Friday, 11 December 2015

Maps by Kerry Hammerton

Maps

Kerry Hammerton



My eyes ache

for foreign horizons,

for cold sunlight,

for signs

lettered

in an alphabet

I cannot read,

for maps

of twisted streets

where I can get lost again.



From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0


The Poet:

Kerry Hammerton lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Her poetry has been published in various South African and UK literary journals and anthologies. In her debut poetry collection These are the lies I told you, (Modjaji 2010) Kerry was described as ‘an anatomist of romantic love’ and ‘amusing, refreshing and extraordinarily entertaining’. The Weather Report (2014), her second collection, has been called ‘playful, absurd, yearning, elegiac, dark and wicked’. Kerry is currently doing an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.






Sources of previously published poems:

Kerry Hammerton: I am falling; County Kerry; and Maps from The Weather Report, 2014.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Werfhonde 5 by Suenel Bruwer-Holloway

Werfhonde 5

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway


Surname uncertain, we tried out some:

Cronjé (as in Generaal Piet)

Retief (brave but too trusting)

O’Toole and Sellers (both famous and funny).

But he answers only to name number one:

“He is called Pietie,” they told us.

“He climbs walls.”

This SPCA lion, golden and brindled,

unjustly into smallness was swindled.

So Pietie scales fences; his heart will be free…

And magnanimously returns when we call “Pietie!”



From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0


The Poet:


Suenel Bruwer-Holloway lives in McGregor. Her plays have been performed at the Grahamstown Festival, in Britain and America. Her satire Cry Sis! Identity was published by Junkets in the Short, Sharp and Snappy Series. She raises children, cooks vast meals, walks dogs, teaches, does laundry, writes and gardens every day.








Previously published:

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway: Neighbours from The Ground’s Ear published by Quickfox, Cape Town, 2011. Hardcover ISBN 978-1-920-52619-1. Softcover ISBN 978-0-620-51665-5.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Body Map by Christine Coates

Body Map

Christine Coates


I’m writing about aging

but I’m also writing about walking on skin

and the rain that offers no moisture

not the rain on the roof typing on tin

nor the fire breathing in the corner.

My skin the land animals cross,

it puckers, it’s parched,

it’s fingerprinted.

My passport shows my picture,

my greying hair, my name;

it’s familiar, it’s also a stranger

like my father,

his passport in the family trunk,

his name that comes and goes.

I watch my body dry,

children who once occupied,

sucke my milk,


fly.


From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:



Christine Coates is a poet, writer and visual artist from Cape Town who spends many hours walking on the mountain or besides the sea. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She translated her great-grandfather's Boer War journals and presented them in parallel text as a handmade, leather-bound book. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela three times. Her stories and poems have been published in various literary journals: New Contrast, New Coin, Deep Water Literary Journal, scrutiny2. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review 2002, Africa Focus. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Prize anthology in 2011 – 2014, Deep Water Literary Journal and scrutiny2, 2014. Her debut collection of poems, Homegrown, was published in 2014 by Modjaji Books. Her short story The Cat’s Wife was highly commended and published in ADULTS ONLY, (ed) Joanne Hichens, Mercury Books 2014. She has also written a cookbook; From the Heart; family, food and memory. Christine belongs to Finuala Dowling’s monthly poetry group and a women’s writing collaborative; The Grail Women Writers.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

I am falling by Kerry Hammerton

I am falling

Kerry Hammerton



You must have carried scraps

of me with you, maybe from

the first time we met: a party

at your sister’s flat. Or the first

time we had sex: I don’t remember

when or where. Or the last time:

in our old bedroom, a few weeks after

I had moved out, the sheets crisp

and fresh. I think you were trying

to impress me.


Or, maybe, from our first holiday:

camping and walking in the Drakensberg.

It rained. We fought over who would read

the book I had brought.

Or from our wedding day, or our honeymoon,

or any fight we had.


Or maybe from the day I left.


And now those scraps,

the me that you knew

and all the secret names you called me,

have died with you;

and I am left holding



From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0


The Poet:

Kerry Hammerton lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Her poetry has been published in various South African and UK literary journals and anthologies. In her debut poetry collection These are the lies I told you, (Modjaji 2010) Kerry was described as ‘an anatomist of romantic love’ and ‘amusing, refreshing and extraordinarily entertaining’. The Weather Report (2014), her second collection, has been called ‘playful, absurd, yearning, elegiac, dark and wicked’. Kerry is currently doing an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.






