Knysna journalist Jo Thesen reports that Live Writing – a programme of lunchtime readings, performances and book launches of innovative isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans poetry and prose led by Rhodes University’s Masters in Creative Writing (MACW) teachers and students – takes place this week.
According to MACW teacher and iconoclastic poet Lesego Rampolokeng, the sessions will investigate the space between writing and reading, public and private, the written and the spoken word.
All Live Writing events are free and take place from 1-2pm at St Peter’s, next to Eden Grove, off Somerset Street. Books by MACW students, staff and friends will be on sale.
Monday, July 4: Ingoma Yeembongi. New isiXhosa poetry and prose writers, including Simphiwe Nolutshungu and Mzi Mahola, MACW teachers Mxolisi Nyezwa and Mangaliso Buzani and students Wellington Moya, Thabo Jijana and Mpumi Cilibe. Nolutshungu will launch his latest poetry volume, Iingcango Zentliziyo (Imbizo Arts Publishing).
Tuesday, July 5: Writing Life & a Half features genre-transcending prose and poetry. The literary experimenters include American-born novelist, Kris Saknussemm (a MACW 2016 Mellon Scholar in Residence who has achieved global notoriety with his erotic, supernatural, noir thrillers) and MACW students and staff – including Thabo Jijana, Unathi Slasha, Dolla Sapeta, Stacy Hardy, Samuel Kolawole and Mangaliso Buzani.
Wednesday, July 6: Writing Life. Excerpts from literary memoirs embracing unusual literary techniques and prose and poetry by writers drawn to the interplay between reality and fiction. Those reading include MACW teachers Robert Berold and Mxolisi Nyezwa, and students Mpumi Cilibe, Ntsiki Mazwai, Tebello Mzamo, Wellington Moya, Vangile Gantsho and Fouad Asfour.
Thursday July 7: Renegade Poetry presents music in/of the word by a range of dissident poets, hip-hop MCs and spoken word innovators. Joburg-based short story writer, poet and hip hop MC Kano (bmp) appears alongside PE-based poet Sisonke Papu and MACW poets Unathi Slasha, Thabo Jijana, Vangile Gantsho and Rampolokeng.
Friday, July 8: Vernuwing – moderne Afrikaanse digkuns by 2016 Mellon Writer in Residence Ronelda S Kamfer and graphic novelist and poet Nathan Trantraal, both from Cape Town. Kamfer who won this year’s Jan Rabie and Marjorie Wallace writers’ prize, has recently published her third collection Hammie, which investigates family, language, culture and history.