Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Talk by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf at the C-Factory

You're invited to a talk by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf at the C-Factory on Wednesday 28 November, from 6:30pm. Bibi Bakare-Yusuf is a feminist scholar and the publisher of Cassava Republic Press based in Abuja, Nigeria (www.cassavarepublic.biz). She'll present a piece titled "Fanon Can't Dance".

Fanon Can’t Dance: Antiphonies of the Gaze

The Chimurenga Factory is at: 3rd floor, The Pan African Market, 76 Long st, Cape Town. Cash bar.

Chimurenga 12: Satan's Echo Chamber - www.chimurenga.co.za

Monday, November 26, 2007

SA Writers' College short story competition

SA Writers' College announces a short story competition, open to anyone who has not been previously published in the commercial press. (Letters to the editor, church news bulletins etc don't count as published.)

Prize money:

First prize R2000
Second prize R500

Free to enter, by e-mail only as a Word Attachment.
Address entries to Nichola@sawriterscollege.co.za

2000 words, Theme: Unfinished Business.

Deadline March 31 2008

One entry per writer

Cover page must include Your name, email address, title of story, word count

Each page to be numbered

The writer's name must not appear on any page as judging will be done blind

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shimmer Chinodya wins Noma Award for Publishing in Africa in 2007

The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa announces that Shimmer Chinodya has won the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa in 2007 for his novel Strife. The book was published in 2006 by Weaver Press, Zimbabwe.

The Jury’s citation reads:

“The brilliance of this powerful and haunting story, in notably innovative form, brings a new dimension to African writing. The novelist reverses the traditional relationship between family and nation, concentrating on the social energies in an African family, rather than the individual or the nation. Powerful and haunting, with memorable portraits of individuals, the story is driven by a deep and distinctive sense of the tragic. The novelist’s psychological sensitivity illuminates the dominant themes of disease and death; and the constant tension between the pull of the past and the aspiration of modernity is expressed in a prose that makes everything original and new, recasting old themes.”

Shimmer Chinodya is a Zimbabwean writer, who has published eight novels, children’s books, educational texts, radio and film scripts, and has contributed to numerous anthologies. He has won many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa region). He seeks primarily to present an African worldview, but wants his literature to speak to the world as a whole. He describes his works as “experiments on the effects of time and change on humans, and human relationships tangled in the eternal quest for happiness and fulfilment”.

The Noma Award, under the auspices of UNESCO, will be presented to Shimmer Chinodya at a special ceremony details of which will be announced later.

107 titles, from 66 African publishers, in 12 countries, in 5 languages, were submitted for the 2007 competition. The Jury singled out a further four titles for Honourable Mention:

(alphabetical by publisher):

Le Lièvre et la Pintade by Gina Dick
Illustrated by Mossoun Ernest Teki
Abidjan: CEDA & Les Nouvelles Editions Ivoiriennes, 2006
An enchanting children’s story, beautifully illustrated in colour,
and published to a high standard in hardback. The story tells how the
animals lived in harmony, until the drought struck. The wicked hare
breaks ranks and behaves selfishly, until he is finally outwitted by the
guinea fowl. Rich in language, the story illustrates the importance and
values of loyalty.

Room 207 by Kgebetli Moele
Cape Town: Kwela Books, 2006
Set in a dilapidated building in Hillbrow, the notorious suburb of
Johannesburg, this novel is preoccupied with the theme of a new South
Africa trying to cope with the burden of its past and its ambivalent
presence in Africa. The tone is of celebration and mourning, and the
writing is very strong, poetic, vivid, and often moving.

Readers’ Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People by Mabel Segun
(Lagos: Maybelline Publications, 2006)
Twelve short plays for children, with clear objectives and excellent
presentation, both educational and entertaining. The plays for the
youngest are based on folktales, and for the older children on heroes
and heroines, both legendary and historical. Some clever narrative
devices are employed, with a real awareness of the voice of children and
their skill as performers.

At Her Feet by Nadia Davids
(Johannesburg: Oshun Books, 2006)
Created for a one-woman performance, the play is an exceptional piece
of work: probing, acutely perceptive, with a superb ear for individual
characters’ speech patterns. Dealing with the relationship between
women and Islam specifically in the South African context, the material
is thought provoking and moving, and the writing distinctive and often

The Noma Award Jury is chaired by Walter Bgoya from Tanzania, one of Africa’s most distinguished publishers, with wide knowledge of both African and international publishing. The other members of the Jury in 2007 were: Professor Simon Gikandi, Professor of English at Princeton University; Professor Peter Katjavivi, Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia to the Federal Republic of Germany and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Namibia; and Mary Jay, Secretary to the Managing Committee (the Jury). The Award is sponsored by Kodansha Ltd, Japan.

For further information about the Award, please contact:
Mary Jay, Secretary to the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, PO Box
128, Witney, Oxon OX8 5XU, UK. Tel: +44-(0)1993-775235 Fax:
+44-(0)1993-709265 Email: maryljay@aol.com www.nomaaward.org

Johannesburg Literary Festival


JoLiFe 2008

The City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services in partnership with Write Associates held the first Johannesburg Literary Festival in March 2006. It was named JoLiFe. The first two years of the event were well received and attended. A few ideas were tested and the City has decided that from 2008 the development of the art of writing as well as the promotion of indigenous languages should become the focus areas of the festival. Communities and especially the youth should be encouraged to read, to learn, and to talk and write about our literary icons and heroes as well as to develop their own skills in the art of writing. The festival will also help enhance the stature of the city in South Africa's literary calendar.


* To celebrate and promote literature, literary icons both past and present in a manner that advances literary excellence and national identity.
* To become a major source of celebration and critical appraisal of African, South African and in particular Johannesburg seasoned and aspirant writers.
* To highlight the role played by Public Libraries in making literature more accessible to communities
* To promote literature in indigenous languages

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

*New* poetry: To my father, flutist of all time by Ajumeze Henry

Ajumeze Henry was born in Delta State of Nigeria and holds a BA (theatre arts) from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. His poems have been published in the arts pages of most Nigerian newspapers and in such anthologies as FOR KEN, FOR NIGERIA, edited by E.C Osundu, an anthology put together in the heydays of arrest and execution of Nigerian environmentalist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa. This poems is from an unpublished collection, In the beginning, was Anioma. Ajumeze Henry currently lives in Senegal.

To my father, flutist of all time
- Ajumeze Henry

Thursday, November 08, 2007

*New* poetry: 8 poems by Olu Tolu-Omole

Olu Tolu-Omole is a Nigerian born in Lagos. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology in Akure, Nigeria. He has been writing for fifteen years and has self-published a collection of poetry entitled Why? with Trafford Publishing in Canada. Presently he resides in Abuja.

8 poems
- Olu Tolu-Omole

*New* short fiction: Demoina by Travis Lyle

Durban-based writer, event promoter, DJ and standalone whisky filter, Travis Lyle has been published in a variety of music magazines, books, newspapers and websites, and is now scribbling for his supper as a copywriter:
Blows smoke rings like a seasoned pro.
Prone to outbursts of cynicism and/or mirth.
Natural habitat - east coast tidal zone.
Lubricate regularly with Walker brand scotch for best results.
Good with red meat, poultry, seafood and Radiohead.

- Travis Lyle

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Centre for the Book’s 'must read' South African books

In response to an informal poll run by the Centre for the Book, in collaboration with the Cape Town International Book Fair, the Centre for the Book has compiled a list of great books written by South Africans.

‘This is a great way to show that South Africans are reading books written by South Africans,’ said Vanessa Badroodien, Managing Director of the Cape Town Book Fair. ‘And not only that, but that South African books are equal to any book out there.’

The final list of ‘Must Read’ books - 25 (& 5):

A change of tongue -- Antjie Krog, RANDOM HOUSE SA (also as 'n Ander Tongval -TAFELBERG )
African Salad - a portrait of South Africans at home -- Tamsen de Beer and Stan Engelbrecht, DAYONE PUBLISHERS
Agaat -- Marlene van Niekerk, JONATHAN BALL
Coldsleep Lullaby -- Andrew Brown, ZEBRA PRESS (STRUIK)
Confessions of a Gambler -- Rayda Jacobs, KWELA
Die Aandag Van Jou Oe: Gedigte Vir Die Liefde -- Petra Muller, TAFELBERG
Dog Eat Dog -- Niq Mhlongo, KWELA
Green-eyed Thieves -- Imraan Coovadia, UMUZI
I remember King Kong (The Boxer) -- Denis Hirson, JACANA
Jamela’s Dress -- Nicky Daly, TAFELBERG
Karoo Boy -- Troy Blacklaws, DOUBLE STOREY
Orion -- Deon Meyer, TAFELBERG
People who have stolen from me - David Cohen, PICADOR AFRICA (PAN MACMILLAN)
Portrait with Keys -- Ivan Vladislavic, UMUZI
Seasonal Fires -- Ingrid de Kok, UMUZI
Shirley, Goodness and Mercy -- Chris van Wyk, PICADOR AFRICA (PAN MACMILLAN)
Skyline -- Patricia Schonstein Pinnock, DAVID PHILLIP
Some Afrikaners Revisited -- David Goldblatt, UMUZI
Song Trials -- Mxolisi Nyezwa, UKNZ PRESS (THE UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL PRESS - originally a Gecko Press publication)
Spud -- John van der Ruit, PENGUIN
The Abundant Herd -- Marguerite Poland and Leigh Voight, FERNWOOD PRESS
The Children's Day Michiel Heyns JONATHAN BALL, (also as Verkeerdespruit HUMAN & ROUSSEAU)
The Good Cemetery Guide - Consuelo Roland, DOUBLE STOREY
The Native Commissioner -- Shaun Johnson, PENGUIN
The Quiet Violence of Dreams -- K Sello Duiker, KWELA
The Whale Caller -- Zakes Mda, PENGUIN
Touch my Blood --- Fred Khumalo, UMUZI
Welcome to my Hillbrow -- Phaswane Mpe, UKNZ PRESS (THE UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL PRESS)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Launch of The Light Echo and Other Poems by Stephen Watson

Kalk Bay Books and Penguin SA invite you to the launch of

The Light Echo and Other Poems by Stephen Watson

Culminating in a series of meditations on the nature of poetry itself, this is a collection which, in its limpidity of style, its power to stimulate the mind and emotions at once, as well as its ability to give life to the imperceptible, has not been excelled in South African poetry. It is Stephen Watson's finest collection to date.