Sources of previously published poems:

Kerry Hammerton: I am falling; County Kerry; and Maps from The Weather Report, 2014.


Friday, 27 November 2015

A woman’s journey to sanity by Diana Ferrus

A woman’s journey to sanity

Diana Ferrus


Past Wellington, past Worcester and Wolseley –

the monstrous peaks loom open-mouthed.

The faces in windows whisper and mock –

“I have his report,” she wants to scream,

but the wind in the fields

through the Soutpansnek

denounces the verdict again and again –

“It’s not what she says, but what she does.”


Bosluiskloof and Brandrivier,

Porterville and Pietersburg –

the rivulets chuckle in secret song –

“The woman in slippers seems quite insane,”

“Look not at my feet but in my eyes’”.

but her diary lines are splashed against

the overgrown hills of Wiegenaarspoort –

“It’s not what she says, but what she does.”


In Swanepoelspoort where the sun means hurt,

the heavy oak trees have stories to tell.

They beg her onwards to Steytlerville,

but her voice sounds hollow in defeated response,

“Please guide my feet to Sewe Weekspoort,

for my heart feels dead and my eyes are cold”

and her traces shout in the Rosebergpass,

“It’s not what she says, but what she does.”


Through Dysselsdorp, De Rust and De Aar,

the yellow fields of the Sederberg,

water from the heavens sucks in the earth

and a woman without slippers and hospital gown

dances victorious to the dying sun –

“What matters the content of a doctor’s report,”

the echoes of her voice reaching the stars,

“For it is what I say and what I do!”


At the feet of the mountains in the Hex Vallei

and in the unspoilt walks of the Houwhoekpas,

(so goes the story of the indigenous ones),

roams the spirit of a woman brave in her heart

and when the earth goes dark with thunder and fear,

her voice lights up in the heavens,

“Hear not the call of the treacherous ones,

who sneak around and swindle your soul.

Listen to the beat of your heart –

hear the music, follow the sound

know, where your journey’s bound.


From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:


Diana Ferrus is a writer, poet, performance poet, story-teller, editor and publisher, best known for her epic poem about the Khoisan woman, Sarah Baartman, whose remains were on display in Paris until 1986. She is a founder member of the Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging, Bush Poets and Women in Xchains. Her works, in both Afrikaans and English, have been published in various anthologies and a collection, Ons Komvandaan.






Previously published:

Diana Ferrus: I’ve come to take you home; Obsession; and The journey from her collection I’ve come to take you home.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Ochre People by Christine Coates

The Ochre People

Christine Coates



Lying at the door,

outside near the pillar,

is a dead insect with long feelers.

Is this the dying time?

A small boy wees on the gravel road,

looks at me in glee.

The box elder, with green arms,

has listened to my sister stories for years;

my mother, in her oval frame,

looks at me from her short life.

I will take her to the Transkei

where a rusted cow stands on the beach,

a red rusted cow – a Qaba cow –

I will collect a teaspoon of red clay

and smear it on my face,

and I will bring her home.

A bull – his red eye –

is watching me.



From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:



Christine Coates is a poet, writer and visual artist from Cape Town who spends many hours walking on the mountain or besides the sea. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She translated her great-grandfather's Boer War journals and presented them in parallel text as a handmade, leather-bound book. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela three times. Her stories and poems have been published in various literary journals: New Contrast, New Coin, Deep Water Literary Journal, scrutiny2. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review 2002, Africa Focus. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Prize anthology in 2011 – 2014, Deep Water Literary Journal and scrutiny2, 2014. Her debut collection of poems, Homegrown, was published in 2014 by Modjaji Books. Her short story The Cat’s Wife was highly commended and published in ADULTS ONLY, (ed) Joanne Hichens, Mercury Books 2014. She has also written a cookbook; From the Heart; family, food and memory. Christine belongs to Finuala Dowling’s monthly poetry group and a women’s writing collaborative; The Grail Women Writers.

Friday, 20 November 2015

County Kerry by Kerry Hammerton

County Kerry

Kerry Hammerton



I have heard that it is a place of contrasts.

