Sunday, 19 December 2010
Tuesday, 07 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
Short, frantic and not that insightful: a review of Misadventures of a COPE volunteer by Michiel le Roux
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
The venue is the Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton, Johannesburg.
For more information on BookEX, visit www.bookex.co.za
Friday, 05 November 2010
Thursday, 04 November 2010
A new collection of 20 poems by one of South Africa's most innovative poets. 46 pages, perfect bound.
One of the poems from the collection is:
i am explaining to my son
you see, crocodiles eat people
“but why?” because they’re meat eaters
because they’re hungry, i don’t know
i begin to build the food chain in my mind.
so that’s why, i finish off
us people watch everywhere we go
and we’re always alert for snakes
and crocodiles (and i could add other things)
i’m telling my three-year-old child
that the world is not so safe
but he knows already: he’s fighting
dragons with his sword, shooting
down dinosaurs, closing the door so
strangers don’t come in. he’s picked up
on the shadows -- they’re real enough
for him. He sits on the edge of the bed,
waiting, watching me get dressed.
Previous titles by alan finlay include Burning Aloes (Dye Hard Press, 1994) No Free Sleeping (with Vonani Bila and Donald Parenzee) (Botsotso, 1998) and The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain (with Philip Zhuwao), published by Dye Hard Press in 2002. In 2003 he co-edited with Arja Salafranca glass jars among trees, an alternative anthology of poetry and prose, published by Jacana.
He founded and edited the literary publications Bleksem (1994) donga, with Paul Wessels (2000) and was editor of New Coin poetry journal from 2003 to 2007.
pushing from the riverbank will be available at bookstores countrywide at an estimated retail price of R90. You can also order directly from Dye Hard Press for R65 (including postage).
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Henry Avignon is a Rochester, New York-based conceptual photographer (photosculptor) and poet whose primary artistic interest lies in identifying and cultivating art which evokes the myriad signatures of energy everywhere in nature.
Friday, 22 October 2010
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Friday, 15 October 2010
Friday, 08 October 2010
(The film contains a poem of mine also called The Lovers)
Tuesday, 05 October 2010
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Saturday, 18 September 2010
Sunday, 05 September 2010
A short film by Mandilakhe Yengo, starring Alude Mahali, and based on my poem 'Corner Cafe' from the collection, Today is their Creator. The film was premiered as part of South Africa's City Breath Festival of Video Performance and Poetry.
Saturday, 04 September 2010
Despite Burroughs’ impressive recommendation Sinclair Beiles often fell asleep during his own poetry readings thanks to a hefty diet of prescription drugs which Sinclair would carry around in a large plastic bag and which were always placed beside him on-stage so as to be within easy reach. This was a pity since Sinclair’s poems, as Burroughs had attested, were worth listening to, once he could be aroused...Full text available as a PDF here
Friday, 03 September 2010
A new collection of 20 poems by one of South Africa's most innovative poets. 44 pages.
Publication scheduled for the end of October.
Price and availability to be confirmed.
Previous titles by Alan Finlay include Burning Aloes (Dye Hard Press, 1994) No Free Sleeping (with Vonani Bila and Donald Parenzee) (Botsotso, 1998) and The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain (with Philip Zhuwao), published by Dye Hard Press in 2002. In 2003 he co-edited with Arja Salafranca glass jars among trees, an alternative anthology of poetry and prose, published by Jacana.
He founded and edited the literary publications Bleksem (1994) donga, with Paul Wessels (2000) and was editor of New Coin poetry journal from 2003 to 2007.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Ce n'est pas parce que Beiles est resté longtemps en Grèce que nous avons été motivés pour écrire cet article mais par le fait que Beiles était un proche des beatniks américains et qu'il est resté pendant un moment à Paris. Il avait co-habité avec eux à l'Hôtel parisien Beat (aujourd'hui renommé "Relais Hôtel Vieux Paris"). "Le fait que Beiles avait une collaboration avec les écrivains Beat à Paris était une coincidence brève. Le fait aussi qu'il était plus un fan qu'un similaire dans cet hôtel Beat ne renverse pas son identité Beat" (une citation de Eva Kowalska, op.cit., page 85).
Le critique littéraire américain George Dillon Slater écrit : "Sinclair à Athènes faisait son autopromotion et pratiquait la psychanalyse dans un café près de la place Kolonaki. C'était une bonne idée parce que les Grecs s'autoproclament extrêmement intelligents", op.cit. page 67. Cette touche ironique de Slater vient compléter notre estimation personnelle de cette "inteligentsia du café expresso" grecque et pourrait justifier la dépression nerveuse de Sinclair Beiles en Grèce : "Souvent Sinclair était interné dans une clinique grecque pour retablir et après il venait chez moi dans l'île de Hydra pour reposer" (op.cit. page 63).