Guest speaker: Peter Knox-Shaw

When: Saturday 17 November 2007
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Where: Kalk Bay Books,
124 Main Road Kalk Bay
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za
or 021 788 2266 by Friday 16 November
indicate number attending for catering purposes)

Drinks and snacks will be served

Thursday, October 25, 2007

*New* poetry: The home coming by Thamsanqa N. Ncube

Thamsanqa Never Ncube was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where he attended school at Luveve as well as Founders High Schools. After completing his Accounting Management Studies at the Bulawayo Polytechnic College, Mr. Ncube immigrated to South Africa, where he lectured in Business studies at various colleges, before opening his own Business Training College, which he successfully managed for 3 years. He lives in Pretoria with his wife and son. This poem is extracted from his book Mureza … In the Shadow of the Flag.

The home coming - Thamsanqa N. Ncube

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Talking About Books at UCT

Conveners: Gail Fincham (UCT) & Barbara Basel (English Academy) Speakers: Peter Anderson, Sandra Dodson, Gail Fincham & Stephen Watson.

All four books to be discussed have either just come out or are about to be published.

Award winners: Russel Brownlee, Michiel Heyns, Ken Barris & David Schalkwyk.

Date: Saturday, 3 November 2007
Time: 09:45 (registration)
Venue: UCT Arts Building 100


Talking About Books

09:45-10:25 Registration
10:25-10:30 Welcome Barbara Basel (President)
10:30-11:00 Foundling’s Island (Collection of poetry) Peter Anderson
11:00-11:30 Water to Land: A Collection of Birth Stories (Biography) Sandra Dodson
11:30-11:45 Tea
11:45-12:15 Literary Landscapes: from Modernism to Postcolonialism (Criticism) Gail Fincham
12:15-12:45 The Light Echo (Collection of poetry) Stephen Watson
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:00 Presentation of Awards
15:00 Closing remarks Gail Fincham

Awards to be presented

Olive Schreiner Prize 2006
Russel Brownlee
Garden of the Plagues (Human & Rousseau, 2005)

Thomas Pringle Awards 2006
Michiel Heyns
Reviews in the Sunday Independent

Short Story:
Ken Barris
‘The Quick Brown Fox’ (New Contrast, 31 (2))

Literary Article:
David Schalkwyk
‘Race, Body and Language in Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Plays’ (English Studies in Africa, 47 (2))

Registration fee (inclusive of morning tea and lunch)
English Academy members R120
Non-members R130
Pensioners R100
Full-time students R80

*payment can be made at the door

UCT Arts Building, Lecture theatre 100
(Lunch is at the UCT Staff Club)

Secure parking is available in the parking lot above the Kramer Building on Middle campus

For catering purposes, please rsvp before 31 October to:
Naomi Nkealah
Tel/Fax: 011 717 9339
(Weekdays 09:00-12:00)
Gail Fincham
E-mail: Gail.Fincham@uct.ac.za

Launch of Willemien de Villiers' The Virgin in the Treehouse

Jacana Media and WORDSWORTH BOOKS take great pleasure in inviting you to the launch of Willemien de Villiers' book, The Virgin in the Treehouse.

Date: Thursday, 25 October 2007

Time: 17h30 for 18h00.

Venue: WORDSWORTH BOOKS, Shop 7, Gardens Centre, Mill Street, Gardens.

Snacks & drinks will be served.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Tel: (021) 461-8464 or email: gardens@wordsworth.co.za
by Wednesday 24 October 2007.

The Virgin in the Treehouse

A young woman with an unshakeable faith in the Immaculate Conception awaits celestial instruction while living in a treehouse at the back of a friend's home. A failed artist whose deepest desires are only ever revealed to her in the dreams which she never remembers. A wise woman who lives in a red car. A domestic worker whose daily atrocity forms the fabric of her life. And the King whose chest is home to a bird of paradise. These are some of the unforgettable characters in Willemien de Villiers' new novel, The Virgin in the Treehouse. Her delicate touch and sensual flair for storytelling is both thought-provoking and timely.

About the author

Willemien de Villiers is an artist and writer. A Fine Arts graduate, she manipulates slip-cast commercial greenware to create unique clay narratives.She has published two novels - Kitchen Casualties, Jacana 2003; The Virgin in the Treehouse, Jacana 2007 - as well as several short stories in various collections. She lives in Cape Town with her family, below Muizenberg Peak at the start of Peck's Valley.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sunday Times looking for Books Editor

Permanent skilled level position in the Media sector at SUNDAY TIMES in Rosebank in South Africa (Gauteng). Benefits: Medical Aid, Pension Fund.

Purpose of the Job:

To write a weekly book column, provide feature content on books and to manage book-related projects for the Sunday Times Main Responsibilities:

*To generate story ideas and produce reviews, feature and news stories on books
*To attend and report on book-related events and launches
*To source, commission and edit book-related content
*To build and maintain a wide range of contacts in the book world
*To generate ideas and feature stories for a books website
*To coordinate the Sunday Times Book Awards and other related events Requirements:

*A university degree, preferably a post-graduate degree in the humanities
*Five years of relevant experience in journalism
*Experience in feature writing and editing
*Valid driver's licence and own vehicle essential Knowledge:

*Informed and knowledgeable about current affairs
*Computer literacy Skills:
*Feature writing
*Team player
*Problem solving
*Strategic thinking Attitudes:
*Deadline driven
*Attention to detail
*Not tied to the clock
*Ability to work under pressure We are an Employment Equity employer and as such, preference will be given to candidates who add to the diversity of our organization.

Apply online before 24/10/2007.
Please note that recruiters can expire or delete jobs at any time.

Shenaaz Moola Phone Number: +27 11 280 3027 Fax Number: +27 11 280 3034 Email Address: moolas@johncom.co.za

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lauri Kubuitsile wins BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Competition 2007

The 13th BTA/Anglo Platinum short story competition announced on Thursday night that Botswana national, Lauri Kubuitsile had won first prize for her story “The Christmas Wedding”. Kubuitsile (43), a published author and winner of a number of writing competitions, was awarded her first-prize cheque of R25 000 at the prize giving ceremony in Auckland Park. Lauri’s story, about a woman who realises on the morning of her wedding day that her groom might have been complicit in the death of his ex lover, was also awarded the platinum prize for Creativity. The competition, with the highest submission of any writing competition in the world, has been very successful in raising awareness about writing and reading. The prize money for the competition, totalling R65 000 is among the highest for any short story writing competition.

Commenting on her achievement Lauri Kubuitsile couldn’t yet quite believe that she has won both first place as well as the creativity prize. "Winning the creativity prize was a wonderful honour. As a full time writer, it’s incredible to win a fiction competition with such wonderful prize money. I have a writers’ group of four women and we encourage each other to keep on writing. They will all be thrilled to hear about this prize!"

The second-place prize of R15 000 was awarded to Trevor Crisp, a 76 year old retired Johannesburg resident who never managed to finish high school. His winning story, ‘The Landscape’ was the first piece of writing he had ever entered in a competition. Trevor said he felt elated at having won a prize: “Even now I cannot grasp that I was successful in reaching the finals! I draw inspiration for my stories from situations and characters I have encountered throughout my life and travels in Africa, and this particular story was an amalgamation of many of these experiences. I’d like to convey my heartfelt thanks to Beulah and the competition organisers”.

In third place was “The Wordsmith” written by Jenny Robson, who has previously won a number of awards for youth literature. Fourth place was awarded to 23 year old Capetonian Tsireledzo Mushoma for “A New Beginning”. Fifth place was awarded to Lourens Erasmus for “Soccer Farm”. Lourens, also a first time competition entrant, achieved double success when a member of South African production company Creative Media International optioned Soccer Farm for film rights.

The competition, managed by reading activist Beulah Thumbadoo, has helped to give voice to thousands of ordinary South Africans and promoted a wealth of local writing. More than 14000 stories have been sent in from throughout Southern Africa since its inception. “Every other development item on our national agenda is meaningless if we don't get reading right. Literacy is crucial - we need to become a nation of readers and writers, and Africa needs books if this is to become a reality,” said Minister Mosibudi Mangena when delivering the keynote address.

Entrants were asked to write a gripping and original story of between 4500 to 5000 words. The competition is unique in that it focuses on content over form, understanding that many entrants will be writing in their second or third language. Story quality and creativity are the key criteria and entrants are not penalized for imperfect grammar and spelling. As such, and evidenced by this year’s list of winners, stories are submitted from all walks of life throughout Southern Africa.

Eric Miyeni, successful author and a member of the 2007 competition panel of judges commented: “I am proud to have been involved with this competition, which is an incredible tool in cultivating a writing, and more importantly, a reading culture in South Africa and the entire African continent. This year saw a very high calibre of submissions.

Congratulations to all who submitted their stories, and particularly the winners.”

