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The 15 Best Local Book Covers of 2014: Do you agree with our selection?

Dewald Koen resenseer Mellet Moll se debuut-trilogie: Heilige Meetkunde, Swanesange en Nalewe

Heilige MeetkundeSwanesangeNalewe

Uitspraak: wortel

Mellet Moll het pas geskiedenis gemaak as die eerste Afrikaanse digter wat ’n trilogie as debuut gepubliseer het. Die drie bundels, getiteld Heilige Meetkunde, Swanesange en Nalewe, sluit tematies by mekaar aan en vorm ’n siklus wat saam gelees moet word. Die drie bundels is pragtig uitgegee, met kunswerke van Diek Grobler op die buiteblaaie wat die bundels esteties asook tematies komplementeer.


Collected Writings of the Archetypal "Xhosa Man of Letters": William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali

William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembaliNew from UKZN Press William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali: Xhosa histories and poetry (1873–1888), edited by Jeff Opland, Wandile Kuse and Pamela Maseko:

William Wellington Gqoba (1840–88) was prominent among the African intellectuals emerging in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa towards the end of the nineteenth century.

By trade he was a wagonmaker, licensed preacher of the Free Church of Scotland, teacher, historian, poet, folklorist and editor. For much of his brief life he served on mission stations as a catechist, and ended his career as editor of the Lovedale newspaper Isigidimi sama-Xosa, to which he contrived to contribute subversive poetry outspokenly critical of Western education, the European administration of black people and the discrimination suffered by colonised blacks. Gqoba fashioned the figure of the Xhosa man of letters. Unrivalled in his time in the generic range of his writing, he was the author of letters, anecdotes, expositions of proverbs, histories and poetry, including two poems in the form of debates that stood for over fifty years as the longest poems in the Xhosa language.

This book assembles and translates into English all of William Wellington Gqoba’s clearly identifiable writings. They offer an insider’s perspective on an African nation in transition, adapting uncomfortably to Western mores and morality, seeking to affirm its identity by drawing on its past, standing on the brink of mobilisation to resist white control and to construct its social, political and religious independence of European colonialism.

About the editors

Jeff Opland recently retired after a career teaching at universities in South Africa, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the author of numerous studies of Anglo-Saxon and Xhosa literature, and is currently editing and translating a series of texts drawn from his collection of Xhosa literature.

Wandile Kuse studied at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where, influenced by A.C. Jordan, he earned an MA on iziduko and izibongo and a PhD on S.E.K. Mqhayi. He returned to South Africa in 1983 as Director of the Bureau for African Research and Documentation at the University of Transkei and retired in 2001.

Pamela Maseko holds a PhD in Socio-linguistics. She taught at the University of Cape Town and is currently teaching Sociolinguistics and Applied Language Studies at Rhodes University.

Book details

Chantelle Gray Reviews In a Burning Sea: Contemporary Afrikaans poetry in translation by Marlise Joubert

In a Burning Sea: Contemporary Afrikaans poetry in translationVerdict: carrot

Whatever translation does not achieve, whatever this collection negates, it does allow for a reimagining of Afrikaans poetry and successfully presents an indication of the scope of the creativity and leitmotifs in contemporary Afrikaans poetry.

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Kom luister na Eunice Basson en Henning Pieterse in gesprek oor Leiboom by Graffiti Lynnwood Bridge

Uitnodiging: Eunice Basson gesels oor Leiboom

LeiboomQueillerie en Graffiti Lynnwood nooi jou graag na ’n boekgesprek met Eunice Basson oor haar digbundel, Leiboom.

Die geleentheid begin om 18:00 op Donderdag, 29 Januarie, by Graffiti Lynnwood Bridge in Pretoria. Henning Pieterse sal met die kunshistorikus en digter gesels oor haar debuut.

Moet dit nie misloop nie!


Join Elena Calligeris for the Launch of Awaken in Cape Town

Awaken invite

AwakenYou are invited to celebrate the launch of Awaken with author Elena Calligeris.

Calligeris will be discussing her book and signing copies at the Greek Club in Mouille Point on Saturday, 21 February, at 10:30 AM.

The event will incorporate artisan cheese tasting and wine sampling, and copies of the book will be on sale.

