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2016 Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award and Anthology - entries open

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Entries for the sixth annual Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and Anthology are now open! The project is made possible thanks to the ongoing support of the European Union. The Jacana Literary Foundation is also thrilled to welcome on board the Mail & Guardian this year, who will join in on the sixth Award, as we celebrate the anniversary of Sol Plaatje’s 140th birthday.

Up to three poems in any of South Africa’s official languages can be submitted via the online entry form. Entrants are encouraged to submit poems written in their mother tongue. Entries will close at 8 AM on Friday, 29 July.

The work submitted is judged blind, by a panel of four esteemed poets. As in previous years, a longlist of the best entries received will be published in Volume 6 of the anthology. A shortlist of three poets is selected from the longlist, and those finalists will be invited to attend an event at the seventh annual Mail & Guardian Literary Festival in early October, where the winner will be announced and cash prizes awarded.

Named after Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876-1932), the Award recognises the life and vision of this highly respected political and social activist. We always hope that it reveals the political and social attitudes of our time, and reflects the complex, nuanced and uncomfortable truths of life in South Africa, and thus poems which reflect our current realities are warmly welcomed.

For more information, contact the Jacana Literary Foundation on awards@jacana.co.za

The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology 2011The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IIThe Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IIIThe Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IVThe Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology

Prizes:

  • A shortlist of three poets will be selected by the judging panel. They will be invited to attend an awards ceremony and book launch at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival on 9 October, 2016 in Johannesburg.
  • prizes are awarded to the shortlist:

    1st place: R6,000
    2nd place: R4,000
    3rd place: R2,000

  • A longlist of the best poems entered will be selected by the judging panel, and published in Volume 6 of the anthology, which will be launched at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival.

Rules:

  • Entries open at 5 PM on Friday, 15 July and close at 8 AM on Friday, 29 July.
  • Poems in the 11 official languages of South Africa are accepted.
  • Poets may enter in more than one language.
  • Entrants must be South African citizens residing in South Africa.
  • Poems submitted may not have appeared in any publication, online (including blogs and social media) or in print. Only unpublished poetry is accepted.
  • Intertextuality and references must be appropriately attributed.
  • A maximum of three poems may be entered, although one or two poems per author is also acceptable.
  • If you are entering more than one poem, please ensure that they are each saved and uploaded as separate Word documents.
  • Poems must not exceed 100 lines.
  • Poems must be submitted as a Word document – doc or docx files. No other file formats are accepted.
  • Please ensure that the poet’s name does not appear on the Word document. It should only include the title and poem.
  • The file name should be the title of the poem.
  • Ariel size 11 or Times New Roman size 12 fonts are preferred. No “fancy” fonts, borders or images should be included on the Word document.
  • Handwritten entries are not eligible.

Declaration and permissions:

By entering, the poet declares that the entry is their original work and neither whole nor part of their poem has been published previously. They give permission for the publication of their poem in the anthology, without payment, if longlisted. Poets agree to have their work translated into English for adjudication and publication purposes.

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Sterkykers deur Jaco Jacobs: Vars, verrassende, vuishou-op-die-maag-gedigte vir tieners

SterkykersSterkykers, ’n heerlike bundel verse vir tieners saamgestel deur Jaco Jacobs, is nou beskikbaar op LAPA se rakke:

Skryf ’n liefdesbrief.
Bemeester die kuns van hande vashou.
Vuisstamp die lewe voluit.
Lag soos die mense in advertensies.
Raak onsigbaar.
Twiet vir iemand ’n vers.

Hierdie bundel vars, verrassende, vuishou-op-die-maag-gedigte vir tieners bou voort op die suksesvolle Toulopers. Bekende digters en skrywers soos Koos Kombuis, Ronelda S Kamfer, Nathan Trantraal, Annie Klopper, Fanie Viljoen, Izak de Vries en Jacobs span kragte saam met opwindende nuwelinge soos Deon Meiring (hoofsanger van die groep Glaskas), Solette Swanepoel, Donnay Torr en Danie du Toit (sanger en liedjieskrywer van die groep Spoegwolf) in ’n opwindende digbundel wat spesiaal saamgestel is om hedendaagse jongmense se leefwêreld te weerspieël.

Oor die samesteller

Jaco Jacobs is op Carnarvon in die Karoo gebore. Sy eerste boek, Troetelgedrog, het in 2001 by LAPA verskyn, en sedertdien het meer as honderd boeke vir kleuters, kinders en tieners uit sy pen verskyn. Sy boeke is onder meer bekroon met die Alba Bouwerprys, die C.P. Hoogenhoutmedalje en 19 ATKV-Kinderboektoekennings. Talle van sy boeke word met groot sukses by skole voorgeskryf, en in 2014 is ’n rolprentweergawe van sy gewilde tienerboek Suurlemoen! landwyd vrygestel. Hy woon in Bloemfontein saam met sy vrou, Elize, sy dogtertjies, Mia en Emma, twee honde, Pippie en Binki, en ’n baie stoute kantoorkat genaamd Lego wat sy bes probeer om Jaco uit die werk te hou. Besoek gerus sy webtuiste.