This is the eighth year that Anglo Platinum has sponsored the competition. Anglo Platinum is committed to supporting the development of education in South Africa and does much towards building schools and infrastructure. The short story competition is a special creative project: “We are very pleased to be associated with this noble project, which is all about promoting reading and writing in our society. As part of our corporate social responsibility and commitment to promoting adult basic education and training (ABET) within our company and society in general, we believe our association with BTA is crucial and has, thus far, contributed immensely to promoting reading among the young and old." said Anglo Platinum.


Biography: Lauri Kubuitsile Lauri Kubuitsile, a 43 year old woman living in Botswana, is an award winning author of many short stories and three published novels, two of which are novellas in the Detective Kate Gomolemo series. The first novel in the series, The Fatal Payout, is on the list of prescribed books for junior secondary libraries in Botswana. Murder for profit, the second in the series, is due for release in October 2007.

Some of Lauri’s more notable writing achievements include her first place award in the Bessie Head Memorial Prize Competition in 1999, and her nomination for the Botswana Writer of the Year Award in 2005.

The BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Competition is now in its 13th year.

The prize money for the competition, totalling R65 000 (with R25 000 for first prize), is among the highest for any short story competition.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

*New* short fiction: Six Millions Ways to Die by Mbonisi P. Ncube

Mbonisi P. Ncube is a Zimbabwean short story writer, poet and playwright. He is currently working on his first novel, The Munhumutapa Candidate.

  • Six Millions Ways to Die - Mbonisi P. Ncube
  • Centre for the Book’s Community Publishing Project finalist for ACT Cultural Development Award

    The Centre for the Book’s Community Publishing Project is a finalist for the ACT Cultural Development Award 2007 sponsored by Distell, the other finalists are Art Bank Joburg and Art for Humanity.

    The Community Publishing Project (CPP) Based at the Centre for the Book, the CPP provides advice, funding and technical support to writers and writers’ groups in South Africa, to help them develop publishing skills and to undertake the publishing and marketing of works produced in their communities. The Centre for the Book is a specialist unit of the National Library of South Africa.

    Over a six year period 29 books have been published with grants from the CPP. Writers and writers’ groups from all regions and working in a range of indigenous South African languages have received grants and have independently published books.

    The Community Publishing Project is currently funded by Nasou Via Afrika, it was started with an initial donation over three years from Via Afrika and NB Publishers. It has also received funding from the MAPPP Seta and the Mpumalanga Provincial Library Service.

    Colleen Higgs, who has managed this project since its inception says, “I am delighted that the Community Publishing Project has been recognized in this way. It has been my privilege to manage the project and to see each book take shape at its own pace. I have traveled to remote corners of South Africa and have met writers in all these places. The Community Publishing Project gives people a foot in the door of the big world of publishing. It demystifies publishing and the book world for grantees and has created wonderful opportunities for many of the people who have participated in the project."

    For more information go to www.bdf.org.za and www.nlsa.ac.za

    The annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards are presented by Nedbank and celebrate andrecognise outstanding individuals, organisations or agencies that have played an integral role in the development and promotion of arts, culture and creativity in South Africa. TheACT Awards 2007 is supported by CLASSICfeel Magazine, the Cape Town radio partner is Fine Music Radio 101.3 and the Gauteng radio partner is 102.7 Classic fM.

    According to Ismail Mahomed, convenor of the 2007 Awards adjudication panel, “the finalists for 2007 reflect the extremely high calibre of people who champion the advancement of the arts. These finalists stand high amongst a broad range of individuals and organizations nominated by the public. Short-listing these finalists from amongst a group of people who each deserve an accolade for their commitment to the advancement of the arts was no easy task.”

    For more information - www.act.org.za

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    *New* poetry: tlhokomeliso by Rethabile Masilo

    Rethabile Masilo is a native of Lesotho living and working in Paris, France. Mr. Masilo enjoys reading and writing poetry. He runs two blogs, Poéfrika http://poefrika.blogspot.com and Sotho http://sotho.blogsome.com , and is also co-editor of a literary magazine, Canopic Jar http://canopicjar.com . He is married and has two children.

    tlhokomeliso - Rethabile Masilo

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Kalk Bay Books and Jacana invitation to Love and Courage reading

    Kalk Bay Books and Jacana invite you to a reading from

    Love and Courage by author Pregs Govender

    As a struggle activist and ANC MP in South Africa's first
    democratic Parliament, Pregs Govender has made her
    mark as a woman and politician with integrity and guts.
    In Love and Courage she shares her life story and her experiences as an "insubordinate" woman.

    DATE: Saturday 6 October
    TIME: 6:00 for 6:30pm
    PLACE: 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
    RSVP by Friday 5 October to
    books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266.

    Drinks and snacks will be served.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    International poetry prize Castello Di Duino

    International Poetry Prize Castello Di Duino

    Deadline January 6 2008

    Organized by the volunteer Association “Poesia e Solidarietà” Trieste

    Rules of participation:

    Ø The competition is open to young people under 30 years of age.

    Ø The participation is free.

    Ø Participants have to send only one unpublished , never prized poem (maximum 50 lines).

    Ø The general theme of the Edition 2008 is: Vocies / Silence

    Ø Poems will be accepted in the mother tongue of the authors. A translation into English and /or Italian is required.

    Ø A jury composed by poets and literary critics with different linguistic competences will evaluate the poems as much as possible in their original language.

    Ø Poems must arrive before : 2008 January 6.

    a) preferably by E-Mail (E-Mail to Valera@units.it).

    Please, send the complete Application Form (see below) in the message and the poem attached to the message in Format Word or rft.

    b) or by regular mail to Prof. Gabriella Valera Gruber, Via Matteotti 21, 34138, Trieste (Italy).

    As far as the deadline is concerned, we will take into consideration the postmark, but no poem will be taken into consideration, which arrives after the jury has started its evaluation process (soon after the deadline)

    In both cases the competitors must insert their anagraphic data and statements in the following application form.

    Name, Surname, Birth Date, Nationality, Address, City, Country, Phone, E-Mail, Title of the poem, Statements:

    I declare that the poem…. (Title)….is my original work, has never been prized and is unpublished.

    I give my permission to its possible publication and presentation to the general audience.

    I declare that I have not / I have (please choose one or the other option) subscribed to SIAE nor to any other similar Societies, which protect copyrights.


    Ø The jury will designate three winners and reserves the right of selecting other poems of special worth. The three winners will be awarded a prize of € 500 each.

    Ø In accordance with the aim of the competition to combine solidarity and poetry, the winners will choose a humanitarian cause (possibly in their own country) to which they will devote a part of the prize (€200).

    Ø The poems of the winners and a selection of the best poems will be published by “Ibiskos Editrice di Antonietta Risolo” (Empoli, Italy) (Sponsor of the Competition), hopefully in both the Italian and English version together with a CD in the original languages. The proceeds of the sales will be devoted to Luchetta-Ota-D’Angelo-Hrovatin Foundation for children war victims (www.fondazioneluchetta.org ).

    * Special prizes for the best poems of people “under 16”.
    * Special prizes for the three best Schools that compete with groups of pupils.
    * Not awarded people may ask for free publication of their poem in the webpage of the competition.

    Contact: Prof. Gabriella Valera Gruber, Via Matteotti 21, 34138 Trieste - Tel. 040 638787

    E-Mail valera@units.it or go to the website www.castellodiduinopoesia.it

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Poetry workshop with Finuala Dowling

    A poetry workshop with Finuala Dowling will be held on Saturday 6 October in Claremont (Cape Town) from 16h00 - 17h30. Cost R80. Please write to nuala@gem to book and collect the exercises.

    Romance writing workshop - Joburg and Cape Town

    "I loved Mr. Darcy far more than any of my own husbands."~ Rumer Godden

    Not that cynical? Then join: Romancing the Dollar!

    Anthony Ehlers, author of 10 romances, will be running a Romance Writing workshop.
    Date: 22 September
    Time: 09:00 - 15:00

    Two Writers Write graduates have had their first romances accepted.

    Which is the ideal genre for you?


    Understand the Mills & Boon and Silhouette imprints.

    Craft a story

    Acquire the techniques to finish a romance
    Learn the rules of the genre
    Develop believable romantic characters
    Understand techniques to move your plot along

    Have the satisfaction of finishing a book.

    Have fun.

    When: Saturday 22 September 2007

    Time: 8.30a.m. - 2.30 p.m.

    How much: R1 975, 00 Ex VAT

    Where: Block D, Coachman's Crossing Office Park, Brian Road, Off Peter
    Place, Bryanston, Sandton

    To Book: info@thewriteco.co.za


    Tel: 011 706-4021
    Fax: 011 252-8890
    NLA, Suite D, Block D, Coachman's Crossing Office Park, Brian Road,
    Off Peter Place, Bryanston, Sandton

    Cape Town:
    Tel: 021 462 7580
    Fax: 086 6173046
    20 Dunkley Mews, Dunkley Square, Gardens

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    A novel course by Jo-Anne Richards and Jann Turner

    Two highly experienced, internationally-published South African novelists are jointly presenting a new interactive, four-week writing course this October.

    Jo-Anne Richards (The Innocence of Roast Chicken, Sad at the Edges) and Jann Turner (Heartland, Southern Cross) will help you turn your great idea for a novel into a reality.

    Taking place over four Saturday mornings from 9am - 1pm at Sasani Studios, Highlands North, Johannesburg, this intensive but accessible four week interactive course will cover all you need to know about getting started, polishing and completing your manuscript and getting it from page to print. Write a novel is ideal for both complete beginners and those who want to finally finish the first draft that's been lurking on their desk for months. Numbers are limited, to ensure individual attention.

    The course will also include a "meet the publishers" session, where you can hear directly from publishers what they look for in a novel, how to present your manuscript and how they approach and market fiction in South Africa.

