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Right! That's a wrap of our #ManBooker2014 coverage. Congratulations to Richard Flanagan

Programme for the 2014 McGregor Poetry Festival (23 - 26 October)

The programme for the 2014 McGregor Poetry Festival, which is taking place this weekend from 23 – 26 October, features an exciting line-up with something for everyone: Poetry readings, discussions, excursions, film screenings, art exhibitions and music in celebration of the written word with award-winning artists and budding wordsmiths alike.

Ride the TortoiseLovely Beyond Any SingingWhoever Fears the SeaDie roebaijat van Omar KhajjamSolank verlange die sweep swaaiHomemaking for the Down-at-Heart
Bad SexKop op \'n blokEcological IntelligenceNaweekThe Halo and the Noose
KaleidoskoopNow The World Takes These BreathsIngrid JonkerThe Animal GazeThese are the Lies I Told YouThe Last to Leave

Books LIVE community members Helen Moffet, Liesl Jobson, Daniel Hugo, Leon de Kock, Finuala Dowling, Justin Fox and Patricia Schonstein join Amy Kaye, Ian McCallum, David Messineo, Toast Coetzer, Marié Heese, Bob Commin, Joan Metelerkamp, Wilna Snyman, Adrian van Wyk, Danie Marais, Philip de Vos, Kerry Hammerton, and many more for four days of poetic festivities.

Ticket prices vary and can be bought at the door or via Computicket. Venues are scattered all over the beautiful town of McGregor and include Temenos, Wahnfried, the Edna Fourie Gallery, Villagers, Green Gables and the local pubs.

Have a look at the programme:

2014 McGregor Poetry Festival Programme

Book details

  • Die roebaijat van Omar Khajjam: 50 kwatryne vertaal deur Daniel Hugo by Omar Khajjam, edited by Daniel Hugo
    EAN: 9781485300861
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

EE Sule Discusses His Writing, and What the Commonwealth Book Prize Meant to Him

Nation, Power and Dissidence in Third Generation Nigerian Poetry in EnglishEE Sule, author of Nation, Power and Dissidence in Third Generation Nigerian Poetry in English, was interviewed by Henry Akubuiro for The Sun about his opinion of the state of African literature and prizes, and his own writing.

In addition to his scholarly work, Sule has written a novel, Sterile Sky, for which he won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize, two collections of poems and two of short stories.

With controversy around the Caine Prize popping up again recently, Sule says for him winning the Commonwealth Book Prize was a “needed validation”, and “came with much goodwill; invitations here and there”.

He also speaks about how he came to write his new book, Nation, Power and Dissidence in Third Generation Nigerian Poetry in English.

You have a new critical work entitled Nation, Power, and Dissidence in Third Generation Nigerian Poetry in English (Pretoria: Unisa Press, 2014), and given the controversy on the generational debate in Nigerian poetry, how did you arrive at “third generation” poets and what revelations did you arrive at with their works?

Nation, Power, and Dissidence is the outcome of the research I began when I stayed as a scholar-in-residence for two years at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. The research also got funding from African Humanities Program which eventually published the book in its newly started AHP Series in conjunction with the South African Unisa Press. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Humboldt Foundation and African Humanity Program for funding the research. Now, to the generation debate, some scholars think that Nigerian literature, indeed African literature, is so young, compared to literatures of Europe, that the issue of compartmentalising it into generations does not arise. Such scholars unwittingly, in my view, reduce the idea of generation into calendar years. So they tell you that a generation takes fifty or hundred years, and since our literature is not that old, it cannot be made into generations.

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Wicus Luwes ondersoek die konsep "spoorsnyer" in Heilna du Plooy en GR von Wielligh se werk

Versamelde BoesmanstoriesIn die landskap ingelyfIn ‘n inskrywing op Versindaba stel Wicus Luwes ondersoek in na die kuns en betekenis van spoorsny, met verwysing na die werk van Heilna du Plooy en GR von Wielligh.

In die artikel bespiegel Luwes oor die nomadiese eienskappe van die San en hoe ons meer oor hulle te wete kan kom, asook oor die skrywer as spoorsnyer. In sy soektog na die San volg Luwes nie net fisiese spore nie, maar raadpleeg hy ook stories wat spore agterlaat.