Boekbesonderhede

Read an excerpt from Binyavanga Wainaina's new short story, "Alien Taste"

Kwani?One Day I Will Write About This PlaceHow to Write About Africa

 
“There are times that even Graham believes the story he has peddled for so many years, about how he came to be gay.”

This Fiction Friday, dip into “Alien Taste”, a new short story on Brittle Paper by acclaimed author Binyavanga Wainaina.

The story starts with the protagonist thinking back on the time he first realised he was gay. Fifteen-year-old Graham drinks beer and has had sex with an older woman (but isn’t convinced that he liked either events).

“He assumed that sex was like beer—that soon it would create an unquestioning language in him, and he could lose himself in its subtleties.”

On the day he decides to smoke in public for the first time, Graham meets a man named Fred, a big Irishman with a deep, careless voice.

Read the excerpt:

There are times that even Graham believes the story he has peddled for so many years, about how he came to be gay. That he had always known; that he used to dress up in his mother; that he had been riveted by the biceps of Mohammed Ali, the anger of those black panthers on television; that he had played the kerfuffle game in public school; that the old gay friends of his mother, who had hosted him when she was in rehab, or consulting her guru in Lucknow, had made it easy to see possibilities in this world. These things are all true, but only small accessories to the main event.

But the main event, as seen by him now, is also untruthful: it was not as clear a sexual selection as he prefers to imagine, and he knows this enough not to share this story– it could well be that he was always gay, and that he would have come to it in one way or another, despite his self-protests to the contrary. But the unambiguous epiphany that the first gay fuck gave him marked not his sexuality, but his approach to life itself, it was his Woodstock, his civil rights movement. And inside himself, he remains unconvinced of his visceral homosexuality, believes that he has willfully created himself.

 
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Image courtesy of Brittle Paper and Department of Arts and Culture

Waar die oog van stil word: Ilse van Staden se derde digbundel

Waar die oog van stil wordWaar die oog van stil word deur Ilse van Staden is nou beskikbaar by Protea:

Waar die oog van stil word is Van Staden se derde digbundel en is net so keurig afgerond soos haar vorige bundels. Die eerste groep gedigte handel oor die verwerking van verlies en afskeid van die bekende. Dan betree die digter die onbekende wêreld, waar sy haar vereenselwig met klein lewende wesens soos slakke en torre wat dit ook moet waag in die groot buitewêreld in. Die digter het net ’n veerpen oor om mee te skryf en om ’n skip met woorde en drome te bou waarmee sy in die verbeelding kan reis. Daar is ’n sterk bewustheid van die vervlietendheid van alles: Al probeer die oog ook onthou, maar dit kan slegs weerkaatsings boekstaaf vir die brein se verbeeldingskrag en kan die digter dit met woorde probeer vasvang.

Deurgaans is die digter daarvan bewys dat dinge nie bewaar kan word nie, soos die lig wat in donker oorgaan, die wind wat vlugtig aan skouers raak, die geluide van voëls teen skemer, ’n brander wat oor die strand spoel en onmiddellik verdwyn. Ten slotte is die digter ook bewus van die paradoks van die digkuns: Dit is onmoontlik om die stilte van die see in woorde vas te vang, want “daar’s geen woorde in die see nie/en geen stilte in ’n vers!”

Oor die outeur

Ilse van Staden het aan die Universiteit van Pretoria gestudeer en as veearts op verskillende plekke gepraktiseer. Haar eerste digbundel, Watervlerk (2004) word met die Eugène Marais-prys en die Ingrid Jonkerprys bekroon. Sy skryf ook prosa. Tans woon sy in Australië. Haar debuutroman, Goeie dood wat saggies byt, verskyn in 2016.

Boekbesonderhede

Vloeibare middelpunt: Martjie Bosman se derde digbundel nou op die rakke

Vloeibare middelpuntVloeibare middelpunt deur Martjie Bosman is nou beskikbaar op Protea Boekhuis se rakke:

Vloeibare middelpunt is Bosman se derde digbundel en volg op Toevallige tekens (2010) en Landelik (2003), waarvoor sy met die Ingrid Jonker-prys bekroon is.

