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Ø Participants have to send only one unpublished , never prized poem (maximum 50 lines).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

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 (Title)….is my original work, has never been prized and is unpublished.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 ( ).

* 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 or go to the website

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:


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


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

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 ( )

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: 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: Website:

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 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.