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.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

The Edge of Things: South African short fiction selected by Arja Salafranca



Dye Hard Press has FOUR copies left of The Edge of Things, the short fiction anthology edited by Arja Salafranca, which was published a few years back and received much critical acclaim. The Edge of Things contains 24 short stories by Jayne Bauling, Arja Salafranca, Liesl Jobson, Gillian Schutte, Karina Magdalena Szczurek, Jenna Mervis, Jennifer Lean, Fred de Vries, Margie Orford, Aryan Kaganof, Bernard Levinson, Hamilton Wende, Pravasan Pillay, Beatrice Lakwana, Hans Pienaar, Rosemund Handler, Tiah Beautement, Angelina N Sithebe, Jeanne Hromnik, David wa Maahlamela, Perd Booysen, Gail Dendy, Silke Heiss and Dan Wylie. 

The cost is R190 per copy, including postage, for South Africa. For overseas the cost is R240, including postage. Send an email to dyehardpress@iafrica.com to order.

pushing from the riverbank by alan finlay


Dye Hard Press has just FIVE copies left of pushing from the riverbank by Alan Finlay, published in 2010.
Consisting of 19 poems, this is a beautiful production by one of South Africa's finest poets.
Other titles by Finlay include Burning Aloes, No Free Sleeping and The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain, with Philip Zhuwao. He was editor of Blek-Sem and donga, as well as New Coin.
Available at R90 per copy, including postage, for South Africa. For overseas, R140 including postage. Email dyehardpress@iafrica.com to order.

Friday, 12 July 2019

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


Graeme Feltham's novel With the Safety Off is in the final stages of production, and I hope to get it to the printer later next week!

Watch this space for more details!

Copies of Beyond Touch by Arja Salafranca still available


Dye Hard Press still has copies in stock of Arja Salafranca's poetry collection Beyond Touch, which was published by Modjaji Books and Dye Hard Press in 2015.
Beyond Touch is Salafranca's third poetry collection and was co-winner of the SALA Poetry Award in 2016.
Copies are available at R145, including postage, for South Africa. For overseas orders, the price is R190, including postage. Contact dyehardpress@iafrica.com to order.

Who was Sinclair Beiles?, edited by Gary Cummiskey and Eva Kowalska


A copy of the original edition of Who was Sinclair Beiles? is selling at abebooks.com for R1 400!!!!

But you can buy a copy of the revised edition for much less. Who was Sinclair Beiles?, edited by Gary Cummiskey and Eva Kowalska, is now available at Balakudu.com for R170.

Please follow the link below to order. https://www.balakudu.com/9780986998249.

You can also still order directly from Dye Hard Press. Send an email to dyehardpress@iafrica.com for details.

Copies of Kobus Moolman's Left Over still available for sale



Dye Hard Press has unearthed some more copies of Kobus Moolman's poetry collection Left Over, published in 2013.

Available for R150, including postage, in South Africa. For overseas the cost is R190. To order please send an email to dyehardpress@iafrica.com.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

The latest issue of Graffti


I have five short poems in this recent issue of Graffiti, published in Kolkata, India, by poet Subhankar Das.

Graffiti is a bilingual poetry journal. Other poets in the English section are Adrian Manning, Henrick Aeshna, Jayeeta Bhattacharya, Jay Passer, John Dorsey, Linda King and Neeli Cherkovski.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Thursday, 27 June 2019

In Naked Field by Gary Cummiskey: Order details



In Naked Field is a chapbook of 20 poems by Gary Cummiskey, published by Concrete Meat Press in
Leicester, England. It is limited to 50 copies. To order click here.

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



To be published by Dye Hard Press, in collaboration with altoviolet. 
With the Safety Off, a novel by Graeme Feltham.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Pravasan Pillay's Chatsworth to be translated into Swedish




Pravasan Pillay's short story collection Chatsworth, which was published by Dye Hard Press last year, is going to be translated into Swedish! It will be published by Lil'Lit Förlag in Stockholm and be out by the end of this year!

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Coming soon from Dye Hard Press and altoviolet: With the Safety Off by Graeme Feltham

It’s the mid-1990s. Yeoville, along with the rest of South Africa, is in the midst of change. 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. There is no going back, but Fig doesn’t care.

From now on, he’s living with the safety off – no matter where it leads him.

At once harrowing and humourous, despairing and cynical, Graeme Feltham’s stark novel With the Safety Off plumbs the depths of mid-1990s South Africa, capturing both the exhilaration of freedom and the insecurity that comes with change.

216 pp 

ISBN 978-0-9869982-6-3

Jointly published by Dye Hard Press and altoviolet.

Pricing to be confirmed.

Cover art (provisional): James de Villiers

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. Graeme took his own life in December 2017.