Rocky cliffs and sweeping sandy bays

in the south, flatter estuary plains in the north.


A place touched by mist and criss-crossed

with narrow country lanes. Kerry holds ancient

Celtic mysteries, guards a tradition of poetry and song.


I imagine lilting voices murmuring in pubs,

and that you could fall in love here,

spend time, discover secrets here.


When I am asked how I spell my name

I always say, ‘The traditional way;

the ancient way; the Irish way’.




From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0


The Poet:


Kerry Hammerton lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Her poetry has been published in various South African and UK literary journals and anthologies. In her debut poetry collection These are the lies I told you, (Modjaji 2010) Kerry was described as ‘an anatomist of romantic love’ and ‘amusing, refreshing and extraordinarily entertaining’. The Weather Report (2014), her second collection, has been called ‘playful, absurd, yearning, elegiac, dark and wicked’. Kerry is currently doing an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.






Sources of previously published poems:

Kerry Hammerton: I am falling; County Kerry; and Maps from The Weather Report, 2014.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Peaches en Paula by Diana Ferrus

Peaches en Paula

Diana Ferrus


Peaches en Paula

met babas aan hul sye

en lywe waarin naalde bly –

hoe word gedagtegang

’n elle lange seisoen

waar die son se strale niks meer doen

waar die wind se bittere slae

oneindig teen die venster kla

waar reën, wat aanhoudend teen die dak

wilskrag al verder in die grond laat sak

waar die hartklop vir leef al verder wegsweef?


Hoe vorm ons ’n ander seisoen –

een in die middel van die vier

waarin die geel son

saam met die sneeu, wit feesvier –

hoe skep ons ’n reën, ’n strelende wind

wat outomaties die fout met ’n herstel bind –

hoe stil ons die verlange van die kind?


From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:


Diana Ferrus is a writer, poet, performance poet, story-teller, editor and publisher, best known for her epic poem about the Khoisan woman, Sarah Baartman, whose remains were on display in Paris until 1986. She is a founder member of the Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging, Bush Poets and Women in Xchains. Her works, in both Afrikaans and English, have been published in various anthologies and a collection, Ons Komvandaan.






Previously published:

Diana Ferrus: I’ve come to take you home; Obsession; and The journey from her collection I’ve come to take you home.

Friday, 13 November 2015

After the Poetry Festival by Christine Coates

After the Poetry Festival

Christine Coates



Wake to cuckoo ‘meitjie, meitjie’

guinea fowls, bulbuls, Egyptian Geese

kettle for tea, open window, write a poem

on hair, youth dew and vomit

breakfast on terrace, dove-blue-grey

mountains like cardboard cut-outs

I expect to see stage-set swans bobbing between.

There’s the yellow rose of Texas on the table

bacon and eggs, and the little dog barks

coffee and friendship under the honeysuckle

at Frangipani.

The slow drive back through the Breede Valley

cardboard cut-outs turn to

high and heavy bergs

cool vineyards in October green

wheat fields cut to stubble

the road to the Great Nowhere reversing –

slow peace-pace busy,

the tunnel, the toll, the traffic

the turn from the sea and city

Table Mountain and past flying flamingoes

a paper man in a boat waves a flag

on the Black River

and the N1, M5, N2, M3 –

routes to home.




From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:




Christine Coates is a poet, writer and visual artist from Cape Town who spends many hours walking on the mountain or besides the sea. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She translated her great-grandfather's Boer War journals and presented them in parallel text as a handmade, leather-bound book. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela three times. Her stories and poems have been published in various literary journals: New Contrast, New Coin, Deep Water Literary Journal, scrutiny2. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review 2002, Africa Focus. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Prize anthology in 2011 – 2014, Deep Water Literary Journal and scrutiny2, 2014. Her debut collection of poems, Homegrown, was published in 2014 by Modjaji Books. Her short story The Cat’s Wife was highly commended and published in ADULTS ONLY, (ed) Joanne Hichens, Mercury Books 2014. She has also written a cookbook; From the Heart; family, food and memory. Christine belongs to Finuala Dowling’s monthly poetry group and a women’s writing collaborative; The Grail Women Writers.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Golgotha by Suenel Bruwer-Holloway

Golgotha

Georgia is a Staffie that was re-homed when its owners had to move.

