Friday, 18 October 2019

RIP Erik Vatne



Two days ago I received the news that US poet Erik Vatne had passed on about a month back. I have been too shocked and depressed about it to process it. Erik and I became friends on Facebook around 2010, just after I became friends with Yannis Livadas and Subhankar Das. It was Yannis who introduced me to Erik's collection Cartographies of Silence. And Sub published chapbooks by all three of us.
For a while Erik and I were very close, exchanging messages, emails, poetry and music videos almost daily. But about four years ago he abruptly left all social media, and would not even reply to emails. I was extremely worried about his silence, especially given Erik's history of addictions and breakdowns. Finally, I managed to get someone to trace Erik down - he was fine - he just needed to withdraw and get some privacy.
Then a year ago he messaged me out of the blue, thanking me for my concern, but again saying he just needed to get privacy. I decided to respect his wishes and did not reply. Then two days ago came the news of his death. I don't know the details.
Here is an interview I did with Erik just after the publication of his collection Mormon Heroin.
RIP Erik.

A circular journey: an interview with Musawenkosi Khanyile, published in The Odd Magazine 19




Musawenkosi Khanyile was born in 1991 in Nseleni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Zululand, a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of the Western Cape and is currently studying towards a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Cape Town, where he also works as a Student Counsellor. His chapbook, The Internal Saboteur, was published as part of the African Poetry Book Fund’s 2019 New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Sita). His first full collection, All the Places, was also published in 2019, by Uhlanga. His work has appeared in literary journals, both local and international, such as New Coin, New Contrast and Five Points. He currently lives in Cape Town. Read more here.

Ons Klyntji - passport



Chuffed to be published in Toast Coetzer's legendary Ons Klyntji once again - I have a wee prose poem about walls, letters, Syria and Angola included! Thank you, Toast!


Saturday, 12 October 2019

Screenprint of Graeme Feltham by James de Viliers



A screenprint in progress by James de Villiers depicting Graeme Feltham. James designed the cover of With the Safety Off and contributed to the introduction.

Brain Cell mail art from Ryosuke Cohen



Brain Cell mail art from Ryosuke Cohen in Hyogo,Japan - what a wonderful surprise in the post!!

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Sunday, 22 September 2019

The presences in spring


Received in the post (continued)



A beautifully produced chapbook of poems by Musawenkosi Khanyile. The Internal Saboteur is part of set of chapbooks, collectively titled New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set, published by Akashic Books, New York, USA.

Friday, 20 September 2019

In Naked Field hits Pretoria


It has taken two months for a copy of In Naked Field to get from Johannesburg to Pretoria, which is less than an hour's drive away! Perhaps I will still receive the book posted from France in April ...

Received in the post



It is always a delight to receive surprise mail from Henry Denander - here we have art stamps, a postcard, a small collection of 12 collages, and of course a mail art envelope!

Monday, 09 September 2019

New from Dye Hard Press: With the Safety Off by Graeme Feltham


Newly published by Dye Hard Press, in collaboration with altoviolet:
With the Safety Off by Graeme Feltham
It’s Yeoville in the mid-1990s. Enter Fig, a copywriter with a penchant for living on the edge – staying up all night, having casual sex and snorting cocaine. Drifting from seedy clubs to grotty flats, Fig continues his aimless odyssey … until the day he falls asleep in a client presentation and is fired.
Nine months later Fig is hooked on heroin and turns to drug-dealing for survival. If his previous lifestyle skirted close to the danger zone, it’s now gloves off as he drops all pretence of respectability and descends into a world of syndicates and violence.
From now on, he’s living with the safety off.
A novel not for the faint-hearted ...
Graeme Feltham was born in 1965 and grew up in Uitenhage. He completed a degree in journalism at Rhodes University and moved to Johannesburg in the late 1980s. In addition to being a writer, he was an experimental composer and performance artist. His novella One Hundred Naked Beers was published by Brevitas in 2002. His work also appeared in literary journals such as New Coin and donga. Feltham died in December 2017.
With introductions by Luke Feltham and James de Villiers.
220 pp.
ISBN 978-0-9869982-6-3
Available directly from Dye Hard Press for R220, including postage. Should you want the book couriered, the price will be R250. Retail details due soon.
Currently South Africa only.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Forthcoming from Dye Hard Press: With the Safety Off by Graeme Feltham


It’s Yeoville in the mid-1990s. Enter Fig, a copywriter with a penchant for living on the edge – staying up all night, having casual sex and snorting cocaine. Drifting from seedy clubs to grotty flats, Fig continues his aimless odyssey … until the day he falls asleep in a client presentation and is fired.
Nine months later Fig is hooked on heroin and turns to drug-dealing for survival. If his previous lifestyle skirted close to the danger zone, it’s now gloves off as he drops all pretence of respectability and descends into a world of syndicates and violence.
From now on, he’s living with the safety off.
A novel not for the faint-hearted ...

Graeme Feltham was born in 1965 and grew up in Uitenhage. He completed a degree in journalism at Rhodes University and moved to Johannesburg in the late 1980s. In addition to being a writer, he was an experimental composer and performance artist. His novella One Hundred Naked Beers was published by Brevitas in 2002. His work also appeared in literary journals such as New Coin and donga. Feltham died in December 2017.

With introductions by Luke Feltham and James de Villiers.
220 pp.
ISBN 978-0-9869982-6-3
Available directly from Dye Hard Press for R220, including postage. Should you want the book couriered, the price will be R250. Currently South Africa only.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Dye Hard Interviews: John Dorsey: Hittin' the road

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer(Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015), Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017).  More recently he has published a limited-edition chapbook titled Dying like Dogs, published by Tangerine Press.  He is the current Poet Laureate of Belle, MO. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He can be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

DH: When did you start writing poetry? When was your first collection published?

JD: I started writing very bad poetry about 30 years ago. My first collection, which contained much of that early work, was published in 1995 by Jesse Poet Publications, and was entitled When It's Over and Other Poems.  Read more.