    Both tutors have just delivered their fourth novel to their publishers, ensuring those attending the write a novel course will get the benefit of both years of accumulated experience and up-to-the-minute industry insights.

    A course overview, tutor biogs and registration details can be found on www.creativeindustry.co.za.


    Date: 06 October 2008 to 27 October 2007
    Location: Sasani Studios, Highlands North, Johannesburg
    Cost: R3000

    Contact: Fiona Walsh
    Company name: Creative Industry
    Telephone number: 072 298 7736
    Email address fiona@creativeindustry.co.za

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    International poetry festival for Durban, 1 - 6 October 2007

    11th Poetry Africa

    Twenty poets from 10 different countries will descend on Durban for an exhilarating rollercoaster of words, rhythms, and ideas at the 11th Poetry Africa international poetry festival which takes place from 1 to 6 October. Hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, Poetry Africa kicks off with a series of pre-festival performances at Flavours of Durban, a Celebrate Durban initiative, on 29 September (Main Stage - outside City Hall at 20h00) and at the Awesome Africa Music Festival at Midmar Dam on 30 September. The intensive week-long programme starts with introductory performances by the full lineup of participating poets at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on opening night 1st October, and will thereafter feature 5 poets every evening, through to 5th October, before the Festival Finale at the BAT Centre on 6th October.

    The eclectic mix of poetic voices, styles, forms, and cultures includes the nuanced verse of acclaimed writer, theatre and film director/producer,Nathalie Handal (France/Palestine) and the visceral power of Oni the Haitian Sensation (Canada/Haiti) whose colorful poetry focuses significantly on social concerns and sexuality. The strong musical thread in this year’s Poetry Africa incorporates the uniquely resonant voice and maloya blues of musician and poet Danyel Waro (Reunion) in his long-awaited first visit to South Africa, and accompanied by group members playing island percussion. With a string of poetry awards to her credit the prolific young Korean-American Ishle, has been described as “brilliant, fiery, intelligent, raw, funny” and she too, with guitar, brings a musical approach to the performance of her poetry.

    The striking line-up of participants from Africa this year includes Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi), whose poetry encompasses the rhythm of African life in a mesh of metaphors, folklore and song; the popular Senegalese poet and arts activist Habib Demba Fall; and theatre practitioner Keamogetsi Joseph Molapong (Namibia), whose incisive poetry critiques the harsh ineq-uities of post-independence Namibian society.

    From East Africa comes the dynamic Kenyan poet and spoken-word theatre artist, Shailja Patel, whose show Migritude has played to packed houses and standing ovations since it was launched in December 2006. "What Arundhati Roy is to imperialism/fascism/racism in prose, Patel is to them in poetry." - The Gulf Today.

    Poetry Africa this year includes a special Zimbabwean package entitled ‘Hello Zimbabwe’. This comprises the iconic performance poet Chirikure Chirikure, author of three volumes of award-winning poetry, and the beautifully voiced mbira player Chiwoniso, winner of the UNESCO Prize for Arts, and KORA Best Female Vocals of Africa Awards nominee.

    Completing the Zim trio is Comrade Fatso, a purveyor of “Toyi-Toyi Poetry” - urban street poetry that mixes Shona with English, mbira with hip-hop, and poetry with the struggle to survive.

    The diverse array of South African poets at the core of Poetry Africa include respected poet and playwright Angifi Dladla, whose hard-hitting and complex poems have been published widely both locally and internationally, and the equally established Arja Salafranca, whose lucid poetry offers us intimate glances into intensely personal worlds.

    The multi-talented Napo Masheane, currently enjoying great success and acclaim with her play “My Bum Is Genetic, Deal with It” and Haidee Kruger, a poet of startling technical ability and lyrical finesse, in addition to gracing the Poetry Africa stages, will both be launching their poetry collections at the festival. There are further launches of poetry books by Vonani Bila, Kobus Moolman and Gail Dendy.

    The festival lineup also presents the evocative and provocative poetry of television writer and stage actress, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers; Danie Marais, whose stunning debut poetry collection In die buitenste ruimte (2006) has been awarded the Eugène Marais Prize, the UJ Debut Prize and the Ingrid Jonker Prize; and Durbanite Syd Kitchen, whose success as a musician should not overshadow his prowess as a poet. Kitchen published a cult-hit poetry collection in the 80s, and has “four more in the oven”. Other Durban participants include versatile young poet and theatre actor/dancer Zorro, and Mphutlane wa Bofelo who, eschewing the American slam stylistic and thematic template, twice won Poetry Africa’s Durban Slamjam title. The festival also includes special guest appearances by poetry luminaries Dennis Brutus, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Ari Sitas, and Kobus Moolman.

    Special festival components include a focus on local Durban poets and the promotion of indigenous literature. The pre-festival showcase, hosted by Gcina Mhlophe, at Flavours of Durban on 29 September includes a fantastic array of young and experienced Durban talent. Poets include:

    Bullet, Ayanda Chamane, Baxolile Dimane, Nokulunga Dladla, Busiswa Gqulu, Syd Kitchen, Sthembiso Madlala, Mxolisi Mtshali, Sakhile Shabalala, Furrah Simbeku, Mphutlane wa Bofelo, Siphamandla Xaba and Zorro. The programme also includes Madala Kunene and Danyel Waro.

    Saturday the 6th sees a full day of activities at the BAT Centre, which includes poetry workshops, open mic opportunities, a special focus on praise poetry entitled ‘Emkhathini neziMbongi (Time Travel)’ choreographed by local poet Miracle, and the Durban SlamJam, all culminating with the Festival Finale on Saturday night. The Finale begins with the Durban Poetry Showcase, a collaborative platform that incorporates the talents of poets from numerous active poetry organisations in the city, including: Live Poets Society, Keen Arts, Nowadayz Poets, Young Basadzi, Poets Corner, and Pour a Tree. The upbeat SlamJam is also constructed around poets from these organisations.

    Apart from the evening performances at the Sneddon and the BAT, a packed daily programme includes performances, seminars, workshops, poetry competitions, poetry in prison, and school visits.

    The full programme of activities, plus participant bios and photos, is available on www.cca.ukzn.ac.za ( http://www.cca.ukzn.ac.za/ )

    Enquiries to 031-2602506

    Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 11th Poetry Africa festival is supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS), Royal Netherlands Embassy, Stichting Doen, French Institute of South Africa, Ethekweni Municipality, and the City of Durban.

    For Media Queries Contact Sharlene Versfeld T: 031 201 1650 F: 031 201 1654 E: sharlene@versfeld.co.za Magdalene Reddy Centre for Creative Arts Memorial Tower Building University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban
    4041 South Africa Tel: +27+31+260 2506 Fax: +27+31+260 3074 Email: cca@ukzn.ac.za Website: www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Modjaji Books invitation to launch of Fourth Child

    A collection of poems by Megan Hall

    Thursday 4th October, 2007
    at 17h30 for 18h00
    The A.R.T. Gallery/ Clementina Ceramics
    205, The Colosseum Building
    3 St George's Mall
    Cape Town

    wine, water and song (by the Cafè Cruisers) will be provided

    Fourth Child will be on sale

    RSVP cdhiggs@gmail.com or sms 0727743546

    PS. There is plenty of parking available after hours in Adderley,
    Strand etc streets

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    The Native Commissioner wins Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award 2007

    The Bookseller’s Choice Award, sponsored by Nielsen, is chosen and presented by the South African book trade in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry

    The shortlist of six consists of:

    A City Imagined edited by Stephen Watson (Penguin)
    An Unpopular War by J.H. Thompson (Zebra Press/Struik)
    Assignment Selous Scouts by Jim Parker (Galago)
    Geological Journeys by Nick Norman & Gavin Whitfield (Struik)
    God se Apteek by Herman Uys
    The Native Commissioner by Shaun Johnson (Penguin)

    Last year’s winner was: Spud by John van de Ruit

    The Sefika Awards are annual and presented at the PASA and SABA Conference. This year the conference was held at the Wanderers Club, Wanderers Protea Hotel, Johannesburg
    and were presented by Simon Skinner (Sales Director, Nielsen Book).

    The Booksellers’ Choice Award is an important award for South African writing, the book trade and the reading public. It is awarded to the book that booksellers across South Africa have most enjoyed reading, selling or promoting over the past year. Only open to South African authors who are published in South Africa, the award draws attention to the excellence and high standard of South African writing.

    In addition to the BookSellers’ Choice Award, the following Sefika Awards were presented:

    Bookseller Awards:
    Academic Bookseller of the Year Protea Boekwinkel
    Emerging Bookseller of the Year U’nique Books
    Library Supplier of the Year Clarkes Bookshop
    Trade Bookseller of the Year Exclusive Books (O R Tambo International) andExclusive Books (Hyde Park) and Boekehuis
    Best Educational Bookseller Caxton Books

    Publisher Awards:
    Best Trade Publisher Random House
    Best Academic Publisher Juta Academic
    Best Education Publisher Maskew Miller Longman

    Nielsen Book also sponsors similar awards in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

    This year’s winner: The Native Commissioner

    ‘It has been a fantastic year for Penguin South Africa’s fiction, and to have won Book of the Year two years in a row is wonderful recognition for our list. The Native Commissioner was a powerful book right from the start and it is heartening to witness how the country’s booksellers got behind author Shaun Johnson with such support and enthusiasm. Coming as it does after winning the M-Net Award, the Commonwealth Award: Africa Region and being shortlisted for the Sunday Times Award, this is just the cherry on the top for Penguin and for Shaun. We are proud to be his publishers.’ Alison Lowry, CEO Penguin Books South Africa.