Gary Cummiskey est un poète important et avec ce livre il nous confirme qu'il est aussi un grand humaniste des lettres.
Friday, 06 August 2010
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Thursday, 22 July 2010
The poems are beautiful, provoking and sometimes shocking. All of them are good and some are very good.
To read Gary Cumminskey is a special experience that shouldn’t be missed! My personal favourite is the title story. And I really like the cover.
I say: ***(**)Thank you Tearoom Books for the review copy.
First published on Linda Loves Books.
Monday, 19 July 2010
Saturday, 17 July 2010
The Dye Hard Interviews will contain interviews with writers, poets and small publishers throughout the world, focusing on the non-mainstream.
The blog kicks off with an interview with South African writer Arja Salafranca, whose debut short fiction collection The Thin Line was recently published by Modjaji Books and who has just received the prestigious Darlo Award for her poem 'Steak' in literary journal New Coin.
The blog also contains interviews with Australian poet and artist Philip Hammial, first published in Green Dragon 5, and wth South African poet Vonani Bila, first published in The Weekender.
Dye Hard Press will keep you informed as and when new interviews are published.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
& open mic
Join us every 3rd Friday for an evening of great food and wine and the spoken word.
Friday 23rd July - 7pm (R20 cover charge)
Gail Dendy was first published by Harold Pinter in 1993, and her six collections of poetry have appeared variously in SA, the UK and USA. She is an internationally trained dancer, and helped pioneer Contemporary Dance in SA between the late 1970s and the early ‘90s. Other passions are environmental- and animal-rights issues. She lives in Johannesburg together with family, pets, a law library, and a huge collection of Rock ’n Roll.
Marcia Nonkululeko Tladi is a writer of poetry and prose. Her poetry is collected in Timbila journal and in Words Gone Two Soon (Umgangato), a tribute to K. Sello Duiker and PhaswanevMpe. Marcia is a contributing member of the Miriam Tlali Book & Reading Club, a brainchild of Write Associates where she helps to run the Children’s Club. She has also worked with the Johannesburg Library and Information Services, adjudicating in their writing and poetry competitions.
Khulile Nxumalo was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, in 1971. He lives in Johannesburg and pays the rent by working in television as a writer, researcher and director. His poems have been published in South Africa, Canada, the UK and US. His first collection, Ten flapping elbows, mama, was published by Deep South in 2004. He is working on two manuscripts of poetry.
Alan Finlay founded and edited the literary publications Bleksem (1994) and donga (with Paul Wessels, 2000), and also edited New Coin poetry journal (ISEA) for four years from Dec. 2003 - Dec. 2007. In 2003 he co-edited glass jars among trees (Jacana) with Arja Salafranca. His poems have appeared in various journals locally and abroad, and short selections of his poetry have been published by Dye Hard Press (1994, 2002), Botsotso (1998), and online at Southern Rain Poetry (2009). A new collection of his poems is due out by Dye Hard Press in 2010.
Contact 011 615 7531 – The Bell Pepper, 176 Queen Street – Kensington
See link below for map
To take part in future readings and a series of planned literary salons in the coming months please mail Gillian or Arja at email@example.com
Sunday, 04 July 2010
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Twenty-one poems by Greek poet Yannis Livadas published by Graffiti Kolkata. If you are drawn to surrealism, Blaise Cendrars or the beats, these are poems for you.
Cost is $4.Order from Graffii Kolkata.
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Friday, 21 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
Friday, 14 May 2010
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
“One time,” Juliette Lewis says, “I wanted to get to know someone better by writing down questions to him…” She says, “The questions are more telling about me than anything I could write in a diary.”
She’s holding a handwritten list she’s just found and reads:“Did you ever stab someone or cut them intentionally with a sharp object?”
She reads: “Do you like asparagus?”
She reads: “Do you have a middle name?”
“Do cats frustrate you as pets, or do you admire their independence?”
Over the past twenty-four hours, she’s talked about her family, her father (Geoffrey Lewis), her career, the Scientology thing, getting married and writing songs. The songs are important because after years of being scripted, these are her words now.
