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2016 Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award shortlist announced

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The shortlist for the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award has been revealed.

From the longlist of poems selected by this year’s judging panel for publication in volume 6 of the anthology, Professor Mongane Wally Serote (chair of both the panel and the Jacana Literary Foundation) has selected the three finalists.

The shortlist includes last year’s winner, Athol Williams.

Serote, a Black Consciousness icon, poet and writer, is a renowned member of the Soweto poets – a group which advocated for black literary voices in South Africa during the tumultuous 1970s. His poems of that time speak of the realities of apartheid, and have been invaluable in provoking thought about oppression, as well as capturing the truths of the era.

Similarly, the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award aims to reveal the political and social attitudes of our time.

“These South African poets have understood something,” Serote says. “They hold the present by the scruff of the neck and threaten it. If this nation has not revolted, it is evolving to revolt, the poets say. The present cannot hold, the poets keep saying. Like healers, they sing, beat the drums and dance to the rhythm of their tongues.”

In alphabetical order, the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award shortlist:

  • “Cape Town” by Charles Marriott
  • “Mambhele’s Harvest” by Siphokazi Jonas
  • “Visit at Tea Time” by Athol Williams
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

 

How these poems have placed and the overall winner will be announced and cash prizes awarded (R6,000 for first place, R4,000 for second place and R2,000 for third place) at an event at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival on Sunday, 9 October at 11:30 AM.

The Litfest will take place at Sci-Bono in Newtown, Johannesburg, on 8 and 9 October. Tickets are R50 a session, with half-price discounts for students and pensioners (R25 a ticket). Tickets will be on sale at the venue on the day.

There is a significant nod to South African literary history in the Litfest, marking the 140th anniversary of the birth of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876-1932), the highly respected political and social activist after whom this award is named.

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

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Book details

When we run dry

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There is a Sotho proverb that warns the fish to hope for mud, as the water dried while it was not looking. It is not cynical at all, merely a friendly warning to the fish – who of course is not really a fish. It is a warning to humans to be prepared for the unthinkable, hence we have insurance and life cover. It is a hope that we will survive in the mud when the water runs dry.

Today, I was crisscrossing my mind, searching for answers that I already know. Why would I perform such a futile exercise? Well, because I have discovered that the world is full of lies and half-truths. I was reviewing the answers I already have, for they may all be wrong.

In all our lives we have lived a dozen lies believing them to be true, to the extent that we do not even question them. On the rare occassion we do question them, we only have professors, pastors, teachers and parents to ask. Professors tell you theories. Pastors teach us the word that they themselves don’t even understand; they can never give a reason why Noah cursed Canaan. Teachers who teach because they were taught that way. I was told that children come from aeroplanes. I was a child; I believed the foolish explanation, and when an aeroplane was flying past I asked for a “toy” baby brother to play with. These lies made me a fool because being fooled was part of my upbringing.

That is another issue altogether. Here and now: How much creativity is in an individual? My girlfriend – the only female intellectual I ever kissed, born on a farm, raised by a grandmother on social welfare and a graduate of the University of the North (please, on your feet, a round of applause) – the one who loves to read books. She shared a tear when she read that Timbila had shut its doors. She knew, read and loved the poet Vonani Bila, mostly because of Dahl Street and the poem in which Vonani was healing his raging but helpless self after his apartment was broken into and blaming “Boys from Seshego”.

She also fell in love with all the closet poets that Bila presented on an international stage.

Again on your feet: A moment of silence for Timbila and Vonani Bila.

My girlfriend, she commented: “Bila’s creativity has run out, it is all dry and now he can focus on important things about life and living.”

The statement had a load of implications, so I pretended that I did not fully understand it. But I did, hence this question: How much creativity is in an individual?

My colleague, the great Zukiswa Wanner, believes that every living soul has one book running within their veins. She characterises a writer as someone who has written a book and an author as one who has written more than three books. I asked, what about manuscripts? She gave a short answer: “Manuscripts do not count.”

The argument was filtered to this: Everyone can do 60 minutes of stand-up comedy and lift many people out of their miserable lives. Come the 61st minute, the comedian will have shitted out all that he had naturally and now has to think hard. If they make it to the 121st minute and we are still dead, laughing ourselves out of our miserable lives, it is true creativity. Most comedians are stuck under 60 minutes with just a one-hour DVD and the second hour, you can’t even stand to watch it to the end.