    Quote from author

    Sam Jameson, eight years old at the time of his father George’s death, decides, some forty years later, to go through the box of his father’s papers which his mother had passed on to him. In trying to piece together the life of a parent he never really knew, Sam discovers a sensitive, inherently kind but insecure man. George has seemingly spent his working life as a native commissioner conscientiously carrying out his duties, but has never quite been able to come to terms with the white man’s place in Africa. As his doubts deepen he is overwhelmed by despair

    The author, Shaun Johnson as a journalist for many years, launching South Africa's Sunday Independent and becoming MD of Independent Newspapers in South Africa, before accepting the role of CEO for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The Native Commissioner is his first novel. He lives in Cape Town.

    The Shortlist:

    A City Imagined by Stephen Watson (Penguin Group)

    Stephen Watson asked twenty South African writers to express their relationship to Cape Town and, above all, their sense of the unique genius or spirit of this city.

    What emerges from A City Imagined is a composite portrait of Cape Town, more various, heterogeneous, complex even in its beauty, than that to be found in the standard treatments of the place.

    Contributions from Andre Brink, Damon Galgut, Sindiwe Magona, Jeremy Cronin, Jenefer Shute, Anthony Sher, Mark Behr, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Justin Cartwright, Finuala Dowling, Michiel Heyns, Luke Fiske, Mike Nicol, Marlene van Niekerk, Nkululeko Mabandla and PR Anderson.

    Stephen Watson, a Professor in English and current Director of the Creative Writing Centre at the University of Cape Town, has won a number of awards for his poetry and is regarded by many as one of the finest South African poets writing today. Professor Watson's collections of poetry include Return of the Moon: Versions from the /Xam, and Presence of the Earth: New Poems. His most recent work, The Other City: Selected Poems is widely acclaimed.

    An Unpopular War by JH Thompson ( Zebra Press/Struik)

    In the seventies, eighties and nineties, conscription had a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of young men, particularly those who had to serve in the Angolan war. This title is a collection of reflections and memories of that time, collected by JH Thompson, who interviewed men who did National Service. Contributors include ordinary soldiers, Special Forces members, helicopter pilots, chefs and religious objectors. The title captures the spirit and atmosphere, the daily duties, the boredom, fear and other intense experiences of an SADF soldier

    Educated in Spain and South Africa, JH Thompson is a freelance journalist who has been writing and travelling extensively most of her life. She writes movie reviews, travel articles, features for numerous magazines, and had a wildlife column when she was a game ranger. She currently resides in Johannesburg.

    Assignment Selous Scouts: Inside Story of a Rhodesian Special Branch Officer by Jim Parker (Galago Publishing)

    Written from the author’s personal knowledge and first-hand experience, Assignment Selous Scouts illuminates the day-to-day horrors of the bloody and brutal terror war that was fought in the former Rhodesia against Marxist guerrillas. By the war's end there had been 21,782 recorded terrorist incidents in the country and 1,276 landmine detonations, causing 7,283 casualties. Although involved in the conflict earlier while serving as a policeman, the author stepped back into the Rhodesian Bush War in mid 1977 when as a farmer and a Police A Reservist he was appointed as a Special Branch liaison officer with the Selous Scouts at their Chiredzi Fort in the Lowveld.

    Jim Parker was born in Zambia and educated in Rhodesia. After five years in the British South Africa Police he resigned to manage the family’s sugar farm at Chiredzi in the Rhodesia lowveld. In 1977 at the peak of the Bush War he joined the ranks of Special Branch Selous Scouts as an A Reserve Detective Section Officer. He served with this elite unit for protracted periods of service without remuneration until the summary disbandment of the Selous Scouts when Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF assumed power in March 1980. He is now a farmer in South Africa.

    Geological Journeys by Gavin Whitfield & Nick Norman (Struik Publishers)
    Geological Journeys is a traveller's guide to South Africa's rocks and landforms. For those who wonder about the particular tilt of a mountain ahead, the unusual patterns of a road cutting, the colour and texture of the roadside soil, or the purpose of a distant minehead, this volume offers answers and explanations about features along all the major routes across South Africa, and some of the lesser, but geologically interesting, routes too. Using familiar landmarks to pinpoint sites and subtle phenomena, the authors bring to light South Africa’s rich geological heritage, its likely roots and often tumultuous history. Along the way, they also discuss the historical background, personalities and stories that relate to the landscape.

    Gavin Whitfield graduated from Rhodes University with Honours in geology and later completed an MSc in kimberlite studies. After working in a geological research laboratory he spent 28 years in mineral exploration for a number of major mining companies. This work took him to the Middle East, the Netherlands and Zambia. He currently runs a geological consulting business. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife and has an adult son.

    Nick Norman, Geological Journeys - Struik Publishers

    Nick Norman was born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal. He holds an MSc in Geology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and has worked in mineral exploration in both Africa and South America. He is currently a consulting geologist in various parts of Africa and lives with his wife and two children in Franschhoek, Western Cape.

    God se Apteek by Herman Uys (Bambi Boeke)

    This book examines 88 of the most general ailments and sicknesses, their underlying causes, and how natural remedies such as fruit, vegetables, plants and herds can be used to prevent and heal. God se Apteek also looks in detail at the different blood groups and the most suitable diets for each group.

    Herman Uys matriculated in Bethlehem in the Free State, earning B.A. B.D. degrees and a diploma in Theology at the University of Pretoria. Herman served for a 19 years in full time Pastoral ministry. His interest in natural health remedies has lead him into intense study and research in this field which culminated in lecturing on this subject nationwide. "God’s Pharmacy" was published in 2003 following public demand and became an unexpected national bestseller.

    About Nielsen Book
    Nielsen Book has four key brands: Registration Agencies (ISBN, SAN, DOI), BookData, BookNet and BookScan. Nielsen BookScan operates the world’s only continuous retail monitoring service for English-language books. BookScan operates in the UK, Ireland, US, Australia, South Africa, Italy and Spain.

    Nielsen BookData is the leading provider of comprehensive, enriched and timely bibliographic data worldwide. BookData provides a unique source of bibliographic data services to booksellers, libraries and publishers in 110 countries around the world. Under the brand Nielsen BookNet, it also provides value-added transaction services to the industry. The group employs more than 150 staff in the UK. The company is wholly owned by The Nielsen Company, one of the world’s largest publishing and information companies.

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Centre for the Book setting up children’s literature network blog.

    The Centre for the Book is setting up a Children’s Literature Network Blog. The categories for the blog are listed below. If you would like to be on the blog, or to have a link to your website or blog on it, please send information to mairefisher@gmail.com

    If you think we have missed a category or subcategory, please let us know and we will add it.


    Calls for submission
    Writing teachers and courses

    Illustrators’ Project Centre for the Book

    Find writers
    List of children's book publishers
    - In South Africa
    - Internationally
    The children's book market



    - Public libraries
    - School libraries

    Book Fairs

    Academic organisations
    International organisations
    South African organisations

    UCT special collections

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    The latest from McSweeney's

    After several months of secret labor in our mountaintop dojo, we're emerging from summer with four glorious items in hand (that's one item in each hand--we are built like Vitruvian Man). As of today, on our website and nowhere else, you can secure your copies of Bowl of Cherries, Millard Kaufman's stunning novel of young love and unorthodox acoustics and Iraqi imprisonment (Millard's ninety, by the way, and this is his first novel); McSweeney's 24, our two-in-one, Siamese-twin issue with six superb stories of troublesome times on one side and many gorgeous essays about running with Donald Barthelme on the other (along with two rare stories by the man himself); One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box, which features the very short, very sharp work of Sarah Manguso, Dave Eggers, and Deb Olin Unferth, with a small hardcover book for each of them and a gold-sprinkled slipcase for all of them; and Wholphin No. 4, our DVD quarterly's newest issue, and the first one to encompass Maggie Gyllenhaal, chimpanzees, and the chilling third installment of The Power of Nightmares. You can hear more about all of these at www.mcsweeneys.com

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Rose Moss at Centre for the Book in Cape Town

    Rose Moss will be reading from her collection of short stories 'In Court' published by Penguin and talking about her writing life on Thursday 30th August at lunch time at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town. 62 Queen Victoria Street. 13h00 to 14h00.

    Gaynor Young
    021 4232669

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Looking for writer for 2008 Cutting Edge series

    Peter Lancett, the series and commissioning editor for Ransom Publishing in the UK, is looking for a SOUTH AFRICAN writer to contribute a novella (30 - 35,000 words) to the 2008 Cutting Edge series. This series is aimed at teenagers and deals with hard-hitting issues - drugs, alienation, violence, death, crime etc. He is particularly looking for a writer who can contribute a work told from the perspective of a township kid. All works in this series are told in the first person.

    If you are a SOUTH AFRICAN writer, interested in contributing to this series, please contact peter@xlitherfilms.com

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Jacana Media invite you to the launch of Pregs Govender's Love & Courage

    Guest Speakers: Amina Mama & Baleka Mbete
    Poetry by Malika Ndlovu

    Tuesday 21 August 5:30 for 6pm
    Centre for the Book, 52 Queen Victoria Str, Cape Town
    RSVP: Karin Iten 011 628 3200 karin@jacana.co.za

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Finalists for sixth annual Bastiat Prize for Journalism announced

    International Policy Network today announced the six finalists for the sixth annual Bastiat Prize for Journalism. The Prize – named in honour of the great 19th Century French philosopher and essayist Frédéric Bastiat – celebrates writers whose work cleverly and wittily promotes the institutions of the free society.

    Commenting on the announcement, IPN Executive Director Julian Morris, said, “This year, we received over 280 submissions from writers in more than 60 countries, the overwhelming majority of them very high calibre.