Whenever people ask me what creative non-fiction, or creative journalism is, I point them to this essay. In 10 pages Palahniuk gets under the skin of Lewis, and whether or not you’re interested in the actress, and I wasn’t and am not, you keep on reading. There’s an immediacy to this piece achieved by the use of present tense throughout. Palahniuk talks to Lewis’s mother, follows her as she grinds coffee beans, and is there when the VCR breaks down. Throughout Palahniuk sprinkles the narrative with Lewis’s handwritten notes: “What’s the first image you have of the female body?” and “Do you look more like your father or your mother?” and “Did you ever fall in love with an animal in a way where you wished you could talk like human friends?”
Lewis is right: these questions reveal as much about her own preoccupations, concerns and interests as they would about anyone else. Palahniuk is playing interviewer, but so is Lewis. And you get a picture of this woman who is living in a rented house in Hollywood Hills, stark modern and yet filled with antique furniture. Juliette Lewis is alive in this piece – Palahniuk gained an unusual access to her life, an access that is rarely granted to most journalists. But he’s used it well: he hasn’t written a standard profile – he glosses over the “Scientology thing” as though it doesn’t matter, and only later driving past the Scientology Centre does he describe why she is into the religion. A regular, magazine or newspaper profile would have, I believe, leaped right into the Scientology thing, that’s the sensational part, “our readers would be interested in that aspect,” you can hear an editor saying. Imagine the coverline on a glossy mag: “Lewis says Scientology keeps her sane.” Would you want to buy it?
And yet, narrative journalism, creative non-fiction, call it what you will – it has a lot of names – is about much more than sensationalism. It’s about getting to the heart of a matter, or a person; it’s about using fiction techniques to tell a non-fiction story, it’s about making a piece of writing sing and spark, it’s about using words in a way that few writers of non-fiction dare to. In part that’s because it’s not expected of them. In South Africa, particularly, we have such a limited, unadventurous sense of journalism and reportage that creative non-fiction feels like a breath of fresh air. In the US you can subscribe to a journal called Creative Non-fiction, where all these techniques are used to astounding effect.
In an anthology called In Fact: The Best of Creative Non-fiction, I read ‘Finder’s Keepers: The Story of Joey Coyle’ by Mark Bowden. In 30 pages of writing the pace doesn’t flag once. You could be reading a gripping crime story. This excellent piece reads like fiction because Bowden uses direct speech, lively description, and rounded character observation. See for yourself.
Here’s an extract:
Coming down made Joey Coyle feel desperate and confused. When he was high the drug
filled his chest and head with gusts of power so great he could barely breathe or think fast enough. This was how Joey spent his nights. When he slept it was during the day.
You don’t get more immediate than that. You’re inside Joey’s head now, 28-year-old Joey, working on the docks in Philadelphia in 1981 and still living in his mom’s house. The story is about Joey and two friends who find $1.2 million that had fallen out of a truck. They try to get away with keeping the money, even though they were spotted taking it. The story follows Joey’s increasing unease and obsession with trying to find a safe place to stash the money. Writer Bowden is right there, we’re there, in Philadelphia with the cops cruising the streets, looking for the make of car Joey and friends were driving, watching as Joey hides the money in first one place then another. In the notes which follow this piece, Bowden writes: “Scenes, dialogue, characters, plot, foreshadowing, metaphor, interior monologue … you name it, I use every technique I’ve ever read and admired.”
There are all sorts of narrative journalism, you can just as easily describe a Jewish divorce ceremony as the process of being shunned by your community or describe a misdiagnosis of cancer. These are all personal essays also found in this anthology and all take a different approach to telling their stories. Yet each is gripping. We’re not talking static essays here, such as the type most of us remember being forced to write at school, the type many of us run away from reading. “Essays are boring” seems to be the implicit assumption, and yes, they can be and sometimes are. But that’s only because the writer hasn’t gone to enough trouble, hasn’t taken delight in the language, hasn’t played with the process of writing and has simply stated facts in old boring ways. It doesn’t have to be like that.
The writers here know it, US novelist Barbara Kingsolver knows it, South African writer Don Pinnock knows it.
In her 1995 book High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never Kingsolver weaves the personal with more wide-ranging subjects. She uses humour and colloquial language to talk about some serious stuff; you never feel you have to wade through this because it’s really worthy and you really should be reading something other than all those escapist novels. She has a child (she’s since had another), and this child peppers many of her essays. “Civil Disobedience at Breakfast” begins with a description of their lives together:
I have a child who was born with the gift of focus, inclined to excel at whatever she earnestly pursues. Soon after her second birthday she turned to the earnest pursuit of languor, and shot straight through to the ranks to world-class dawdler. I thought it would be my death.