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway



Georgia came to this little boy

She understood his secrets:

Why he needed to lie on roofs

Why he refused to learn to read

Why he shredded his shoes

Why he was not a joiner

Why he preferred his spinach sandy

Why he did not fear snakes

Why one explores the krans

Why the Parzival legend was his favourite story.

For hours they’d be gone.

His parents trusted she’d protect him

With-her-life.

The cobra was six foot long.

He came to understand:

Snakes can kill.

He insisted: carried her himself,

staggering under her weight.

We buried her on the krans.

Seldom such selfless sacrifici


From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0


The Poet:


Suenel Bruwer-Holloway lives in McGregor. Her plays have been performed at the Grahamstown Festival, in Britain and America. Her satire Cry Sis! Identity was published by Junkets in the Short, Sharp and Snappy Series. She raises children, cooks vast meals, walks dogs, teaches, does laundry, writes and gardens every day.








Previously published:

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway: Neighbours from The Ground’s Ear published by Quickfox, Cape Town, 2011. Hardcover ISBN 978-1-920-52619-1. Softcover ISBN 978-0-620-51665-5.


Friday, 6 November 2015

Die Laingsburg-vloed by Diana Ferrus

Die Laingsburg-vloed

1981

Auntie X se storie

Diana Ferrus


Alreeds ’n ouma, haar seun se ma

hy had ’n vrou, kinders, iets om voor te strewe

in hierdie dorp het hulle gelewe

deur die wet geklassifiseer as ‘bruin’,

dis toe dat die frons op die voorkop verskyn

in haar blou oë was net pyn

“eers het sy in die modder verdwyn,

deur hierdie vloed ondermyn.

toe raak my seun net weg

en ja die doemprofete was reg

my seun se stem was stom,

in die Kaap het hy aan ’n mes omgekom”


Toe word sy weer ’n ma

die jongste was ’n baba, die oudste tien

tot diep in die nag moes sy na hulle omsien,

vir haar was daar geen ander uitweg,

wat sy gedoen het was net reg.

Sy het geen ondersteuning gekry

selfs al het sy meëdoenloos gestry

want in hierdie dorp het sy geleer

wat dit beteken as ander jou as ‘bruin’ klassifiseer.

Dis op haar kierie wat sy nou leuen

met haar blou oë wat wil-wil ween

“as ons net kon geweet het van daardie soorte reën”.



From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:

Diana Ferrus is a writer, poet, performance poet, story-teller, editor and publisher, best known for her epic poem about the Khoisan woman, Sarah Baartman, whose remains were on display in Paris until 1986. She is a founder member of the Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging, Bush Poets and Women in Xchains. Her works, in both Afrikaans and English, have been published in various anthologies and a collection, Ons Komvandaan.






Previously published:

Diana Ferrus: I’ve come to take you home; Obsession; and The journey from her collection I’ve come to take you home.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Werfhonde 3 by Suenel Bruwer-Holloway

Werfhonde 3

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway


Dana daily more attenuated,

a Giacommetti wrought by age:

delicate feet lift off

relentless ethereal pulley

mooring lines loosen

terra less firma

ever more elegant even as –

bladder fails

walk curtails

eyes fade

ears jade

yet still, still and final

in urgent quest for a quandary goal:

only love, the highest role.

Old Ladydog reaches for heaven.


From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0


The Poet:

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway lives in McGregor. Her plays have been performed at the Grahamstown Festival, in Britain and America. Her satire Cry Sis! Identity was published by Junkets in the Short, Sharp and Snappy Series. She raises children, cooks vast meals, walks dogs, teaches, does laundry, writes and gardens every day.