    The final decision is now in the hands of our eminent panel of judges, which comprises two former winners, Brian Carney (Wall Street Journal) and Amity Shlaes (syndicated Bloomberg columnist), two world-renowned economists, Professors Bibek Debroy and Wolfgang Kasper, and the Chief Judge of the DC Court of Appeals, Douglas Ginsburg. We look forward to announcing this year’s winners at the Bastiat Prize dinner on October 24th.”

    The 2007 finalists (in alphabetical order followed by the publication(s) in which their entries appeared):

    * Clive Crook

    The Atlantic Monthly, USA; National Journal, USA

    * Jonah Goldberg

    LA Times, USA; Orlando Sentinel/syndicated, USA; National Review, USA

    * A. Barton Hinkle

    Richmond Times-Dispatch, USA

    * Dominic Lawson

    The Independent, UK

    * Patrick McIlheran

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA

    * Amit Varma

    Mint, India
    The winners will be announced at the Bastiat Prize Dinner in New York on 24th October 2007. The first prize winner will receive US$10,000 and an engraved candlestick. Second and third prize winners will receive $4000 and $1000 respectively, as well as an engraved candlestick.

    The Bastiat Prize was first awarded in 2002 and judges have included Lady Thatcher and Nobel-Prize-winners James Buchanan and Milton Friedman.

    This year’s panel of judges is:

    * Brian Carney

    (Editorial Board member, Wall Street Journal)

    * Professor Bibek Debroy

    (International Management Institute, India)

    * Judge Douglas Ginsburg

    (Chief Judge, Washington DC Court of Appeals)

    * Professor Wolfgang Kasper

    (Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia)

    * Amity Shlaes

    (syndicated Bloomberg columnist; visiting senior fellow, Council on

    Foreign Relations)

    Last year’s joint first prize winners were Tim Harford of the Financial Times and Jamie Whyte for his articles in The Times of London. Rakesh Wadhwa took third prize for his articles in the Himalayan Times. Previous winners include Mary Anastasia O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal, Amity Shlaes (then with the Financial Times), Robert Guest (The Economist), Sauvik Chakraverti (Economic Times of India) and Brian Carney (then with the Wall Street Journal Europe). Entries for the Bastiat Prize are judged on intellectual content, persuasiveness of language used, and type and location of publication. The Prize is open to all writers, anywhere in the world; writers need not be associated with any specific publication. The Prize was developed to encourage and reward writers whose published works promote the institutions of a free society: property rights, the rule of law and limited government.

    The Bastiat Prize is sponsored by International Policy Network (IPN), which comprises two sister organisations: a charity based in London and a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation in the US. For more on IPN and the Bastiat Prize, please browse: www.policynetwork.net and www.bastiatprize.org

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    *New* commentary: Thoughts on African Writing in the New Century

    I have been watching the publishing scene carefully and I have noticed that this era (the eve of the 21st century) might be the time for the African writer or artist. There have been numerous international awards given to African writers lately, for instance, Mann Booker, Caine, and others; and Nigeria, it seems, is once again leading in this explosion of African writing in English. Remember, in the 1950s Nigerian authors were leading the African scene, that is, in the arena of African writing in English. Of course, much was also happening in Francophone Africa, but my focus here is African writing in English. This writing has matured.

    Thoughts on African Writing in the New Century - Emmanuel Sigauke

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    *New* poetry: Three poems by Abbey Khambule

    Abbey Khambule is a Johannesburg resident, born in 1981 in Warmbath North West, raised and schooled in Cyverskuil, Atteridgeville, Pretoria and later Alexandra Township. He grew up aspiring to be a well known painter but in recent years has lost himself to poetry. He is studying towards a BA in Creative Writing and makes a living working for a law firm in Sandton.

    Three poems - Abbey Khambule

    Final edition of Crossing Borders magazine

    Issue Twelve, the final edition of the Crossing Borders magazine

    series is now available online. The magazine is edited by Becky Clarke, publishing the creative work, short stories and poetry of around 36 Crossing Borders participants over a year.

    This edition includes:

    Introduction by Becky Ayebia Clarke
    'The Role of the Writer as a Social/Political Commentator' by Delia Jarrett - Macauley
    'Goat's Feet' by Stanley Gazemba from Kenya
    'True Warriors' by Ken Kamoche from Kenya
    'The Other Cheek' by Hazel Couvaras from Zambia
    Poetry by Zvisinei C. Sandi from Zimbabwe
    'Broken Wings' by Batsirai Easther Chigama from Zimbabwe

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    British Council launches new writing website

    The British Council's New Writing website http://newwriting.britishcouncil.org is now live. The theme for this month's focus is Writers on Writing, which examines the inner workings of a writer's mind as two authors discuss the highs and lows of what it takes to be a writer.

    Ursula Holden's account of her writing career is inspirational and a homage to her strength and determination. She sent her first novel to over 40 publishers without finding a home for it; her second novel was accepted by Carcanet Press but lack of money prevented publication and it was only when her work was finally picked up by the late Alan Ross of London Magazine that she was finally published. 'Write at Your Own Peril' is an engaging and powerful piece of writing that combines personal memoir with the joys and pains of writing for a living.

    Ma Jian left China, uncomfortable at the level of censorship he encountered there. He found Hong Kong to be a city in which he could write freely without losing the inspiration he gained in China. However, when Hong Kong was returned to the Chinese in 1997 his discomfort returned, forcing him to move to the West, far from the people, colours and smells that stimulated his work. His piece 'A Chinese Writer in London' describes the issues he has to confront to continue his work.

    The website includes notes for teachers, notes for readers, author interviews and glossaries which we will be updating on a monthly basis, focusing on a wide selection of short stories, poems, novel extracts and essays.

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    An exhibition of photographs and poetry by 14 South African women

    Botsotso and Constitution Hill are proud to present an exhibition of photographs and poetry reflecting and expressing the lives of women in our country as well as the wider world. The exhibition connects with the national month of women action.

    The photographers: Neo Ntsoma, Suzy Bernstein, Riana Wiechers, Anna Varney The poets: elsbeth e, Sumeera Dawood, Lisemelo Tlale, Elizabeth Trew, Anet Kemp, Baitse Mokiti, Myesha Jenkins, Arja Salafranca, Makhosazana Xaba, Riana Wiechers, Bongekile Mbanjwa, Anna Varney The 50 photographs and poems are taken from the book ISIS X (Botsotso Publishing), of which Eva Kowalski commented:

    “This anthology, edited by Allan Kolski Horwitz, combines contemporary photography and poetry by new South African female writers.

    Such an openly women-only venture might attract projections of stereotyped feminism or effeminate style; neither are valid concerning this intelligent, varied, yet ultimately coherent anthology.

    “Ostensibly the biggest challenge in putting together an anthology of such size is attempting to create a sense of unity and congruency while maintaining the clarity and strength of each unique voice, and Isis X manages this very well. The compiled texts range from humorous personal insights to poignant social observations to spirited expressions of anger and hope. That said, it is clear that certain themes and experiences are shared between works and authors; and these are noteworthy from both the point of view of poetry and photography connoisseurship and those interested in gender issues and other such subjects inevitably dealt with when women make art.” Exhibition opening will take place at 6pm for 6.30pm on Thursday, 2 August 2007 in the atrium of the Womens Jail Exhibition Space, the Womens Jail, Constitution Hill complex, Kotze St, Hillbrow The guest speakers will be Keketso Semoko (actress and womens activist)and Odette Geldenhuys (legal rights activist and documentary film maker). A reading by several of the poets (Myesha Jenkins, Arja Salafranca, Elizabeth Trew, Bongekile Mbanjwa and Anna Varney) will follow.

    During August two further activities focusing on women will take place at the exhibition site:

    1. Walkabout with the photographers and poets - 11am Saturday 11 August 2007
    2. Evening of Women's Poetry (featuring Makhosazana Xaba, Uhuru Mahlodi, Donna Smith, and others as well as having an Open Mike component) * 6pm, Friday, 24 August 2007

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Winner of the Caine Prize 2007 announced

    Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko has won the 2007 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for Jambula Tree from ‘African Love Stories’, Ayebia Clarke Publishing 2006. The Chair of Judges, Jamal Mahjoub from Sudan, announced Monica as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 9 July) in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

    Jamal Mahjoub described her story as “a witty and touching portrait of a community which is affected forever by a love which blossoms between two adolescents”.

    Monica Arac de Nyeko was born in Uganda . She studied at Makerere and Groningen universities for a degree in Education and an MA in Humanitarian Assistance. She is a member of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE), was a literature and English language teacher at St Mary College, Kisubi, an Early Warning Consultant in Rome and later a Reports Officer in Khartoum. She has been a Fellow on the British Council’s Crossing Borders programme and was also shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2004 for Strange Fruit. Her short stories Jazz, Miracles and Dreams and City Link are soon to be published.

    Also on this year’s shortlist were:

    Uwem Akpan (Nigeria), ‘My Parents Bedroom’ The New Yorker June 12, 2006

    E.C Osondu (Nigeria) ‘Jimmy Carter’s Eyes’, AGNI Fiction Online 2006

    Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa) ‘Bad Places’, New Contrast vol 31 no4 Spring 2003

    Ada Udechukwu (Nigeria) ‘Night Bus’, The Atlantic Monthly, August 2006

    Kenyan Billy Kahora’s ‘Treadmill Love’ from ‘The Obituary Tango’ Jacana/New Internationalist 2006, came in as highly commended by this year’s judges.

    This year the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, Washington DC , as a ‘Caine Prize/Georgetown University Writer-in-Residence’. The award will cover all travel and living expenses.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Margie Orford, Michelle Matthews @ 20 Dunkley Mews, Cape Town

    Top SA crime writer, Margie Orford, has developed what most writers dream of - an engaging protagonist who will develop into a series.

