Sunday, 30 December 2007

Return of the Druids

French surrealist author Julien Gracq dies aged 97

At the Lycée Claude Bernard in Paris during the 1950s a number of 16-year-olds were fascinated by their history and geography teacher, Monsieur Poirier. He was small, with short hair and dressed in a dark suit. Punctual and efficient, no one ever thought of playing tricks on him. When his teaching was over he gathered up his papers and went away. The reason for the particular interest in him was the discovery that Louis Poirier, who has died aged 97, was in fact Julien Gracq, the novelist, who had won (and refused) the Goncourt prize in 1951.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Author and public: prediction of the blog

"For centuries a small number of writers were confronted by many thousands of readers. This changed toward the end of the last century. With the increasing extension of the press, which kept placing new political, religious, scientific, professional, and local organs before the readers, an increasing number of readers became writers – at first, occasional ones. It began with the daily press opening to its readers space for “letters to the editor”. And today there is hardly a gainfully employed European who could not, in principle, find an opportunity to publish somewhere or other comments on his work, grievances, documentary reports, or that sort of thing. Thus, the distinction between author and public is about to lose its basic character. The difference becomes merely functional; it may vary from case to case. At any moment the reader is ready to turn into a writer."

Walter Benjamin, 1936

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Eating out

A collage by yours truly.

More to follow....

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Saturday, 15 December 2007

876 - Fox

A debut collection by this Johannesburg-based performance poet, aka Richard Fox aka Tshirt Terrorist. It's a beautiful production by Third Word Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-620-39440-6.
Unlike a lot of performance poetry these days, the poems (some of which first appeared in Green Dragon) work well on the page, often experimenting with form and engaging in wordplay. This guy's work is fuckin' brilliant.
Copies available at bookstores countrywide or e-mail for order details.

Sunday, 09 December 2007

Don't look at me - Cecilia Ferreira

Photography from versatile South African artist Cecilia Ferreira.

Journey - Cecilia Ferreira

Ons Klyntji 2007

The latest issue of Ons Klyntji has just been published. Totalling 148 pages of poetry, fiction, photography and graphics, just some of the contributors are Jason Bronkhorst, Linda Neethling, Samantha Reinders, Koos Kombuis, Kleinboer, Ayran Kaganof, Allan Kolski Horwitz, Salomé Silberstein, Robin Kelly, Dawn Garisch, Tania van Schalkwyk, David Chislett, Haidee Kruger, Danie Marais, Gary Cummiskey, Riana Wiechers, Zani Botes, Sandra Kruger and Syd Kitchen.
Also includes a CD of mainly Afrikaans alternative music by artists such as The Buckfever Underground and Paul Riekert (I remember walking past him in the streets in Yeoville many years ago!)

Orders can be placed by contacting Toast Coetzer at

Tuesday, 04 December 2007


A photograph by controversial Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.
For an online interview with Araki, click here.

Sunday, 02 December 2007

New Coin Volume 43 No's 1 & 2 are out soon

"Would you believe I am a bird and the sky is wide.

"Would you believe I am a bat and my shadow is longer
than night. That during the day I am a star behind the light.

"Would you believe that my lungs were halved with fright,
that I am barely alive, that trees breathe for me, that I can
be quiet and small, that really these eyes are scabbed over
and afraid to see."
(Kelly Dyer, extract from ‘Hear me’)

"my father, i will have hunted you down
in the rubble you left behind. you will no doubt see, the scythe
i bear, to hatchet
in the gardens of your scars, your
rooms with crucified picture frames. "
(Khulile Nxumalo, extract from ‘vote of thanks’)

"…two plainclothes detectives gripped me from
behind and started dragging me to the police station, my heels leaving
When we got there, they pushed me into a chair in the charge office
and proceeded to jab me in the face"
(Graeme Feltham, extract from ‘Detainment 1’)

New Coin, Volume 43, No 1 – June 2007 Kelwyn Sole, Véronique Tadjo, Leon Satz, Gary Cummiskey, Richard Fox, Abbey Khambule, Graeme Feltham, Joop Bakkes, Daniel Browde, Tim Ngqungwana, Haidee Kruger, with translations from the Turkish by Ilyas Tunç. Interview: Sinclair Beiles (interviewed by Gary Cummiskey).

New Coin, Volume 43, No 2 – December 2007 Kelly Dyer, Kobus Moolman, Robert Berold, Khulile Nxumalo, Bernat Kruger, Wangu Ike Muila, MF Bopape, Joan Metelerkamp, Vonani Bila. Interview: Charl-Pierre Naudé.

To order copies or to subscribe, Please write to Carol Leff ( at the Institute for the Study of English in Africa for details.