Susan Smith skryf in haar keurverslag dat Vloeibare middelpunt handel oor ’n “gevoel van vervreemding en vreemdelingskap – nie net as reisende buite die grense van die bekende nie, maar selfs die bekende wat vervreemdend word.” Soos die bundeltitel voorspel, is daar sprake van ’n vloeibare in- en uitbeweeg na en van die veilige maar onvaste kern, en word verskillende bestaansmoontlikhede op verskillende plekke (hetsy fisiese of kopruimtes) verken. So handel heelparty gedigte oor woon in ’n stad (soos Pretoria, wat uitgebeeld word in Ryan Loubser se “Spookhuis in die reën” op die omslag) wat uitdagings aan die inwoners stel, maar ook ’n gevoel van behoort wek. Soos vroeër by die gedigreeks “Viervoud” uit Landelik, vind die Heideggeriaanse konsep van “woon” soos uiteengesit in sy referaat getiteld “Bauen wohnen denken”, sterk inslag, vandaar dat Bosman die Hölderlin-aanhaling as motto vir die bundel gebruik: “… dichterisch wohnet der Mensch auf dieser Erde”.

 

“Foxtrot van die vleiseters”

Satrae stop die BM’s en MB’s en 4-treks
voor die slaghuis, sein die T-hemde
die seisoene: ligblou, gestreep of groen en goud.
Daar binne gesorteer volgens die slagoffers
die tjops, die steaks, die sosaties, die worse
– Weens, Russies, Spaans, Duits, gerook, gekaas,
om nie te praat van die boeresoorte nie:
gawe, gemoedelike Grabouw, kameelhout,
rooikrans; skaap-, bees-, hoender-, lewer-,
en iewers ten duurste ook “oorspronklik”.
Agter loei die sae, spat die skaafsels,
genoeg om vegetariërs te laat verbleek.
Maar wat, ons koop ook die bykosse,
die braaipap, die dege uitgerys in hul plastieke,
die knoffelbrode en roosterkoeke in hul foelies,
die kase, die botters, die smere, gesofistikeerd
met pesto en soet sondroë tamaties, die wyne,
die olywe, die olies en balsamiese asyne,
die skyfies vir vooraf en die terte vir daarna.
Vanaand gaan die brikette brand, die rokies hang,
die biere skuim, die vroue vol belofte lag,
die kinders stry en op die sofas slaap.
Vanaand vergeet ons die verlede, die kwellings
van die week, die hoofpyn van die oordaad.
Vanaand dans ons die dans van die lewe.

Oor die outeur

Martjie Bosman was van 2000 tot 2004 as Argivaris (Afrikaanse radioprogramme) by die SAUK se Klankargief werksaam. In Augustus 2004 word sy as redakteur by Protea Boekhuis aangestel. Sy publiseer sedert 1990 gereeld gedigte in literêre tydskrifte en debuteer in 2003 met die bundel Landelik.

Boekbesonderhede

Don't miss the launch of John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935) in Grahamstown

Invitation to the launch of John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935)

 
John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935)UKZN Press and the Rhodes University School of Languages: African Language Studies would like to invite you to the launch of John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935) edited by Jeff Opland and Peter T Mtuze.

Come and celebrate the publication of the third volume in the Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature at the National Arts Festival on Tuesday, 5 July. The launch will start at 2:30 PM, with an introduction to the series by Pamela Maseko.

Entrance is free and refreshments will be served.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

 
About the book

Publication of the Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature Volume 3

John Solilo (1864–1940) was a prolific contributor to Xhosa-language newspapers. He submitted letters and articles on a variety of issues, local news reports from Cradock and Uitenhage, and a considerable body of poetry. His major literary contribution was his collection of poems entitled Izala (A Rubbish Dump), published in 1925, the earliest volume of poetry by a single author in the history of Xhosa literature.

Solilo’s literary reputation today, however, is at variance with his prominence as a major author in the first four decades of the twentieth century: he is hardly mentioned, if at all, by literary historians, Izala has long been out of print, and copies can no longer be located. In restoring to the public domain the 65 poems that made up Izala and adding an additional 28 that were published in newspapers both before and after the appearance of Izala, the editors hope to revive Solilo’s reputation as a poet, and to establish his status as a preeminent Xhosa author.

In his poetry, Solilo urged passivity and opposed political revolt, but he could also be scathing in his denunciation of black indignities suffered under white control, inspired as he was by umoya wembongi, the spirit of the imbongi, the praise poet whose stirring declamations roused his audiences to action or contemplation.

About the editors

Jeff Opland has devoted himself to defining and restoring the heritage of literature in the Xhosa language. Among other works, with Peter Mtuze he edited two anthologies of Xhosa literature, Isigodlo sikaPhalo (1983) and Izwi labantu (1994). Opland is currently Visiting Professor in the School of Languages: African Language Studies at Rhodes University.

Peter T Mtuze is the most prolific living isiXhosa writer: he has produced novels, short stories, essays, drama, poetry, autobiography and language books. Mtuze’s first book, UDingezweni (1966), is regarded as a classic novel. One of his singular achievements was his translation of former President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, into isiXhosa. He worked on the University of Fort Hare Xhosa Dictionary Project, at the University of South Africa and at Rhodes University, where he retired as Professor Emeritus.

 
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