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