I pulled the book
It was Bukowski
Leaf edges dog eared
Severely, thumb woven almost
And, with a mild shudder,
The crashing words below
Threw up foamy spray
Streaking my face, like tears.
The dark cliff edge, cliff notes
A keening, plaintive wail so
Close to my body
While I pondered, it hit
Or I hit
I couldn’t tell
Body entangled, engulfed
Wave upon wave, of words
Pounding the mind
Into the deep current,
I struggled, gasping
Memory broke in, a
Harsh, grating shout
Chastising, warning me
I forgot, Dear God, I forgot
to anchor a safety line
I pulled the book
The Royal Court runs long-term play development projects in many different countries, helping to stimulate new writing and bringing many of these writers and plays to London for further work and sometimes productions. At any one time, the International Department will be working with dozens of playwrights through specific projects. Long-term play development relationships now exist through projects and exchanges with writers from Columbia, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Uganda, Nigeria, Syria and many more. The British Council has been a key collaborator and supporter of many of the Royal Court International programmes and is delighted to be in a position to extend this work to playwrights from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Phase One – Elyse Dodgson, Head of International Department, Royal Court will travel to South Africa where the workshop will take place, accompanied by two workshop leaders to conduct a 7 day workshop for a total of 12 Zimbabwean participants. The aim of the workshop is to support each individual participant in writing a new contemporary play. The workshop will be designed for the needs of each writer, explore individual interests, and in the end each writer will be asked to propose an outline of a new idea for a contemporary and original play. The first draft of this play will be submitted three months after the end of the first workshop. The workshop will consist of group and individual sessions and there will also be time for writing.
Phase Two – Once these plays are received, they are read (in their original language by one of our readers/translators if appropriate), who will then make recommendations on how or whether to proceed with each play. The team, predominantly the same (but we try to include a director if possible), travel out to work on the plays individually with the writers and do more group work exploring some common problems. Sometimes at this stage actors are used and workshops and readings done of the plays. This again will last about a week. At the end of this phase, the writers are asked to work on a next draft.
Phase Three – The new drafts are again read, assessed and translated before the team returns for the final phase of development work. This can sometimes involve public rehearsed readings in the countries, either of extracts or of whole plays as well as individual meetings with each writer. Sometimes at this phase we attach the writers to local directors who will help to facilitate the development of the plays. The first three phases usually last between 18 months and two years.
WHAT WE WILL PROVIDE
THE SPACE & ACCOMODATION & CATERING
The workshop will take place at Mokoya Lodge www.mokoya.co.za South Africa. Accommodation, food and workshop spaces will be provided.
The British Council office in Harare will book and pay your travel as well as pay for visas to get you out to South Africa for the workshop. Please be aware that you will be required to have a valid passport in order to attend the workshop. The British Council will not be in a position to help pay for any costs related to obtaining your passport.
8 March 2013 – disseminate open call
19 April 2013 – application deadline
10 May 2013 – announce participants
26th June 2013 – Fly to Johannesburg, South Africa
27th June – 5th July 2013 – Workshops
6th July – departure from South Africa
There will also be further activities as described in the 3 phases above, by applying you are committing yourself to being involved in the project for up to two years.
This year’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest promises to be chock-full of activities and events, a true whirlwind book lover’s paradise of people to meet and any number of happenings to attend. If you haven’t yet, do stop by our official programme page, www.bocaslitfest.com where you can find an overview of highlights, as well as a detailed schedule for each day of the festival. Here’s just a cross-section of what you can expect from the 25th to the 28th of April:
The Edinburgh World Writers Conference makes its long-awaited stops at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, bringing together authors from around the globe to engage in pertinent, button-pressing topics on reading and books
A line up of immersive, engaging workshops, for a nominal fee — full list of registration details available on our official workshop tab at www.bocaslitfest.com
The launch of CaribLit, an integrated platform of resources for Caribbean writers, publishers and all members of the conversation on regional reading and writing, the brainchild of the Caribbean Literature Action Group
The New Talent Showcase, which shines a spotlight on some keen literary up and comers;
The KFC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest, a veritable festival within the festival itself, a series of readings and interactive sessions devoted to fostering an appreciation for reading and writing in even the youngest bibliophiles amongst us
The second annual NGC Bocas Lecture: this year’s speaker is neuroscientist Professor Ian Robertson, who will elaborate on his paradigm-altering publication, The Winner Effect — How Power Affects Your Brain.
