onder die resensente wat ingeskryf het. “Ek hoop dat ons deur inisiatiewe soos dié die poel selfs verder kan vergroot. Hoe meer ingeligte, intelligente menings uit verskillende perspektiewe verteenwoordig is, hoe beter vir alle rolspelers in die boekbedryf,” sê Slippers.

Die wenners word op 30 September 2017 saam met die wenners van die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse in Kaapstad aangekondig.

Bitterkomix 17Boekbesonderhede




Hy kom met die skoenlappers


Vlam in die sneeu


Om Hennie Aucamp te onthou


Wat die hart van vol is

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The South African Book Fair and National Book Week officially launches #OURSTORIES

Johannesburg, South Africa (Thursday, 17 August 2017) – The South African Book Fair (SABF) and National Book Week (NBW) officially launched on Thursday at the Market Square, Newtown. The event was an exploration of this year’s theme #OURSTORIES, which is a celebration of the established presence of National Book Week and the return of the South African Book Fair, under the auspices of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), in partnership with the Department of Arts & Culture and the Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA (FP&M).

The theme of this year’s upcoming SABF is #OURSTORIES, which sheds light on the stories and experiences that all South Africans have to communicate. In sharing #OURSTORIES we create spaces for learning and reaching across into each other’s worlds. By learning from each other we open possibilities for greater understanding of who we are, as a people.

Speaking at the launch event, Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the SABDC said: “The SABDC represents the South African book sector and all those involved in bringing books to you. We are proud to say this is the largest and most comprehensive campaign aimed at driving the importance of books and reading in the history of the country. Books have been kept away from many of our people during Apartheid and it is now time for us to write, read and own #OURSTORIES.”

Amongst those in attendance were NBW ambassadors Mogau Motlhatswi (Skeem Saam actress) and Mostoaledi Setumo (Generations & Green and Desire actress).

NBW Ambassadors Mogau Motlhatswi (Skeem Saam) and Motsoaledi Setumo (Generations and Greed & Desire) sharing a laugh at the SABF and NBW Launch


Performing artist, poet and writer Koleka Putuma performed material from her highly acclaimed poetry anthology Collective Amnesia.

Author and performing artist Koleka Putuma delivers a captivating reading from her anthology of poems titled Collective Amnesia


Director of Libraries and Archives at the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Koekie Meyer gave an address highlighting the importance of telling our stories and reading amongst South Africans.

She also announced that the Gauteng Region is opening eight new libraries in this period, which will be home to 8000 – 15000 books each.

The launch event also gave special recognition to Joseph Lamani, who was presented with an award for the Most Innovative National Book Week Programme in 2016. This was the first award of its kind.

The SABF will take place from 8-10 September 2017 at Museum Africa, Newtown, boasting a diverse literary programme, which features the following authors: Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Deon Meyer, Marah Louw, Zakes Mda, Athambile Masola and many more.

Topics on the programme that are sure to catch attention include: “Hidden Figures: African Women in the Global Imagination”, “Colourism, gender and beauty” and “Racism: the immovable stain”.

With participation from a diverse group of scholars, authors, media practitioners and thought leaders, the 2017 SABF will be a space for a robust debate and engagement where those positioned differently in society can reach into each other’s worlds. Beyond these, writing workshops and test kitchens will also be a part of the programme.

The SABF offering provides something of interest to everyone, whether in politics, social justice, transformation, entertainment, food or visual art; this provides multiple vehicles through which #OURSTORIES can be delivered to the world.

National Book Week will take place across all nine provinces from 4-10 September. National Book Week is an opportunity to encourage individuals to discover, rediscover and share the joys of storytelling by engaging with the written word. The week will be focused on providing access to books, while promoting and cultivating a culture of reading across all nine South African provinces, reaching areas outside of urban centres and metros.

National Book Week is a programme by the South African Book Development Council, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA, with broadcast media support from SAfm.

For more information visit: or social media: Facebook (National Book Week SA), Twitter (@NBW_SA).

The SABF will take place at:
Venue: Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg
Dates: 8-10 September, 2017
Time: 10:00

Collective Amnesia

Book details

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Programme for the ninth Jozi Book Fair announced!

In partnership with the City of Johannesburg, the ninth Jozi Book Fair takes place from 31 August – 3 September 2017 at Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg.

The Jozi Book Fair (JBF) is an educational and cultural festival for schools, children, book clubs, women, men, academics, communities and the public. This year JBF’s jam-packed programme has more than 150 events for people of all ages, varied topics and interests, and all art forms, and 60% of events are hosted by the public. If schools want to participate, they need to register before 25 August. Entrance is FREE! See the full programme on the fair’s website:

Celebrating the theme, ‘Women and Literature’, the fair brings together two literary powerhouses, Kopano Matlwa the author of the critically acclaimed novels Coconut, Spilt Milk and Period Pain, and Shailja Patel, an internationally acclaimed Kenyan poet, playwrighter, theatre artist, political activist and author of the bestseller Migritude.

The theme ‘Women and Literature’ informs the fair’s content, historicising depictions of women by both women and men, in literature and the arts globally.