Luwes vind hierdie spore in Von Wielligh se stories in sy bundel, Versamelde Boesmanstories 1:

“Die verhale van die San is ’n verdere manier om die spore van die spoorsnyers te volg:

“Ou ‘Ga (Nag) en sy ou vrou ‘Gagen (Duisternis) het in ’n klipspelonk gewoon. Hulle het nie seuns gehad nie, maar drie dogters.”

“Kou, die oudste van die drie dogters, is in die berge verander. Haar man, die seun van Hottentotsgot, is verander in ’n voël, of windvoël.”

Luwes spekuleer oor die skrywer as spoorsnyer: “Om spoor te sny deur die gedagtes of drome verg ander vaardighede, maar gelukkig oorvleuel heelwat van die sintuie. Die skrywer as spoorsnyer moet ook die habitat leer ken en weet waar om die wippe of droomvangers vir hierdie doeleinde op te hang.”

Heilna du Plooy se gedig “In hierdie land” wys hoe die skrywer spoorsny. “In hierdie land” verskyn in haar bundel, In die landskap ingelyf:

hoe gelukkig golf verdrukking oor die land
al op die een voet, dan op die ander een

die smart elke keer ’n huppelende band
al op die een voet, dan op die ander een

rooi uitgeflap vanaf die Kaap, die Baai tot in Ixopo
al op die een voet, dan op die ander een

in elke dorp en stad tot in die bog van die Limpopo
al op die een voet, dan op die ander een



In the Heat of Shadows

Remember, inaugural day
nineteen ninety four
our table piled with the future?

If we were all like poets in behavior, thinking and conduct – a poet is a different kind of a human breed. This is an enigma that trying to explain one will seem to be answering the question of falling or being in love with one. The poet is social activists at best he/she wants justice for all people of the world despite their differences. The poet is that higher being representing and presenting the average people.

in your eye
in my eye
when i see me in you
and you in me in my eyes
history makes and unmakes life and time

There are times when one comes across a poet and there are rare times when one comes across an anthology then bask in wisdom and what wisdom to use in understanding the modern day democratic South Africa than the poets, for one they always tell in in the way it is. Second; the poet never fuck with power though they do respect it but they fuck power and do speak against it all the time. This is the reason why I respect poets and the reason why I think that the world needs poets.


much I’ve tried to pay my debt to you. Only to find that
debts of guilt are endless. And debts of love? There are
no debts of love.

Because poets are not deceivers and fabricators, they don’t write politically correct, they don’t write poetry for development/social responsibility poetry, a phenomenon by the ruling party to have poets praising our struggle, a June 16th poem/a Sharpville day poem but no poets have participated in such indoctrination activity. There was a call for international Mandela poem where poets of all nations had to write a poem about Mandela and from each nation one winning poem will make it into this big international publication book of poems about him. The poets that I know gave it their middle finger – to put it poetically but bluntly, they said “FUCK THEM.”

This is the reason why I respect poets and the reason why I think that the world needs poets.

We are now become your fools.
Our heroes’ fools.

In the Heat of Shadows: South African poetry 1996-2013, Denis Hirson presents the poets of our beautiful country, thirty-three but not all. It is sweet music dripping in wild honey – the one, one had to harvest – it is sad music sopping in wild honey because you got bee stung in the process. You got bee stung by the “dis kak in die land.” But you got the honey. That is the power of poetry it is a rise above, it rises above pain as it becomes more powerful and everlasting than the inspirational/described pain. Poetry surpasses joy as it conveys one woman’s joy into our joy that we will enjoy forever and ever.

Can I say Amen?


Yes I went with him to the river. Mother, I went along

but I never meant to cross the river

In this beautiful country of multilingualism it is sad, sad that I have never enjoyed Antjie Krog in her – to borrow from apartheid – native Afrikaans taal and segregate poets, sorry. Denis has offered me that chance here with translations, Bongekile Mbanjwa, Bulelani Zantsi, Isabella Motadinyane and it was a little sad and painful that the original were not included in this collection.

A cry
Of come and see
Our home is a home
Of tears and bitterness
Women crying

In the Heat of Shadows attempts to reflect us a nation as people living as we are living, it is a representation of every aspects of our lives because, yes

I know all kindsa pa’s
pa’s what hates their kids
pa’s what likes their daughters
pa’s what hits their wives
pa’s what gets sick with no wine
pa’s what speak only sometimes
I know all kindsa pa’s
Except the one
I never seen

In the Heat of Shadows is a cream, an inner self, our shadows that cannot pretend but screams brutal honest life that is rarely lived in the public spaces, of vicious truthful life that is locked in memory never to be uttered.