Bila is a creative individual. I defend Bila. That is one of the things that Timbila could not avoid; it was run for the sake of creativity, it traded on creativity rather than profit. As great as all his poets were, they did not make a substantial living from their publications. He was happy when some of us worshipped them and the world knew them. Sales and academic recommendation were far away from Timbila’ modus operandi. I think. I know that Bila was not tired of being a poet – it is in his blood – as Mpho Ramaano is. Yes, we do not have any more offerings from Ramaano but ask any woman who provokes his men what kind of praises flow out of his mouth.

Give any writer money and a story and ask them to produce in a month. My girlfriend thinks that I can never offer anything more powerful than what I already have on the table. I say, test me and see if I cannot grant you another Book of the Dead, one which has nothing to do with HIV/Aids but is equally powerful and revelling. Test me and find out how many manuscripts are laying waste and gathering digital dust in my digital drawer. Try me and see how many books I have stored in the compartments of this head basket.

When you see Timbila and the likes close down it is not because talent has run dry but because the rain never came to water it. If you don’t see any more of Moele on the shelves, just know that the investments are returning negative in this rented life.

Vonani Bila has talent, immense talent, but this life is for rent and we have to pay.

Martjie Bosman gesels met Johann Lodewyk Marais oor Vloeibare middelpunt (Plus: Twee resensies)

Vloeibare middelpuntJohann Lodewyk Marais het vroeër vanjaar met Martjie Bosman gesels oor haar jongste digbundel, Vloeibare middelpunt. Hierdie bundel, Bosman se derde, het vanjaar by Protea Boekhuis verskyn en volg op Toevallige tekens (2010) en Landelik (2003), waarvoor sy met die Ingrid Jonker-prys bekroon is.

In die onderhoud gesels Bosman oor die temas van haar vorige bundels wat in Vloeibare middelpunt voortgesit word, onder meer haar ervarings in landelike gebiede. Sy gesels ook oor nuwe temas wat in die bundel ter sprake kom, soos die begrip “woon” en die verskuiwing na stedelike ruimtes in haar verse.

“Die ruimtes waarin ek my bevind is belangrike stimuli vir my gedigte,” vertel Bosman, en verduidelik verder hoe haar verse beïnvloed word deur haar werk by die SAUK en Protea Boekhuis.

Lees die onderhoud:

Marais: Vloeibare middelpunt se eerste motto is die beroemde Duitse liriese digter Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843) se woorde “… dichterisch/ wohnet der Mensch auf dieser Erde”. Hölderlin se woorde het sterk neerslag in die Duitse filosoof Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) se werk gevind. Wat het jy met die motto beoog?

Bosman: Die begrip “woon” is een van die temas wat in hierdie bundel ter sprake kom. In ’n tyd waarin baie Afrikaanssprekendes toenemend vervreemd voel, emigrasie oorweeg, onseker is oor ’n toekoms in Afrika, was die vraag oor my hierwees in Suid-Afrika oor die afgelope paar jare dringender as tevore, en al het ek dit nie noodwendig so beplan nie, handel heelwat van die gedigte in die bundel oor tuiswees teenoor ontheemd voel. Daar is ook die dubbelslagtigheid wat ’n Westerling in Afrika voel: Ek het my land diep lief, maar daar is ook die vreemde gewaarwording van tuis wees in Wes-Europa en met die Europese waardes en kultuurgoedere waarsonder ek nie my lewe kan leef nie. Miskien was Heidegger se lesing “Bauen Wohnen Denken” (5 Augustus 1951), waarmee ek in my derde jaar in die Wysbegeerteklas kennis gemaak het, maar altyd in die agterkop. Vir Heidegger lê die begrip Schonen aan die basis van outentiek woon: Dit beteken dat ’n verhouding van ontsien, bewaar, spaar, in orde hou, bestaan tussen die mens of die sterflikes, soos hy dit noem, en das Geviert, of die Viervoud. Daaroor het ek die reeksie “Viervoud” geskryf wat in Landelik opgeneem is.

Lees ook twee resensies oor Vloeibare middelpunt deur Dewald Koen (LitNet) en Joan Hambidge (Woorde wat weeg):

Lesers moet hulself nie deur die ooglopende eenvoud van sommige gedigte laat mislei nie. Bosman se spel met woorde is soos ’n goedgeorkestreerde simfonie van klanke en beelde wat die sintuiglike waarnemingsvermoë van die leser op kreatiewe wyse prikkel.

‘n Goeie gedig word uiteindelik méér as die boodskap; vra vir verskillende maniere van lees en taksering, soos Vloeibare middelpunt bewys.

Dis ‘n ryk bundel – vir herlees, nadink en weer besoek. Veral die reis- en landskapverse maak ‘n unieke bydrae tot hierdie sub-genres.