    Orford is an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and film director. Michelle Matthews is the publishing manager of Oshun Books (Struik). Michelle will be talking about how to make your book as publishable as possible and answering all your questions on how to submit to a publisher.

    Date: Thursday 26 July, Time: 6pm for 6.30pm.
    Cost: R100 for wine and delicious snacks.
    Venue: 20 Dunkley Mews, Dunkley Square, Gardens
    RSVP: capetown@thewriteco.co.za

    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    The Write Co short story competition 2007

    The Write Co has announced that it will run this competition for the second time. The theme is "Paint it Black!".
    "We introduced the competition due to an increasing interest in the short story last year," says Amanda Patterson, owner of The Write Co. The contest drew over 500 entries from all over the world. “We're hoping to double that number this year,” she adds.

    Fiction writing courses run by The Write Co have turned 27 graduates into published authors. One of these is Harry Cronje author of the short story collection, Fanyana Talks to the Animals (Struik).

    Another is Writers Write graduate and Write Co facilitator and editor, Morné Malan. Morné was one of the winners of the SA Pen Award for his short story - Jason's Kiss. Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee was the judge.

    Morné went on to win Tafelberg's Great Novel Competition, in the Debut Novel Category. The judges were Prof. Andre P. Brink, Jakes Gerwel and Louise Viljoen. This novelist, playwright, copywriter and editor, facilitates Skrywers Skryf for The Write Co.

    KISS is The Write Co's classic short story workshop. Mail info@thewriteco.co.za to find out more.

    The Write Co's aim is to get as many South African popular fiction authors published as possible. Sarah Bullen opened the first Write Co franchise in Cape Town in June 2007.


    1st Prize: Writers Write course - valued at R3 500, 00, or gift vouchers for The Write Co valued at R3 500, 00, your story published in The Write Co Newsletter, The Citizen Vibe and on The Write Co Website

    2nd Prize: 1 year's subscription to The Write Club, worth R1 800.00

    3rd Prize: 4 hours with one of our personal writing coaches, worth R1 400.00

    Amanda Patterson – The Write Co Founder and author of I See the Moon, Writers Write 1, Writers Write 2 and Rewrite your future
    Morné Malan – Winner of The Best Debut Novel 2007 and a winner in the short story SA Pen short story award
    Sarah Bullen – Cape Town's Write Co principal, author of Hey Baby! And Make Money Freelancing, publisher editor, and life coach

    Entries will be accepted from 1 July 2007 until end September 2007.

    Monday, July 02, 2007

    Penguin launches another UCT MA graduate work

    Blood Kin is a shocking exploration of how banal evil can be and how every one of us, at some stage in our lives, could be accused of being complicit. Drawing her readers masterfully towards the novel’s devastating climax, Ceridwen Dovey reveals how humanity’s most atavistic impulses – vanity, obsession and vengeance – seethe relentlessly, just beneath the veneer of civilisation.

    Ceridwen Dovey grew up between South Africa and Australia. She received a scholarship to study Anthropology at Harvard University as an undergraduate, then moved to Cape Town for a few years to write her first novel, Blood Kin. She is now doing a PhD in Anthropology at NYU in New York.

    Click here to read an extract

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    BOTSOTSO will be launching six new titles at Xarra Bookshop

    BOTSOTSO will be launching six new titles at Xarra Bookshop, Mary
    Fitzgerald Square, Newtown: 6pm, Thursday 19 July, 2007

    Collections of poetry

    FALLING FROM SLEEPby Mark Espin, a non-dogmatic, activist poet whose
    exercises in the philosophical evocation of life in Cape Town are
    emotional and intellectual

    BELLA, the collected poems of Isabella Motadinyane who died in 2003,
    and was one of the founder members of the Botsotso Jesters poetry
    performance group; her surreal and multi-lingual work offers a sharp
    female perspective on South Africa

    POETIC LICENSEby Mike Alfred, the septuagenarian poet of Troyville,
    Johannesburgwhose wry exposures of the human and the natural are
    sophisticated and humorous yet down to earth and cutting

    A PRIVATE PART,poems and drawings by Lionel Murcott, is the interplay
    between word and image, Lionel being equally proficient with both; a
    teacher at the National School for the Arts in Johannesburg, he is well
    placed to push multimedia collaboration to the limit


    TOTEM AND CANDIDATE/SING BABYLON,two novellas by Marcelle du Toit,
    offering contrasting southern African scenarios: one set in Hillbrow,
    being a tale of Rastas, Jewish neurosis, jazz fiends, hallucination and
    the contradictions African patriarchy creates for independent black
    women; the second set in a 'mythical' African state in the
    post-liberation period when the corruptiveness of power shows its dirty
    hand and forces different elements to reconsider their allegiances


    BLIND VOICESa collection of four radio plays by Kobus Moolman, who is
    also a poet and creative writing teacher from Pietermaritzburg; the main
    play, SOLDIER BOY, about the effect of the Total Onslaught wars fought
    by White South Africa, was broadcast by the BBC in 2003. A CD recording
    of that production is attached to the book. The other three plays are
    more abstract, almost Becketian, and have yet to be recorded.

    The launch will feature readings from the books and a discussion on the
    role and status of independent, non-commercial publishers.

    Chimurenga Magazine launches new issue with appearances at two of world's biggest contemporary art events

    Cape Town based publication of arts, culture and politics, from and about Africa and its Diasporas, Chimurenga Magazine launches its new issue, Chimurenga 11 - Conversations With Poets Who Refuse To Speak with live appearances at two of the world's biggest contemporary art events.

    On Sunday 24 June 2007 the magazine will provide the incendiary musical mix at the Africa Remix opening at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Joubert Park, Johannesburg. Expect a renegade audio "Felasophy" session featuring Abrahamse's Jafrobeat Ensemble along with spoken word ranthologist Lesego Rampolokeng; powerhouse polyrhythmic drummer Kesivan Naidoo, Nigerian Afro-soul fusion trumpeter Olufemi Ogunkoya and urban conscious treknology, tricknology and tracknology courtesy of DJ Khenzero. From 20h30 till late.

    Chimurenga will also be spreading its word at documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany this July. Taking place every 5 years, documenta is one of the world's most important exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Chimurenga is one of 90 international magazines selected to contribute to this year's "documenta 12 magazines". Moreover Chimurenga will be in-house at documenta from 2 until 8 July with "House of Truth", an open-house autonomous zone that takes its name from the drinking pit where the makers of the infamous Drum magazine gathered nightly for informal seminars with Can Themba as resident deconstructor. At "House of Truth" fluids, bodies and burning minds coalesce to burning grooves courtesy of DJ Ntone.

    Visitors to both events will be able to grab copies of the new Chimurenga. Titled Conversations With Poets Who Refuse To Speak, the latest instalment features a heady mix of words and images that give voice to silence. "So much has been said about speech: speaking up, speaking for oneself, not being allowed to speak, speaking for the other who'd rather speak for self, but very little is said about the virtue of silence," says editor Ntone Edjabe. "So much said about making oneself visible, but little said about mining the rich depths of absence. This issue is about silence, disappearing oneself as act. Though it's often one of abdication, could it be defiance, resistance even? - a challenging idea, in a culture where struggle about seeking exposure, giving voice, making visible and all that stuff..."

    Inside you'll find everything from Iranian scholar Asef Bayat writing on the quiet encroachment of the ordinary, to an unsolicited rant from Cape Town-based writer Gael Reagon, serious Melodifius thunkish funk from acclaimed British writer Geoff Dyer, sharp travel discourse from South African poet, journalist, radio producer and activist Sandile Dikeni and American criminal and author, Jack Henri Abbott's words about life in the hole.

    Also: Christopher Wise's search for African literary provocateur Yambo Oulogeum; Liesl Jobson on bad breasts; Anthony Joseph on the African origins of UFO; Che via Jay Cantor on el comandante's punitive silence; Achille Mbembe on the death of Um Nyobe; Suren Pillay on making pictures; Nwando Mbanugo to the little red hat of power; Eric Darton on what to say when its time to speak; Stacy Hardy on Julius Eastman's caged negratas; Conceição Evaristo on strange fruits; Neelika Jayawardane on Gitmo and Ed Pavlic on unannounced winners.

    Images include Ralph Lemon's spaceship drawings, Mario Benjamin's unnamed ghosts, Goniwe minutes before he was gunned down, the Black Ark, drawings from the Ramallah Underground, and "Declensions in Blue", an essay on what silence looks like featuring images by David Hammons, Gordon Parks, Herve Youmbi and Moustapha Dime. The cover is "Sarkozy, Fanon and the jazz baroness", a remix of the cover art of Monk's Underground.

    Chimurenga is available from book stores (such as Exclusive Books, South Africa), used-book dealers, cultural events, organisations, collectives and university campuses in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya, Swaziland, Botswana and Ghana, as well as Germany, the US, Britain and France. The magazine can also be ordered directly online from www.chimurenga.co.za

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Highlights of 2007 Cape Town Book Fair

    Catch some highlights of the Fair (courtesy of Zoopy.com) with streaming video of:

    - Wilbur Smith
    - Tertia Albertyn
    - John van der Ruit
    - The Giggling Gourmet
    - Richard Calland and Max du Preez; and many others


    Attendance figures at the 2007 Cape Town Book Fair (CTBF) were close to double those of the inaugural event last year. Over 49 000 visitors attended the four-day fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which ended on Tuesday. This figure doesn't include the many thousands of children who also attended the event, which was one of the largest to be held at the CTICC ever. [June 19] In 2006, 26 000 visitors attended the fair.