A hearty salute to spoken word: The Verses Bocas Poetry Slam, co-hosted by the 2 Cents Movement, wherein the fiercest, freshest voices in spoken word battle it out for cash prizes and glory!
Appearances, talks, panels and discussions from a plethora of Caribbean and Caribbean-based writers, as well as special international guests: just a sampler of the list includes Olive Senior; Oonya Kempadoo, Hannah Lowe; Teju Cole; Irvine Welsh; Ian McDonald; Marlon James; Vahni Capildeo — and many others. For a full list of participating authors, have a look at the official participants page www.bocaslitfest.com
The announcement of the winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, from our distinguished shortlist, which features the category-winning work of Monique Roffey for fiction (Archipelago); Kendel Hippolyte for poetry (Fault Lines) and Rupert Roopnarine for non-fiction (The Sky’s Wild Noise).
The inaugural announcement of the Hollick Arvon Prize winner, an award presented to one emerging Caribbean writer in the interests of helping her/him complete a manuscript in progress, awarded this year for fiction work.
Further details of the 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest programme, a full list of participants, and a comprehensive breakdown of information is available right here at www.bocaslitfest.com — so feel free to peruse the site, as well as our frequently-updated Facebook and Twitter pages.
The four-day 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest is principally sponsored by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, with supporting sponsorship from One Caribbean Media and KFC. Other sponsors include First Citizens, Courts, and Flow.
WITS Writing Centre is pleased to announce a 4-session series of workshops with David Chislett. David has published 6 books since 2001, both through publishers and independently. In this 4-week programme with WITS Writing Centre he shares his knowledge and experience in a series of 2-hour sessions.
The 4 sessions run from 4pm to 6pm as follows:
March 19 Basic intro to Creative writing: where does it come from?
April 9 Planning a book… some structural tips
April 16 Dealing with Publishers: Where are you at?
April 23 Marketing yourself as an independent
The series of seminars will run on Tuesday evenings from 16:00 to 18:00 at the WITS Writing Centre, Ground Floor, The Waternweiler Library, WITS East Campus. Attendance of the seminars is FREE but seating is limited. To pre-book your place please email a sample of your work to Pamela.Nichols@wits.ac.za and we will respond with a seat confirmation
“The sessions are not intended as writing master-classes per se,” Explained David of the events, “But rather to help equip writers with structural and procedural know-how that will help them leverage their writing by understanding their own processes and the way the industry works.”
Issues covered will include:
• So I have an idea, where do I start writing?
• How do I approach a publisher?
• I am good, but nobody knows my work
• How can I tap into my creativity to write more consistently?
• How do I know where to take my story next?
David won the Ernst Van Heerden Prize for creative writing in 1998 and began his career in publishing in 2001 with the release of Urban 1, a collection of short stories for previously unpublished writers that he compiled and contributed to. This series ran to 3 volumes before being discontinued. Then in 2009 he released his debut solo volume of short fiction entitled, A Body Remembered. In 2010, the music industry textbook, 1,2,1,2: A Step By Step Guide To The SA Music Industry and in 2012, For You Or Someone Like You, his debut collection of poetry.
In addition, Chislett has worked in all facets of the South African media and ran his own PR agency for four years. In these sessions he combines his craft and practice in writing with his knowledge and experience in marketing, publishing and creativity to bring a 4 part series of sessions together that will equip any aspiring writer to not only write better but also to navigate the challenges that come before and after writing.
Attendance is not limited to students and is open to the public and is FREE but seating is limited. Please pre-book your place by sending an email with your query and a sample of your work to Pamela.Nichols@wits.ac.za and we will respond with a seat confirmation.
Everyone is requested to think about their writing process. How would you define that process? When you say that you are waiting for a ‘spark’ to ignite the creative juices, do you know what that spark is? How it looks like? Feel like? Taste like? What are you waiting to understand before you can unleash your ink on the page? Is it an imagine of a character? A specific setting? A line? A face?