Die voorblad van Ryan Loubser, “Spookhuis in die reën”, is werklik besonders.

Boekbesonderhede

Longlist for the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award announced

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The longlist for the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award has been revealed.

The longlisted poems are in a range of South Africa’s official languages, and will all appear in volume six of the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology.

They were anonymously selected by judges Goodenough Mashego, Thabiso Mohare and Pieter Odendaal.

Congratulations to all of the poets whose work was nominated!

The Jacana Literary Foundations says:

Each year we are awed by the enthusiasm of South Africa’s poets and your overwhelming support of this project, and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who entered their poetry.

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

 

A shortlist of three poems from this list will be selected by Professor Mongane Wally Serote and announced on 24 September, National Heritage Day. The winner and placing will be revealed at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival in Johannesburg on 9 October.

Prizes are awarded to the shortlist:

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

 
In alphabetical order by surname, the longlisted poems and poets are:

(*Highly commended)

HOTNOTS-KÁNON, Caroline F. Archer *
BATTLEGROUND, Mutinta Bbenkele *
EDEN’S KNELL, Tanisha Bhana
IN THE MOOD TO MONKEY, Zéwande Bk Bhengu *
KLEEDREPETISIE, Rene Bohnen *
PIPE DREAM, Kathryn Clare Botes
THE THIRST, Dianne Case
TERRA NULLIUS – THE MARIKANA SYMPHONY, Christine Coates
WINTER COLD, Bella (B-Lyrical) Cox *
CHOKING, Bella (B-Lyrical) Cox
ALL CHANGE, Lise Day
THE ARCHBISHOP’S LAMENT, Graham Dukas
METAMORPHOSIS, Graham Dukas
THE PLACE OF THE JACKAL, Elaine Edwards
IN RESPONSE TO SEEING AN AFRICAN WOMAN ABBA A DOG ON FACEBOOK, Connie Fick *
RE KWALA TSE DI SWA, Tshepo Gaerupe
HLAL’ APH’ EMZINI NGOB’ IINKOMO ZIYATHETHA, Nobuntu Gantana *
WEEKLY SERVICE, Siphokazi Jonas *
I AM BEAUTIFUL, Fiona Khan
CLASS, Musawenkosi Khanyile
CHURCH, Musawenkosi Khanyile *
OMRING, Lara Kirsten *
RIBBONS ON THE FENCE, Lynne Kloot
NTSO YAMATHILE, Nomnikelo Komanisi
THERE’S A ME THAT’S STILL NOT FREE, Portia Mabaso
MOTHERS, WARN YOUR DAUGHTERS OF GAY LOVE, Portia Mabaso
HIP HOP, Songeziwe Mahlangu
APARTHEID IN THE SKY, Patrick Maitland
THEY CAME, Patrick Maitland
SALUTE TO KLIPSPRUIT RIVER, Maishe Maponya
THE TRC – ON THE BOX, Maishe Maponya
THE POWER-POINT POET, Maishe Maponya
CAPE TOWN, Charles Marriott *
JOHANNES SI BHEKE, Kela Maswabi *
UPHAHLA, Zongezile Theophilus Matshoba
GO DIKGAITŠEDI TŠA LEFSIFSI, Katise Mawela
IKASI LAMI, Ongezwa Mbele
PUINHOOP, Marthé Mcloud
HO THABA BA ILENG, Thabiso Mofokeng
DIFAQANE, Maneo Refiloe Mohale
GAUTA O JA BATHO, Tsietsi Mokhele *
YET MORE STONES, George Momogos
VERGANGENHEITSBEWAELTIGUNG, Jackie Mondi
A HUNGRY STOMACH HAS NO EARS, Jackie Mondi
VARIATIONS IN COLOUR, Nedine Moonsamy
LANIWANI, Moses Mtileni *
THE HOUSE WE BUILT, Sifiso Mtshali
TO MOS DEF IN THE WOOLWORTHS QUEUE, Nick Mulgrew *
FOUR MINUTES, Luthando Ncayiyana
THE BARKSOLE MAN, Pamela Newham
TO THOSE FLUTTERING BEINGS, Mandla Robert Ngakane
NOT ANOTHER NURSE’S TALE, Mandla Robert Ngakane
A THANKLESS LABOUR, Vuyokazi Ngemntu
THEY NEVER DIED, Bomikazi Njoloza
ILIZWE LAM, Amanda Nodada
CASSETTE, Sihle Ntuli
REFLECTION, Lazola Pambo
LIKE A LOG, Jim Pascual Agustin
BLACK JOY, Koleka Putuma *
RESURRECTION, Koleka Putuma *
BEDTIME STORIES FOR OUR LITTLE GIRLS, Sibongile Ralana
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS, Sibongile Ralana
POWER, Arja Salafranca
COLLATERAL DAMAGE, Ferdie Schaller
THE BURNING MAN, Ferdie Schaller *
BOOTS FOR LITTLE BOYS, Ferdie Schaller
OOGAF, Karin Schimke
UNCLE TOM, Kori Sefeane
AUSCHWITZ, Kori Sefeane
FIX ME, Sinazo Somhlahlo
A REVOLUTION, Caitlin Spring
MINE WILL BE OF AFRICA, David C. Steyn
EVEN BIRDS, Caitlin Stobie
REFUGEE 70, Louella Sullivan
THEATRE OF HEARTS, Elizabeth Trew
STHANDWA SAM’, Lesego Tsoho
NGIYABONGA MAMA, Lesego Tsoho
IN MY CUPBOARD, Troydon Wainwright
A WEDDING POEM, Troydon Wainwright
INVESTMENT RETURNS, Athol Williams
VISIT AT TEA TIME, Athol Williams *
MISSING, Sue Woodward