Mail art received from Henry Denander



Mail art received from Swedish artist, poet and publisher Henry Denander, including a stampsheet of portraits of Dr Hunter S Thompson. Am wondering whether Henry has done any portraits of Dr John, who died last week?

The stories my grandfather told me


Thursday, 30 May 2019

Original collage by Bruno Sourdin


This is the original collage by French poet and collagist Bruno Sourdin that graced the cover of my latest poetry chapbook, In Naked Field, published by Concrete Meat Press in Leicester, England. In Naked Field is limited to 50 copies.

Monday, 27 May 2019

A History of Visual Text Art


The most recent issue of Kolkata-based The Odd Magazine has a special feature devoted to a newly published book by Karl Kempton titled A History of Visual Text Art. Together with a introduction by Kempton, a gallery of sample images, as well as link to download the book itself, there is an interview with Kempton and publisher Philip Davenport about the book, conducted by Gary Cummiskey. Well done to Odd Magazine editor Sreemanti Sengupta for putting this rewarding and indispensable project together!

You can be my anything


Sunday, 26 May 2019

Fish Tales

US poet Catfish McDaris has put together a small collection of poems and stories about fishing called Fish Tales. The collection includes a short (surreal) prose poem by me titled 'Angling today'.


You can read Fish Tales here.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

In Naked Field by Gary Cummiskey: Order details


In Naked Field is a chapbook of 20 poems by Gary Cummiskey, published by Concrete Meat Press in
Leicester, England. It is limited to 50 copies. To order click here.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Gary Cummiskey reading from In Naked Field



Gary Cummiskey reading from his latest poetry chapbook, In Naked Field, published by Concrete Meat Press, Leicester, England. Photo: Arja Salafranca

Saturday, 11 May 2019

In Naked Field: a chapbook of poems by Gary Cummiskey




The eagle has landed ... my copies of my latest chapbook, In Naked Field, published by Concrete Meat Press in Leicester, England. Thanks to publisher Adrian Manning and to French poet and collagist Bruno Sourdin, who supplied the cover art.

To order contact Adrian Manning at adrianmanning@yahoo.co.uk.


Wednesday, 01 May 2019

The presences, again


Dye Hard Interview ‒ Rethabile Masilo: From innocence to exile

Rethabile Masilo was born in Lesotho in 1961. He is the author of four poetry collections: Things that are Silent (Pindrop Press, 2012), Waslap (The Onslaught Press, 2015),  Letter to Country (Canopic, 2016) and Qoaling (The Onslaught Press, 2018). His work has appeared in various literary journals online and in print. His collection Waslap won the 2016 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. He now lives in Paris with his wife and children.

You were born in Lesotho but now live in Paris, after stays in South Africa, Kenya and the US. How did you end up in Paris?
Our family was targeted, in 1981, in an organised night attack by agents of the then Lesotho government, the aim being to eliminate our father, Ben Masilo, who had been an outspoken opponent of the government. Following that attack, which failed to kill our father but instead took the life of my 3-year-old nephew, Motlatsi, we left the country in a hurry by crossing the frontier into South Africa under the pretext of ’going shopping’. Read more.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Sunday, 14 April 2019

A Dye Hard Interview: Lee Beckworth: Poetry should be a way of avoiding commodification and superficiality

Lee Beckworth aka Lee Kwo was born in Geelong, Australia, in 1952/He started writing at 17 and completed a Degree at Deakin University in creative writing and Journalism in 1974/After travels in Europe he moved to Melbourne and completed a Bachelor of Letters in literature and psychology at Melbourne University/ He has published five works of fiction and two books of poetry/ His interests in music and photography have been expressed through the band Kicks and an exhibition of collages and photography in 2016/

You are an artist, a writer and musician, but which medium do you consider the most important, or do they each carry the same weight?
Well for me they all contribute to each other and each has a period of time where my lifestyle is dominated by one or other of them respectively/I have made performance videos using original music and photo images and I have used art works as covers  for published books and collages/I wrote lyrics for bands I was playing with and usually remained active in all creative areas including sculpture and photography ...Read more

Sunday, 07 April 2019

Bruno Sourdin holding a copy of In Naked Field



French poet and collagist Bruno Sourdin holding a copy of my latest collection, In Naked Field, published by Concrete Meat Press in Leicester, England. Bruno provided the collage on the front cover. 

Sunday, 03 February 2019

Forthcoming from Concrete Meat Press: In Naked Field by Gary Cummiskey




In Naked Field, a chapbook of 20 poems by Gary Cummiskey, is due to be published by Concrete Meat Press, in Leicester, England. 
Cover collage by Bruno Sourdin.
A limited edition of 50 copies.

Dancing the stones


Wednesday, 16 January 2019