    "We are extremely pleased with the figures," said Vanessa Badroodien, Director of the CTBF. "The fair was a huge success, attracting a huge and diverse range of people."
    Evidence of the large numbers attending the event was reflected in the convention centre parking garages, which were full for the four days. Even all the overflow parking was taken. CTICC Catering services battled to keep up with the demand for meals and beverages, with queues forming at most refreshment points. Autobank terminals ran out of money on several occasions.

    Over 260 journalists, including an international contingent, covered the event. More than 200 authors and 354 exhibitors participated in the fair, with representatives from countries including the United States, Ghana, Germany, India, China and France. Directors from the Beijing and Frankfurt Book Fairs were in attendance, as well as the heads of the British and Caribbean Publishers' Associations.

    Iris Klose, Project Manager/International Department for the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is a partner of the CTBF, said that she had been "extremely impressed" with the fair.

    "It has been very lively. We combined our visit here to include both a presentation and a stand presence, and they have worked well. Overall, I would say the fair has been a striking success for everybody involved," she said.

    Several new features at the book fair proved very popular, noted Badroodien.
    "The magazine stands by Caxton and Media 24 were really well supported and pulled large crowds. And our book collections (on Mandela, wine and science fiction/fantasy) were also well supported," she said.

    Virtually all of the 470 activities on the CTBF programme were full, whether they covered political issues, literary topics or more entertaining subjects.

    "One thing we have realised is that author interactions are a highlight of the fair. Whether we had George Bizos talking about his autobiography, Anthony Horowitz explaining how he writes, or Marion Keyes being hilarious, the public just couldn't get enough," said Badroodien.

    Another obvious highlight is the children's programme. "We expanded our zone for kids this year, but it still wasn't big enough," said Badroodien. "And on Monday and Tuesday we had an unexpected influx of children and their parents or teachers, possibly due to the public servants strike action and schools being closed. It called for fast re-organisation on our part."

    Aside from the popularity of the events programme, reports from trade delegations and exhibitors were that the business side of the book fair was busy. Most commented on the efficient running of the event, and said they had made many useful connections. Printers, distributors, publishers, book-sellers, illustrators and more were represented on the exhibition floor.

    While exhibitors enjoyed the exciting atmosphere created by the thousands of visitors, there was a common request for a business day that was closed to the public. Badroodien has said this will definitely happen next year.

    "However, we must keep in mind that this is a part public, part trade event. And we want to encourage as many book-lovers as possible to attend, including young readers. After all, children are the next generation of book-buyers - and authors and publishers," said Badroodien.

    In all, she had been "incredibly pleased" with the response to this year's book fair.

    "We attracted a diverse and enthusiastic crowd, and they filled up all our events and activities. We had a wide range of exhibitors, with 4% from the continent and an international contingent of 26%. It's fair to say the 2007 CTBF has been a cultural and an economic success - especially considering the dramatic increase in visitor numbers," she said.

    Badroodien said that plans were already being made for next year's event, including increasing the space booked for public lectures, establishing a booking system for certain events, creating an entirely separate zone for children and holding a business-only day.

    "This year has been wonderful. And based on what we have seen, we feel entirely positive about the 2008 Cape Town Book Fair," she said.

    The Cape Town Book Fair is a joint venture between the Publisher's Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, in association with the Sunday Times.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Centre for the Book’s 'must read' South African Books for the 2007 Cape Town International Book Fair

    In response to an informal poll run by the Centre for the Book, in collaboration with the Cape Town International Book Fair, the Centre for the Book has compiled a list of great books written by South Africans.

    ‘This is a great way to show that South Africans are reading books written by South Africans,’ said Vanessa Badroodien, Managing Director of the Cape Town Book Fair. ‘And not only that, but that South African books are equal to any book out there.’

    There will be a display of the books selected at Stand Q3, the Centre for the Book’s stand at the book fair, and the publishers whose books were chosen for inclusion on this list have supplied copies to be used as prizes for the winners of Lucky draw competitions. There will be two draws per day for small packs of ‘must reads’ and on the last day of the fair there will be a draw for the bumper pack.

    The final list of ‘Must Read’ books - 25 (& 5):

    A change of tongue -- Antjie Krog, RANDOM HOUSE SA (also as 'n Ander Tongval -TAFELBERG )
    African Salad - a portrait of South Africans at home -- Tamsen de Beer and Stan Engelbrecht, DAYONE PUBLISHERS
    Agaat -- Marlene van Niekerk, JONATHAN BALL
    Coldsleep Lullaby -- Andrew Brown, ZEBRA PRESS (STRUIK)
    Confessions of a Gambler -- Rayda Jacobs, KWELA
    Die Aandag Van Jou Oe: Gedigte Vir Die Liefde -- Petra Muller, TAFELBERG
    Dog Eat Dog -- Niq Mhlongo, KWELA
    Green-eyed Thieves -- Imraan Coovadia, UMUZI
    I remember King Kong (The Boxer) -- Denis Hirson, JACANA
    Jamela’s Dress -- Nicky Daly, TAFELBERG
    Karoo Boy -- Troy Blacklaws, DOUBLE STOREY
    Orion -- Deon Meyer, TAFELBERG
    People who have stolen from me - David Cohen, PICADOR AFRICA (PAN MACMILLAN)
    Portrait with Keys -- Ivan Vladislavic, UMUZI
    Seasonal Fires -- Ingrid de Kok, UMUZI
    Shirley, Goodness and Mercy -- Chris van Wyk, PICADOR AFRICA (PAN MACMILLAN)
    Skyline -- Patricia Schonstein Pinnock, DAVID PHILLIP
    Some Afrikaners Revisited -- David Goldblatt, UMUZI
    Song Trials -- Mxolisi Nyezwa, UKNZ PRESS (THE UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL PRESS * originally a Gecko Press publication)
    Spud -- John van der Ruit, PENGUIN
    The Abundant Herd -- Marguerite Poland and Leigh Voight, FERNWOOD PRESS
    The Children's Day Michiel Heyns JONATHAN BALL, (also as Verkeerdespruit HUMAN & ROUSSEAU)
    The Good Cemetery Guide * Consuelo Roland, DOUBLE STOREY
    The Native Commissioner -- Shaun Johnson, PENGUIN
    The Quiet Violence of Dreams -- K Sello Duiker, KWELA
    The Whale Caller -- Zakes Mda, PENGUIN
    Touch my Blood --- Fred Khumalo, UMUZI
    Welcome to my Hillbrow -- Phaswane Mpe, UKNZ PRESS (THE UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL PRESS)
    ZAPIRO, The Zuma Code -- DOUBLE STOREY

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    McSweeney's needs your help

    Dave Eggers' brilliant indie publishing venture McSweeney's is in dire straits:

    As you may know, it's been tough going for many independent publishers, McSweeney's included, since our distributor filed for bankruptcy last December 29. We lost about $130,000 -- actual earnings that were simply erased. Due to the intricacies of the settlement, the real hurt didn't hit right away, but it's hitting now. Like most small publishers, our business is basically a break-even proposition in the best of times, so there's really no way to absorb a loss that big.

    We are committed to getting through and past this difficult time, and we're hoping you, the readers who have from the start made McSweeney's possible, will help us.

    Over the next week or so, we'll be holding an inventory sell-off and rare-item auction, which we hope will make a dent in the losses we sustained. A few years ago, the indispensible comics publisher Fantagraphics, in similarly dire straits, held a similar sale, and it helped them greatly. We're hoping to do the same.

    So if you've had your eye on anything we've produced, now would be a great time to take the plunge. For the next week or so, subscriptions are $5 off, new books are 30 percent off, and all backlist is 50 percent off. Please check out the store and enjoy the astounding savings, while knowing every purchase will help dig us out of a big hole.

    Many of our contributors have stepped up and given us original artwork and limited editions to auction off. We've got original artwork from Chris Ware, Marcel Dzama, David Byrne, and Tony Millionaire; a limited-edition music mix from Nick Hornby; rare early issues of the quarterly, direct from Sean Wilsey's closet; and more. We're even auctioning off Dave Eggers's painting of George Bush as a double-amputee, from the cover of Issue 14.

    This is the bulk of our groundbreaking business-saving plan: to continue to sell the things we've made, albeit at a greatly accelerated pace for a brief period of time. We are not business masterminds, but we are optimistic that this will work. If you've liked what we've done up to now, this is the time to ensure we'll be able to keep on doing more.

    Plenty of excellent presses are in similar straits these days; two top-notch peers of ours, Soft Skull and Counterpoint, were just acquired by Winton, Shoemaker & Co. in the last few weeks. It's an unsteady time for everybody, and we know we don't have any special claim to your book-buying budget. We owe all of you a lot for everything you've allowed us to do over the last nine years, for all the time and freedom we've been given.

    Once this calamity is averted, we'll get back to our bread and butter -- the now-legendary Believer music issue is already creeping into mailboxes everywhere; Issue 24 of our quarterly is in the midst of a really pretty silkscreening process; and in July the fourth issue of Wholphin, our DVD magazine, will slip over the border from Canada, bringing with it some very good footage of Maggie Gyllenhaal and a Moroccan drummer who messes up a wedding in an entertaining way. And then a couple of months after that, we'll publish a debut novel from a writer named Millard Kaufman. This book is exactly the kind of thing McSweeney's was created to do: The novel came through the mail, without an agent's imprimatur, and it was written by a first-time novelist. This first-time novelist is ninety years old. It was pulled from the submissions pile and it knocked the socks off of everyone who read it. Millard may well be the best extant epic-comedic writer of his generation, and he stands at equal height with the best of several generations since.

    Whatever you can do to help in the coming days, we thank you a thousand times. We'll keep updating everybody on how this is going over the next few weeks; for now, pick up a few things for yourself, your friends, for Barack Obama. More news soon -- thanks for reading.

    Yours warmly,
    The folks at McSweeney's

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