Whatever it is, do you understand why it is so important to your writing? To your process? Do you want to understand it? Do you want to control it? Take charge? Or at least make an attempt? If yes, I’d like to you to think of a metaphor that would explain the process. How does the metaphor capture the different stages of your writing? How does it communicate that process to someone? Can you give a parallel analysis of how the metaphor not only mirrors but gives a detailed breakdown description of the process? This information should enable me to follow step-by-step instruction of how you work. Is this possible? How detailed can you be? How much can you unlock? I.e. Someone once told me that their writing process is like a kite (metaphor). When they begin a new writing they envision the process to be like building a kite. First you need material; plastic, sticks, string, pins, etc. These in their writing process mirrors research. For instance, you need your grounding data or evidence – sticks hold or provide the basic structure for a kite. So they will look for them first to build the skeleton of a kite. In their writing, this could mean key grounding literature. If you are writing a book about Zombies, what are the basic elements which you must adhere to or establish for your story to hold? Etc… One can go on to explain how the metaphor reveals how and where the writer places themselves in their writing and defines a sense of direction.
If you’ve never did this before, take the challenge and you will see it will start to show you, at the very least, how well you understand or have taken some things for granted in your writing. This process might be spontaneous and mysterious for many but within that there is great room for a writer to
understand the workings behind it. Try new things, learn how to stimulate yourself and your writing. We might not have figured out the secret to teach writing but we know how to enable the process. So take a chance. Write a metaphor you think would best explain your process and post it here. You might be amazed at something small you discover about your writing.
Is this important?
Well, you decide.
Date: 4 March 2013
Venue: The Wits Writing Centre
The 2012 NGC Bocas Lit Fest programme overflows with readings, discussions, performances, workshops, and more — over eighty events in all. Highlights include:
• The announcement of the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, a major regional award recognising Caribbean writers of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
• The announcement of a new annual award to support an emerging Caribbean writer in completing a manuscript and making connections in the international publishing world.
• The televised OCM Bocas Debate. This annual high-level discussion of burning public-interest topics will address the legacies of Independence over four mornings on TV6’s Morning Edition programme.
• The first annual NGC Bocas Lecture: the Big Idea, delivered by distinguished geneticist Professor Steve Jones on the provocative topic “How Different Are Human Races and Should We Care?”
• The world premiere of The Old Yard: Carnival Portraits from Trinidad, written for strings, winds, and percussion by Adam Walters and inspired by traditional characters such as the Moko Jumbie and Dame Lorraine.
• Screenings of films based on Caribbean novels and poems — see how our literature translates to the big screen.
• The launch of the Caribbean Literature Action Group, a new partnership between the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the British Council, and Commonwealth Writers, aimed at supporting the development of Caribbean writing and publishing.
• A Pigeon Point Bocas Lit Lime in Tobago, in March, to open the 2012 Festival.
Plus readings by celebrated Caribbean authors, discussion panels, workshops, performance poetry and open mic sessions, film screenings, music, a full programme of events for children, and more.
When: Friday October 14th and Saturday October 15th 2011
The first Melville Poetry Festival Showcase is happening this Friday and Saturday, with an exciting line up of poets writing in all languages set to read and perform their work.
Over 30 poets will be gathering for the festival, with readings, panel discussions, exhibitions, book launches and music taking place at different venues in 7th Street and 4th Avenue. Poets participating include Angifi Dladla, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Robert Berold, Kobus Moolman, Arja Salafranca, Ike Muila, Uhuru Waga Phalafala, the Botsotso Jesters, Toast Coetzer, Loftus Marais, Charl-Pierre Naudé, Johann Lodewyk Marais and Rene Bohnen.
The festival kicks off on Friday 14th October at 9.30am at the old Koffie Huis in 4th Avenue with the Jozi Spoken Word poetry writing and performance workshop where poets young and old can hone their skills under the guidance of established poets and writing teachers.
On Saturday book launches by Dye Hard Press and Deep South Publishing start the day, before the festival’s official opening at 1.30pm with Ron Smerczak, Yoliswa Mogale, and the Botsotso Jesters. In a creative collaboration entitled ‘Digkyk/Eyepoems’, Naudé, Peter Fincham and Hans Pienaar will mount an exhibition of images integrated with poetry, while a theatre projection called ‘Angels and Stones’ will be narrated by Lionel Murcott.