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

Related news:

 

Book details

Kom vier die bekendstelling van Indeks deur Joan Hambidge by The Book Lounge

Uitnodiging na die bekendstelling van Indeks deur Joan Hambidge

 
IndeksHuman & Rousseau nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Indeks deur Joan Hambidge.

Etienne Bloemhof sal met Hambidge gesels oor haar jongste bundel waarin sy ondersoek instel na die wese van die digkuns.

Die gesprek vind plaas by The Book Lounge op Donderdag, 22 September en begin om 17:30 vir 18:00.

Moenie dit misloop nie!

Besonderhede

Oor die boek

Hierdie uiters volwasse bundel reis op uitgebreide paaie na wat die wese is van die digkuns. Die digter is in konstante gesprek met die woord en die moontlikhede wat die woord bied. Haar vermoë om die woord se wisselende buie, in gesprek met ander woorde, raak te sien en te benut, is nog nooit só suksesvol aangewend nie.

Met ’n meer liriese aard, toeganklikheid en innige menslikheid is Indeks ’n hoogtepunt in Hambidge se oeuvre.

Oor die digter

Joan Helene Hambidge is op 11 September 1956 op Aliwal-Noord gebore. Sy matrikuleer aan die Hoërskool Standerton. In 1979 verwerf sy haar BA Honneursgraad aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Sy voltooi haar MA-graad aan die Universiteit van Pretoria onder leiding van prof. Elize Botha en verwerf ’n PhD aan die Universiteit van Rhodes onder prof. André P. Brink se leiding. Sy is dosent en later ook hoogleraar aan die Universiteit van die Noorde, en sedert 1992 is sy verbonde aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad. In 2001 behaal Joan haar tweede doktorsgraad, dié keer in kultuurstudies, aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad. Sy is tans ’n professor in Afrikaans en Kreatiewe Skryfwerk aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad.

Boekbesonderhede

Don't miss a short story Literary Crossroads event with Martin Egblewogbe, Nick Mulgrew and Ndumiso Ngcobo

Don't miss Martin Egblewogbe, Nick Mulgrew and Ndumiso Ngcobo at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg
Mr Happy and the Hammer of God and Other StoriesThe Myth of This Is That We're All in This TogetherEat, Drink and Blame the Ancestors

 
The Goethe-Institut invites you to a Literary Crossroads event in Joburg tonight, titled: Life is too short not to read short stories.

Invited guests Martin Egblewogbe and Nick Mulgrew will explore everything that a collection of short stories should be, in conversation with Ndumiso Ngcobo.

Egblewoge will also read at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley on Thursday, September 8 at 6 PM, and will also be participating at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town.

Egblewogbe is a lecturer in Physics at the University of Ghana and lives in Accra. He is the author of the short story collection Mr Happy and the Hammer of God and Other Stories and the title story of the 2014 Caine Prize anthology The Gonjon Pin.

Literary Crossroads is a new 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, in cooperation with previous guests of Literary Crossroads.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 6 September 2016
  • Time: 7 PM PM
  • Venue: Goethe-Institut
    119 Jan Smuts Avenue
    Parkwood
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Guests: Martin Egblewogbe and Nick Mulgrew
  • RSVP: jennifermalec@gmail.com, 011 442 3232

Book Details