Some authors at the fair: Mohale Mashigo, Marah Louw, Malebo Sephodi, Reneiloe Malatjie, Jayne Bauling, Dumisani Sibiya, Ashwin Desai, Pregs Govender, Christa Kulijan.

Legends and JBF Patrons: Zakes Mda, James Mathews, Keorapetse ‘Bra Willie’ Kgositsile, Diana Ferrus.

The highlights of this year’s fair include:

Guests & Participants
The award-winning guests of the fair, Kopano Matlwa and Shailja Patel will be in conversation about their work and on several panels.

Internationally Acclaimed Authors
Shailja Patel (Kenya)
Lindsey Collen (Mauritius)
Malin Persson Giolito (Sweden)

Conversations with authors
Media personality Penny Lebyane will be in conversation with Marah Louw on her book It’s me, Marah, Mohale Mashigo will be ‘misbehaving’ with Malebo Sephodi, author of Miss Behave, Reneilwe Malatji explores how relationships change as women gain independence with her book Love Interrupted and journalist Thandeka Gqubule will give insight into her book No Longer Whispering To Power: The Story of Thuli Madonsela.

The fair boasts over 20 skills workshops which include writing (short stories, poetry), photography, social media, philosophy for teens, meditation for youth and dance meditation.

Book launches include the second edition of Batjha Kaofela, an anthology of ten short stories by teens from schools in townships and three books on #Feesmustfall by Leigh Ann Naidoo, Oliver Metho and Crispen Chungo, self-publishers and small publishers.

Roundtable discussions include: Women and Literature (Lindsey, Kopano, Shailja), White Monopoly Capital: What FUTURE for SA?: (Chris Malikane, D. Gqubule) and Crisis of Feminism with Nomboniso Gasa.

Panel discussions include discussions on the Mining Charter with Oxfam

Exciting exhibitions: Market Photo Workshop (women photographers), sculptor exhibition – Imbali Yo Mfazi/The Legend Of Woman by Mazwi Mdima at Workers Museum.

Music: School bands and Moses Molekwa Foundation

Theatre: Inner City Youth will be performing three iconic plays (Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, The Island and For Coloured Girls) and Botoo by Ronnie Govender.

The JBF is proud to also bring to the public the screening of the film, Whale Caller directed by Zola Maseko. The film is adapted from the book The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda.


Book details


Spilt Milk


Period Pain



It's Me, Marah

Miss Behave


Love Interrupted

No Longer Whispering to Power


The Whale Caller

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Accessing the doors to our dreams: Dave Mann reviews Douglas Reid Skinner’s Liminal

The first thing that comes to mind when reading Douglas Reid Skinner’s new collection is that writing can be a pretty tough gig. But it’s only as tough as living.

Liminal, the latest release from the South African poet, is a collection of 39 poems, broken up into four parts, and spread across 72 pages. Now depending on how you read your poetry, this could be something you enjoy over a single day, or maybe even a week. Me? I read it through the evenings and then, over the course of a few quiet days, I read it again.

Skinner is a name that’s not foreign to the South African literary scene. Liminal is his seventh collection of works and, to date, he’s had work appear in numerous local literary journals as well as in British, American, French and Italian publications. Taking his long and steady writing career into account makes it easier to understand what’s taking place on these pages.

Liminal is a pensive collection, full of small thoughts on boundless topics, crafted down to bite-sized poems. Skinner, in equal parts severity and humour, is engaging in much thinking, dreaming, and agonising on the process of writing itself. Moreover, he delves into the many pains, progressions, and pure moments of chance that serve as prerequisites to the act of sitting down and putting pen to paper and how, often, those moments can seem so dreadfully distant.

Here’s a taster:

“If I could only recall exactly what they were,”
He whispered to himself, “those words that I saw,

“Now that I’m ready with a pen and a blank page.”
But there are no doors into our dreams.
Each mutely drifts along on its own sea.

Beyond the act of writing, there are many stories and themes in Liminal, and each time you read it through, you’ll uncover more. Of the ones I’ve discovered so far, there are outings with good friends, wistful takes on travel, lonely musings over morning headlines, and reflexive takes on nostalgia (‘those relatively rich acres of time, days, turn out to be ephemeral, small spaces that keep on falling straight out the backs of our heads’).

Some read like short stories while others appear on the page as they might’ve looked when they were first typed out or scribbled down. Like all good narratives, they’re familiar in one way or another.

There’s a rigour to Skinner’s work that’s evident throughout. This is no doubt due to his long journey with writing, but it’s also evident in the quiet, pensive tributes to those who have come before him – whether they’re writers, family members or independent pieces of literature. Ultimately, form and motif are brought together through the collection’s segments – each one unpacking a particular set of narratives.

All of these elements considered, Liminal is an easy and eloquent read and it’s a collection that’s perhaps best read in motion. Take a poem or two with your morning coffee before work, or on the bus or train home. Read it when you’re longing for a hillside, but you find yourself stuck in the city. Then again, if you do happen to be on a hillside with nothing specific to do, Liminal would go down just as well. – Dave Mann, @david_mann92

Liminal is out this August. Visit uHlanga for more details.

Book details

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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:

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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