Like any working stiff of a mother keeping the family presentable and solvent, I lived in a flat-out rush. My daughter lived on Zen time. These doctrines cannot find peace under one roof.
But this isn’t a personal essay about life with a daughter on Zen time; it’s more wide- ranging than that. This is an essay about raising children, about giving them independence (or not), about reliving your own childhood as a parent, about the effect of parents’ behaviour on their own children, about the pull between wanting to be creative and having to watch another theatrical performance where the monster is tied up with Day-Glo shoelaces and pantyhose.
Kingsolver writes about nature, the Dewey decimal system, about divorce in a personal sense as well as a more abstract one travelling, and living in another country, the Spanish islands, the Canary Islands.
How’s this for the opening of a travel piece from ‘Somebody’s Baby’:
As I walked out of the street entrance to my newly rented apartment, a guy in maroon high-tops and a skateboard haircut approached me, making kissing noises and saying, “Hi gorgeous”. Three weeks earlier I would have assess the degree of malice and made ready to run or tell him to bug off, depending. But, now, instead, I smiled, and so did my four-year-old daughter, because after dozens of similar encounters I understood he didn’t mean me but her.This was not the United States.
And then there’s Don Pinnock, associate editor at Getaway magazine, which means he gets to go lots of places and send back emails saying he’s in Paris this week, or wherever. It also means he gets to meet a lot of interesting people, to write columns on travel and the natural world, and makes even earthworms sounds interesting. Or bats. Bats? Yes bats. No fan of them myself, although that’s my own prejudice and ignorance, I kept on reading about them and other subjects I wouldn’t even have given a second thought to in essay after essay in Natural Selections and Love Letters to Africa.
In “Notes from Heaven” Pinnock finds himself in the Umfolozi wilderness:
The ripple of frogs counterpoints a night so still the ants seem to be walking on tiptoes. High overhead, tamboti and knobthorn trees are catching stars and a comet or two in their interlaced branches. … It feels good to be down on the naked skin of Africa in the small hours. I’m on night watch, probing the perimeter with a torch somehow less bright than my imagination, peering for predators and unwelcome ungulates: wishing them absent; hoping they’re there…
This is not common garden-variety travel writing. This is not the type of unadventurous story that recounts a trip from day one, arrival, to day 10, departure, and a sun sinks into the horizon type of story. Pinnock not so much pushes the boundaries as creates new ways of saying things, of making seemingly dry facts palatable, interesting and fascinating. From camels to dams to mediations on global warming, you’re with him all the way, urged on by his humour and his chatty tone.
The writers I have included here have created their own styles of writing. Each has a distinct voice, one that urges you with its creativity and uniqueness. And this is the type of writing that should be gracing our newspapers and magazines. It’s writing that lives beyond that day’s or that month’s deadline, it’s writing that makes you want to read while opening a window on the world.
Some books to look up:
Non-Fiction: True Stories by Chuck Palahniuk
Natural Selections: The African Wanderings of a Bemused Naturalist. Love Letters to Africa and African Journeys by Don Pinnock
In Fact: The Best of Creative Non-fiction Edited by Lee Gutkind
High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never by Barbara Kingsolver
Small Wonder: Essays
The Best American Essay series, published annually by Houghton Mifflin Company
The White Album by Joan Didion
Holidays in Hell by PJ O’Rourke
Copyright: Arja Salafranca
(First published as Dye Hard Press Newsletter 10)
Saturday, 08 May 2010
Green Dragon 4 can be downloaded for free here
Friday, 07 May 2010
Friday, 30 April 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
A few generations ago a number of empires were to be found. Then two remained, and then only one. Today there are none, just “empire” stretching across the universe, in the virtual spaces inbetween and around it. Its headquarters are everywhere, and nowhere. All are in its service, and all are in revolt against it.
Hans Pienaar’s second collection of Afrikaans poetry tells of this empire, and who the new emperor is, and how we live in it. The poems draw from trips as a foreign correspondent to countries as diverse as Iraq and Norway, Mali and China, the Central African Republic and Italy.
The collection also contains two series of “photopoems”, some of which been exhibited in Oudtshoorn, Stellenbosch and Johannesburg.
Pienaar’s first collection, Die taal van voëls, was shortlisted for the prestigious Ingrid Jonker prize for 2002. He is also known as a playwright, winning awards and nominations for plays such as Three dozen roses and Ching Chong Che.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for order details.