Showing posts with label Dye Hard Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dye Hard Press. Show all posts

Friday 19 September 2014

Gary Cummiskey: a dada-surrealist-madhouse screamer

In the Weekly Dissident today, MPHUTLANE WA BOFELO talks to poet Gary Cummiskey, a self described “Dada-surrealist-madhouse screamer” who believes South Africa needs a stronger alternative culture.
Gary Cummiskey
Gary Cummiskey
MwB: Who is Gary Cummiskey and what is his philosophy of life?
GC: I am a poet, writer and publisher. I have had several chapbooks of poetry published over the past 20 years, the most recent being Romancing the Dead (Tearoom Books, Stockholm, 2010), Sky Dreaming (Graffiti Kolkata, Kolkata, 2012) and I Remain Indoors (Tearoom Books, Stockholm, 2013).
My debut collection of short stories, Off-ramp, was published in 2013. My poems have been translated into Bangla, French and Greek.  I am currently the editor of the poetry journal New Coin, which is published by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa at Rhodes University...Read more here

Friday 22 August 2014

Forthcoming from Dye Hard Press: an expanded and revised edition of Who was Sinclair Beiles?

Who was Sinclair Beiles?, an expanded and revised edition, edited by Gary Cummiskey and Eva Kowalska. To be published by Dye Hard Press.

Monday 21 July 2014

And the rains came down – a review of alan finlay's pushing from the riverbank, by Goodenough Mashego

I am a fan of Alan Finlay. So the moment his latest instalment of poetry, pushing from the riverbank popped in my mailbox, just six days after publisher Gary Cummiskey shipped it i had that foreplay anticipation that increases your breath and heartbeat. You know those seconds before you are more here

Thursday 22 May 2014

Review of Off-ramp in Cape Times, by Karen Jeynes

Off-ramp is the debut collection of short stories by Joburg-based poet Gary Cummiskey.

The stories read a little like dreams come to life. As with dreams, they are disturbing and disjointed at times, soft and poetic at others. Some meander slowly, others fly past. The stories juxtapose violence, erotica, and a constant sense of fear and foreboding.

And yet the style is simple, clean, and often detached. This adds to the surreal nature of the world that Cummiskey’s characters occupy: it is like ours, and has echoes of the old South Africa in some stories, but it certainly is not ours.

Described as (featuring)“individuals who are slowly being devoured by paranoia and absurdity”, this is an unrelenting read, and one is left at the end of each story feeling uneasy and a little adrift from reality. – Karen Jeynes

(Published in Cape Times)

Saturday 22 March 2014

Focus on Dye Hard Press by the Centre for African Poetry

This issue of African Poetry focuses on Gary Cummiskey’s Dye Hard Press, as part of a planned regular feature highlighting the work of book traders, agencies, educational institutions, publishers and bloggers with a notable commitment to African poetry. Since 1994 Dye Hard Press in South Africa has published not just Cummiskey’s own books but also work from such significant recent poets as Gail Dendy, Kobus Moolman, Gus Ferguson, Arja Salafranca, Alan Finlay, Allan Kolski Horwitz, Khulile Nxumalo and Phillip Zhuwao. Dye Hard has publishing credits too for The Edge of Things, a selection of South African short fiction edited by Arja Salafranca, and other fiction and non-fiction work mostly by authors who are primarily poets. His own bibliography of about fifteen books, mostly poetry collections and chapbooks, also helps to identify him as a significant name in recent South African writing. In celebrating the work of Dye Hard Press, the Centre for African Poetry spoke to Cummiskey on the experience of owning his own press as a poet, the challenges of poetry publishing in Africa, especially in his own country, and about what should be the correct contemporary attitude towards self-publishing, especially in the developing world....Read more here

“Hand-made” – litmag editor on publishing poetry: an interview with Gary Cummiskey

Gary Cummiskey was recently appointed the editor of New Coin, one of SA’s oldest literary magazines
– it celebrates its half century this year. Cummiskey is a writer himself, and is the engine behind Dye Hard Press, which has published numerous titles by an impressive array of literary South African writers, including Arja Salafranca, Khulile Nxumalo, Allan Kolski Horwitz, Phillip Zhuwao from Zimbabwe, Gail Dendy, Kobus Moolman, Alan Finlay and Gus Ferguson. He shares his thoughts on publishing and on whether lit mags still have a role to play in the digital age....Read more