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 21 February 2015
  • Time: 10:30 AM to 12 PM
  • Venue: The Greek Club
    Bay Road
    Mouille Point | Map
  • Refreshments: Cheese and Wine
  • RSVP: 081 039 3100

Book Details

Presenting From Around the World in Eighty Days, Ari Sitas' Love Poem to India

Ari SitasFrom Around the World in Eighty Days In From Around the World in Eighty Days: The Indian Section, Ari Sitas takes us on a seven-day journey to India:

The book is a reconstruction of Jules Verne’s journey of 1872, Phileas Fogg, Auda and Passepartout are transferred to the 21st century, in a dialogue of what was and what is and what remains undecided …

“Have we defined India, Passerpartout, what is the verdict … ?”

Praise for From Around the World in Eighty Days:
“The postmodern pastiche that is India is inescapable in this poetic writing. The author has captured the kaleidoscope of the subcontinent in all its infinite and palpable variety.”

About the book and audio CD

This colourfully illustrated volume of poetry is a replication of the journey undertaken in the Jules Verne classic adventure novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. In a postmodernist pastiche mode the poet integrates Indian poetry forms, alludes to imagined places, weaves in sociological themes of migrant labourers, illegal immigrants – and even employs a local artist to add exotic art works, as a double irony.

The volume consists of 31 poems, rounded off by two appendices and notes, and the book is accompanied by an audio CD, with the author reading some parts of the poetry to music composed for the book. Given the nature of the text, illustrations were added to heighten the visual appeal. The author specifically briefed the artist to complete the sketches, which have been interspersed between poems and presented within a draft layout.

The theme of Verne’s globe-circumventing adventure, a circular and strictly measured journey enters into the poetry as well as into recurring references and imagery of globes and various units of measurement. The poet has juxtaposed his incomplete journey with fragments of experiences and impressions mapped along the way, offering vivid flashes of life observed in the uneven movement of the second, imperfect journey. As an afterword and emphasising the ironic slant, the two appendices add further, virtually filmic, “behind the scenes” comment to close the journey with its point of beginning: the Jules Verne novel.

Have a kerala coffee on the go; hop on a train to see the Elephant Man; stop for a moment to sip on a Sula or order a chai. Sitas awakens our senses with this unique sensory encounter. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of India with Aouda and Passerpartout.

With full colour original Kerala art work, this truly is a unique work of art. From Around the World in Eighty Days forms part of the prestigious Unisa Flame Series for interdisciplinary works.

About the author

Being well-known as academic, writer, poet, playwright and activist, Ari Sitas is a collaborator and creative leader par excellence.

Sitas joined the University of Cape Town as a professor in May 2009, after 26 years at the University of Natal and later the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He was a senior fellow and research associate in a number of institutions: the University of California, Berkeley, Ruskin College and Oxford University and president of the South African Sociological Association, a vice-president of the International Sociological Association and an executive member of the African Sociological Association. He has completed a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and acts as guest professor at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg.

Sitas completed his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand on the emergence of trade unions and social movements among black urban and migrant workers (1960s–1980s) under the supervision of Eddie and the late David Webster in 1984.

On the theatrical front he has previously participated in creative projects with contemporary artists such as Malcolm Purkey, William Kentridge and Ramolao Makhene within Junction Avenue Theatre Co., in the insurrectionary Community Action Support Group with  Allahpoets and a range of jazz musicians, and in the Culture and Working Life Project with Alfred Qabula, Omar Basha and Astrid Von Kotze and others. His and Sumangala Damodaran’s brainchild Insurrections re-gathered for two remarkable performances at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town in 2012, directed by Neo Muyanga and Sumangala Damodaran.

Sitas’ poetry volumes include: Tropical Scars (1989); Shoeshine and Piano (1991); Songs, Slave Trades (2000); The RDP Poems (2004) and Rough Music, selected poems of 1989–2013 (2013). His latest sociological work is The Mandela Decade: Labour, Politics and Culture in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) and Gauging and Engaging Deviance 1600–2000 was recently published in India. He shifted paradigms with a collective project of Indian and South African poets and musical composers, under the banner of Insurrections.

Book details