My heart and head are open
And we laugh and eat together
Like well-brought up folks
Deep inside me somewhere
I know where I stand

And I know that you know that even in the deepest raging anger a moment of laughter is to break free. I know that even if poets can never solve the troubles of our world but they can make us laugh and to laugh is to emerge victorious, to clap hands is declare victory.

An applause.

Book details

Poetry Africa Comes to Cape Town: Join Artists from South Africa and India in Celebration of Hope in Times of Violence

The Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), South African History Online and African Arts Institute are bringing the 18th annual Poetry Africa to Cape Town, inviting you to join them at the District 6 Homecoming Centre on 24 and 25 October 2014 for an event titled “Mayihlome … Aahwaan!”.

Artists from India and South Africa will present a collective work of poetry and music in an evening celebrating hope in times of violence and war.

The show starts at 7 PM. Tickets are R50 and can be bought via Computicket.

Event Details

  • Date: Friday, 24 and Saturday, 25 October 2014
  • Time: 6:30 PM for 7 PM
  • Venue: District Six Homecoming Centre
    15 Buitenkant Street
    Cape Town | Map
  • Featuring: Ahsan Ali (sarangi), Brydon Bolton (double bass), Jurgen Brauninger (electronic soundscapes), Sumangala Damodaran (voice), Sazi Dlamini (bows, strings, winds, guitar and voice), Pritam Ghosal (sarod), Neo Muyanga (composition), Paki Paleole (percussion) Tina Schouw (guitar,voice), Ze Maria (strings, bows, guitar, sax)
    Words: Vivek Narayanan, Sabitha Satchi, Ari Sitas, Mbali Vilakazi
    Visuals: Pryia Sen
    Curated by: Sumangala Damodaran and Ari Sitas
  • Buy tickets: Computicket
  • More information: Poetry Africa Facebook page

Nominees for the 2014 South African Literary Awards Revealed

Alert! Books LIVE can exclusively reveal the nominees list for the 2014 South African Literary Awards.

The SA Literary Awards were founded by the wRite associates and the Department of Arts and Culture in 2005, with the twin aims of paying tribute to writers who have “distinguished themselves as ground-breaking producers and creators of literature” and celebrating literary excellence “in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories, value systems and philosophies”, in all the languages of South Africa.

Ride the TortoiseRunning Almost Sleeping My Way to TimbuktuThe Spiral House The Blacks of Cape TownThe Turtle Dove Told MeLove InterruptedCall It DogRiskThe Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the GodsFractured LivesDystopia

Nominees this year include Makhosazana Xaba, who was also today announced as a Mbokodo Awards nominee, Books LIVE correspondent Liesl Jobson, Sihle Khumalo, Claire Robertson, who won this year’s Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and Carol-Ann Davids.

Nuruddin Farah and Njabulo Ndebele are up for Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The winners will be announced on Friday, 7 November.


Poetry Award

Themba Patrick Magaisa, Mihloti ya Tingana (Xitsonga, published by TP Magaisa)
Khulile Nxumalo, Fhedzi (English, Dye Hard Press)
Kobus Moolman, Left Over (English, Dye Hard Press)
Thandi Sliepen, The Turtle Dove Told Me (English, Modjaji Books)

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Gary Cummiskey, Off-ramp (English, Dye Hard Press)
Makhosazana Xaba, Running and Other Stories (English, Modjaji books)
Reneilwe Malatji, Love Interrupted (English, Modjaji Books)
Liesl Jobson, Ride the Tortoise (English, Jacana Media)

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award (For Young Writers)

Marli Roode, Call it Dog (English, Penguin Books)
Jason Staggie, Risk (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Jamala Safari, The Great Agony and Pure laughter of the Gods (English, Umuzi Publishing)

Creative Non-Fiction Award

Sihle Khumalo, Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Toni Strasburg, Fractured Lives (English, Modjaji Books)

First-time Published Author Award

Claire Robertson, The Spiral House (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Carol-Ann Davids, The Blacks of Cape Town (English, Modjaji Books)
James Siddall, Dystopia (English, Jacana Media)

Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Nuruddin Farah
Njabulo Ndebele

Literary Translators Award

Nhlanhla Maake, Malefane (Sesotho/English, Ekaam Books)

Book details