Panel discussions include a talk on the influence of Wopko Jensma (‘The Ghost of Wopko Jensma’) and one called ‘Into Poetry: How to Get Young People to Enjoy Wordplay’, facilitated by Pamela Nichols from the Wits Writing Centre.
Readings and exhibitions carry on throughout the afternoon, with the day wrapping up with a music festival (Andries Bezuidenhout , Planet Lindela Jazz Trio, Riku Latti & Les Javen, and Lithal Li) which will also be used to showcase up-and-coming slam poets.
“The festival offers a great opportunity to listen and engage with South African poets writing in all languages – and for poets to meet and talk to each other, which doesn’t always happen,” says Alan Finlay, a poet who will also be reading at the event. “I think the panel on Wopko Jensma raises a question about the spirit of South African poetry that’s worth exploring.”
Allan Kolski-Horwitz, a Botsotso Jester who, together with the Wits Writing Centre, has run Jozi Spoken Word for several years, feels that the idea of intimate readings at cafés and shops in Melville is a unique one. “The blending of students and local residents with a wide range of poets should make for a very stimulating exchange,” he says.
“The plan is to hold a national festival next year, and then to grow it from there – and already several sponsors have shown an interest,” explains Eleanor Koning, one of the organizers of the festival. “That’s why we’re calling this festival a ‘showcase’ – we want to build on it in the future, inviting more poets from around the country and even internationally to take part.”
“We also need to develop real public festivals – a festival where everyone is welcome and heard and we can together develop our new multicultural, multi-faceted literature,” adds Nichols. “We hope the workshop on Friday will contribute to developing the new South African poetry and we believe that Melville with its bookshops and coffee shops and restaurants and wandering poets is the perfect place to incubate a new and creative literary culture.”
Books will be on sale at the venues. Come support South African poetry, or just browse around, catching snippets of poems and song, while visiting the local book and coffee shops that line the streets.
Entrance to all readings, panel discussions and the Friday poetry workshop is free. The slam event and music in the evening costs R15 for students and R30 for adults. To see the full programme for the event, visit The Melville Poetry Facebook Page.
For more information:
For more information on the festival, please speak to Eleanor Koning on 082 386 4688 or e-mail her at eleanor(at)melvilla.co.za
To participate in the Jozi Spoken Word poetry workshop, please contact Pamela Nichols at Pamela.Nichols(at)wits.ac.za
Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May, 2011, with readings, performances, workshops, and discussions all through the day. Plus events every weekend during April.
Trinidad and Tobago, at the southern end of the Caribbean.
Main venues: National Library and Old Fire Station, downtown Port of Spain
April weekend events: • Mayaro/Rio Claro • Scarborough, Tobago • San Fernando • Chaguanas • Arima • Toco/Sangre Grande • Cedros/Point Fortin • Penal • Princes Town
to celebrate the Caribbean’s literary achievements in a festive atmosphere
to broaden our cultural capital into an area in which we have already excelled, and to which
to foster interest in reading and writing
to help demystify books and improve literacy
to help sustain the book industry, which supports this
to expand our idea of literature by including performance poetry and rapso
to exploit and enhance our presence on the world stage
to launch an annual prize for literature (http://www.bocaslitfest.com/ocm-bocas-prize.html)
WALE, the Wits Arts and Literature Experience, begins on the 11th May 2011. The festival showcases not only Wits University’s artistic and literary talent, but also presents works and ideas from greater Johannesburg and farther afield.
This year’s festival is titled “WALE 4.0: Over the Edge”. The lineup includes a full-length work by South African choreographer Athena Mazerakis and Helen Iskander’s visual theatre production, Planet B. The festival features workshops, arts and theatre performances, screenings, exhibitions and seminars and a host of other activities all open to the public:
The Wits Arts & Literature Experience (WALE) kicks off on May 11th 2011 – once again delivering an engaging, accessible arts programme to all Gautengers.
Highlights of WALE 4.0 include the premiere of a new full length work by leading South African choreographer and Wits Artist-in-Residence, Athena Mazerakis as well as the visual theatre production, “Planet B” directed by Helen Iskander. A spectacular opening parade, world-class music and literature, cutting-edge dance and theatre, film screenings, exhibitions, seminars, and workshops are also part of taking WALE 4.0 “Over The Edge” in 2011.
More to follow on the WALE event on this site shortly. In the meantime, please check out the WALE festival website.