Sauti Arts and Performance Management have organised two exciting poetry events taking place before the end of the year called Poetry: The People Are Talking. The first will take place on Saturday, October 24 at Mantlwaneng (Westwood theatre) at 7pm. The second event in the series will be at Maitisong on the December 12. Look out for more details as we get closer to the date.
The October event’s line-up includes both English and Setswana acts and looks exciting, so far it includes (others are still to confirm at the time of writing): Leshie Lovesong, Gomolemo Motsamai, Sereetsi and the Natives, Moroka Moreri, KK, Idle, Leshie Lovesong, Tshireletso Motlogelwa and Tshipa, as well as South African poets Lesego Rampolokeng and Richard ‘Quaz’ Roodt. And it’s not only about poets. Prolific author Nsununguli Mbo will also be reading a short excerpt of his fiction. The MC for the night will be radio personality Petula El-kindiy.
Most people will be familiar with the local poets and writers on the bill, but what about the South Africans? Richard ‘Quaz’ Roodt is a South African poet/ MC, writer, and social activist and has been at the forefront of the Johannesburg poetry scene as a performer, host, workshop facilitator, and organizer for many years. He currently facilitates a poetry and creative writing class at the University of Johannesburg and has written and directed numerous student plays. He has released six poetry/hip hop audio projects : The immaculate thoughts of Za’uQ,(2006 )The chocolate brown guy mixtape (2008), Your slice of cake Ep (2010), The lost pieces of Za’uQ (2012), Like Water: Turning scars into poems (2014) and The Incurable Likeness of Beings (2015).
Lesego Rampolokeng is a South African rap poet and playwright born in 1965 in Orlando West, Soweto. The violence of the apartheid system that he was subjected to while he was growing up influences his art. He said of his work when interviewed at the website Culturebase.net: “People like things that are beautiful. I don’t write about beautiful things. When you see how teenagers attack a man who sells milk and hack off his arms to slurp yoghurt from the open wounds, that’s nothing beautiful.
How can people like it when I write about things like that? The Nobel Prize winner for literature, Nadine Gordimer, wanted to drag me off to her personal analyst; she reckoned I was sick. Is it me who’s sick, or the things I write about?”
Because of his style of confronting injustice head-on, Rampolokeng is often compared to Dambudzo Marechera. His poetry collections include Horns for Hondo (1990), which won an Africa Network Kwanzaa Award, Talking Rain (1993), and The Bavino Sermons (1999), . He is also the author of the novel Whiteheart: Prologue to Hysteria (2005). His play, Fanon’s Children, was performed at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre in 2002, and his poetry was incorporated into the Handspring Puppet Company production of Faustus in Africa.
Tickets for the event are P100 before the 24th and P120 on the night. Tickets can be bought online at Web Tickets Botswana (tickets.co.bw / http://webtickets.co.bw/events/featured/sauti-presents-poetry/1862451). You can also buy tickets around Gaborone at Pula Spar, Kgale Spar, Mochudi Spar, and Riverwalk Info Centre.
***Poetry Manuscript Opportunity Not to Miss!0 I get so many queries regarding where a person can get a collection of poems published—here is a place.
The African Poetry Book Fund is accepting submissions for the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.
There is no fee to enter, and winners receive $1,000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. The contest is open to African writers who have not yet published a book-length poetry collection. (An African writer is taken as someone who was born in Africa, who is a national or resident of an African country, or whose parents are African.) The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2015.
The poetry manuscript must be at least 50 pages long. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. All entries will be read anonymously. Please include a cover page listing only the title of the manuscript (not the author’s name, address, telephone number, or email address). An acknowledgements page listing the publication history of individual poems may be included, if desired. No application forms are necessary. You may submit more than one manuscript.
The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets accepts electronic submissions only. The winner will be announced in early January 2016 on the African Poetry Book Fund website. Results will be emailed shortly thereafter.
Submit your manuscript here