Wednesday 29 January 2014

A short review of Off-ramp, by Catfish McDaris

It was Alfred Hitchcockish, Twighlight Zoneish, with a bit of Beat/Meat. Burroughs, Buk sort of influenced, but definitely your own voice. I liked the ending of the last story, maybe some folks got upset with too much anal, fuck them, you wrote what you felt. I could say this reminded me of French & British films or stories, not American or Hollywood. Some of the endings I might have done differently, but I'm an American & I respect your South African voice. I know you're well read & everything we come across sort of stick in our minds. My favorite story was the guy finding the bomb on the bus.

Provocative flash fiction: a review of Off-ramp by Kyle Allan

"Off-Ramp, by recently appointed New Coin editor and poet Gary Cummiskey, offers a glimpse into everyday reality tinged with vivid hallucinatory possibilities and existential crises, embued with a powerful sense of the absurd. The stories reveal startling and often brutal juxtapositions of desire, violence, and power...."

Read more here

Sunday 29 December 2013

Aryan Kaganof's review of Off-ramp

the debt to raymond carver is obvious, nonetheless gary cummiskey forges territory that is all his own in this collection that, bejewelled as it is with his astringent surrealist prose, might well be described as a “gem” were it not for the final story, entitled “space”, that lends the collection a certain brownish pucker. this dark opening of a story is the book’s highlight, brilliantly chosen to end at the bottom so to speak. south african literary fiction has thirsted for a well-written poepgat, but now, having grown curious about gary cummiskey’s anus, our earlier revulsion withdraws into the background as the goal of penetrating and exploring the taboo of unknown darkness becomes foremost in our minds. the poepgat is central in understanding our collective national psyche here in africa south south (ass), where all who, after marikana, still believe in the rainbow mythology are well and truly assholes. bravo!

first published here 

Interview with Gary Cummiskey on Ppigpenn

Name? Gary Cummiskey

Age? 50.

Location? Johannesburg, South Africa.

How long have you been writing? I wrote my first short story, about Mary, Queen of Scots, when I was 11. I wrote my first poem, influenced by Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross, aged 14 – it was about a dying albatross. I have been writing ever since.

Do you have a specific writing style? Not really, but my main influences have been the surrealists and the Beats. These influences probably play a role in my approach to writing, rather than on style. Besides, as Proust said: “Style is a matter of vision, not technique.”

Read more here

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Kobus Moolman's Left Over reviewed by Sheila Black

Left Over (Dye Hard Press, 2013) by Kobus Moolman is the kind of book that takes you by the scruff of the neck and shakes you. These are poems to wake you up. Well-known in his native South Africa, Kobus Moolman deserves to be better known and better read here. Lyric, vigilant, hyper-alert to the surfaces, textures and sensations of the physical world, the poems in Moolman's sixth collection are beautiful and dangerous, a meditation on the fraught and even perilous relationship of mind and body...Read more here

Saturday 23 November 2013

Rachel Zadok reading Off-ramp

Cape Town writer Rachel Zadok posted this self-portrait on Twitter, and described Off-ramp as "an artwork by Jo'burg's literary Max Ernst, Gary Cummiskey".

Friday 22 November 2013

The year of the short story

Article from the Melville-Northcliff Times on the launch of Off-ramp at Love Books, November 13.

Friday 15 November 2013

New Book, New Broom, New Coin - the launch of Off-ramp, by Rene Bohnen

Die virus tref haar tussen twee verkeersligte naby Wespark. Sy sweet en bestuur, sweet en bestuur, konsentreer deur die spitsverkeer en die yskoue prikkels in haar voete en hande. Genadiglik maak sy dit tot by die parkeer-area, sluit die motor en storm dramaties verby die wit tafels met die wynglase, verby die silwer ysemmer en camembert-broodjies, tot by die badkamer. Hoe lank bly sy daar, nee sy weet nie – deur die venster hoor sy vaagweg hoe lag en gesels die gaste wat nou reeds aangekom het vir die boekbekendstelling. ʼn Skoonmaker kom in met emmer en mop, verbaas om ʼn vrou op die vloer te sien lê naby die wasbak. Is daar fout, wil sy weet. Nee, antwoord die vrou, ek is doodreg, ek het kom foto’s neem. Ek voel soos ʼn karakter in ‘n film van David Lynch, dink sy. Of in een van Gary Cummiskey se kortverhale...Read more here

Thursday 31 October 2013

Poetry that creates an interactive space: a review of Khulile Nxumalo's fhedzi, by Kyle Allan

fhedzi, subtitled iamgoingtoknowgwalopatterns, is the second volume of poetry published by innovative South African poet Khulile Nxumalo.

He continues in his craftsman’s ability to take words and syntax, and the process of language and the meaning attached to everyday symbols, and startlingly evokes fresh and potent perceptions of reality.

His technical ability to play with normal notions of time, space, the nature of the political and reality, reveals the sense of unease in contemporary existence. This encourages the reader to continue beyond the poem, to engage more critically with the larger text that is society.

It is a boldly pan-African voice that breathes in many iconoclastic continental influences. The words trumpet in an interactive space where language and reality make each other. The reader can visualise a restless electric choreography in the words. The subtitle comes from the decorative geometric Ndebele patterns and paintings known as Mgwalo, and this echoes the way the poems and their language encircle each other with meaning.

To understand fhedzi, you have to think of the words inhabiting an interactive space—much like the geometric drawings — which interact with culture, cosmology and the real world around them. They reflect patterns within reality — the order and disorder co-existing.The language both creates new patterns and destroys clichéd patterns of speech and belief through its ability to estrange even ordinary speech effectively.

The incorporation of different languages embraces the reality of poetry as a dialogue of culture, a process in which language itself evolves.The title is TshiVenda, meaning “only, but almost, nearly”, which is also a contraction of fhedzani, meaning “to complete”.

The language expands to both participate in reality and recreate perceptions of reality with its metaphors and poetic syntax. This is a highly skilled technicalwork that evokes the surrealism and interlocking process of South African society. It is a strong read, albeit probably heavy for the layman at first attempt.

(Published in The Witness, September 27, 2013) 

Launch of Off-ramp by Gary Cummiskey on November 13 at Love Books, Melville

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Review of Kobus Moolman's Left Over

The mostly nameless poems in Left Over, Moolman's sixth collection, are hard to crack at first. Sense emerges from the whole, rather than the constituent parts.

A bleak narrative unfolds the story of a mind adrift in a body that requires from both narrator and reader absolute attention.

The feeling of containment within skin, set off against the boundary-less flapping into madness of the mind, is intensely and carefully carried through the whole work.  Progression hides inside the repetition that manifests itself in each poem in the corporeal.

Moolman uses simple, exact language to delve into abysses where the usual boundaries between inside and outside, between body and mind, should exist. The reader's fine attention and engagement are required, and richly rewarded.

Karin Schimke

(Published in Cape Times) 

Monday 28 October 2013

Second book means it’s read poet’s society

After watching the award- winning poet, Khulile Nxumalo, perform on the opening night of Poetry Africa at UKZN, I woke up early the next day and in the rising Durban spring sun read some of his poems from his latest book, fhedzi.

What was surprising was that, unlike many of his counterparts who chose on the previous night one long poem for their five minutes on stage, Nxumalo chose four short poems. Yet, in fhedzi he has used longer forms of poetry in almost all of the published work...Read more here

Thursday 17 October 2013

An infinite variety of form: A review of Allan Kolski Horwitz's There are Two Birds at my Window

When you scan the title of this volume, you make an important discovery: the personal pronoun is unstressed, and that is the key to appreciating a remarkable poet. The stressed parts are the two birds and the window. The birds symbolise the world and the soul; the window is the threshold, the veil, where art and nature merge. Horwitz is a poet of what Keats called “gusto”, that is a recognition of the necessity of opposites, as binaries (the world) and as paradoxes (the soul).
The first poem, “Mzansi, my Beginning – Mzansi, my End”, alludes to Allen Ginsberg – another Jewish poet a long way from his spiritual home in the desert where you lose yourself to find yourself....Read more here