Previously published:

Suenel Bruwer-Holloway: Neighbours from The Ground’s Ear published by Quickfox, Cape Town, 2011. Hardcover ISBN 978-1-920-52619-1. Softcover ISBN 978-0-620-51665-5.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

afrika-dig by Lara Kirsten

afrika-dig

Lara Kirsten

ek wil ’n gedig skryf wat soos afrika ruik

wat soos die heuwels van afrika

onder my voete pols

’n gedig wat soos afrika jou laat voel

dat jy tuis gekom het

’n gedig wat afrika-vas is op my tong

wat gloei soos die afrika-son op my rug


my tong is warm afrika-klip waarop die son vurig pyl

en die sonbesies teen die boombas van my keel sing

sing sing sing

die afrika lug en doringbome en krieke

en woestyn-stilte

sing sing sing

afrika uit die woude van my afrika-tong


my gedig wil soos aalwyne die lug steek

met bloedklanke die ondergaan van my sonswoord

tot stilte en vrede roep

my woorde wil jou roep soos die skaars watergate

in die dorre landskap en die klanke wil dorstig

opgelek word deur die tonge van skugter koedoes


met hierdie gedig wil ek nie sin maak met woord

ek wil my tong soos ’n rotsblok laat tuimel

met die steil kranse af

en met die val wil

ek leer om weer aarde-taal te praat

afrika-aarde taal



From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology


First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:


Lara Kirsten is a pianist and performance poet. She holds a BMus (Honours) from the University of Pretoria. As a solo pianist and accompanist for singers and instrumentalists,
she performs all over South Africa. As a poet, she has performed in the Netherlands and at many venues in South Africa. She belongs to the Eastern Cape poetry group, Ecca, and has recorded a CD of her own poetry.

Sources of previously published poems: 
afrika-dig from Spaces, Ecca Poets, Hogsback 2009, ISBN 978-0-620-44997-7.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Antjie Krog at the McGregor Poetry Festival 2015

Antjie Krog het met die 2015 Gedigtefees ‘n gehoor van 300 kinders in die palm van haar hand gehad met die energieke aanbieding van haar program Feetjies en Monsters.

At the 2015 Poetry Festival, Antjie had an audience of over 300 children in the palm of her hand with her energetic presentation of her programme “Fairies and Monsters”








Thursday, 17 September 2015

Poetry Festival 2015 photo gallery

Have a look at the following gallery  to enjoy a selection of pictures about our Poetry Festival 2015 edition.

McGregor Poetry Festival 2015

visit also our Gallery page to see the Poetry Festival 2014 edition gallery.



Monday, 7 September 2015

Friends-old and new


Over the three years of the festival it has been a treat to meet a special group of people. Once again it was a joy to catch up with poets who have been with us on this special journey from the start. Ian McCallum was a revelation in his first festival, and he continues to astound, inspire and entertain us with his work. Bob Commin is a delight. Blessed with a rich, mature and inspiring voice and filled with an infectious love of life, Bob once again entertained us- this time with his Cowboy Poetry ! Liesl Jobson once again brought her bassoon and poetry to entertain us. Helen Moffett was once again larger than life and full of fun. Kerry Hammerton was there again- inspiring budding poets and gently helping them to achieve that long desired success. Warm and wonderful, Marguerite Van Der Merwe once again led groups through the stunning gardens of Temenos.


Gentle and caring, Patricia Schonstein ,the maestro behind the Anthology. She lovingly brings together the whole project, and we are deeply indebted to her for her enthusiastic commitment to a very special project. And we get a bonus with Patch- her wonderful husband, Don, and delightful family are always there in support.  


Thank you for your special support for our festival. We love you. Floris Brown from Worcester once again joined us. He brought with him blind children from the Pionier School in Worcester. It was an honour to hear these special children reciting their poetry. Thank you Floris for your support. Over at De Akker we welcomed old friends Graham Dukas and Wendy Woodard. Thank you for your continued support of the festival. So wonderful to see old friend, Dorian Haarhoff, again. Dorian is a special, loving man, and we so enjoy having him with us.

All in all it was once again a joy to catch up with old friends, and we hope the future continues to bless us with your presence at this special festival.


David Magner


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Potjie on the Stoep

In what we hope is becoming a festival tradition, Festival Co-ordinator and all round Superwoman Jennifer Johnson and husband Martyn open their beautiful home, La Bonheur, to all to end the festival with a Potjie Dinner and Poetry. 




As usual the food was superb, and the entertainment was provided by Lara Kirsten on piano, and locals Dave and Neil. They shared a tribute to Irish Poetry, in their own inimitable way. 




The evening was thoroughly enjoyable and carried on till late in the night with a tired but happy group of organisers finally letting their hair down!


David Magner

All event pictures at the following link: 
http://danisphotosmc.blogspot.com/2015/09/event-no-65-poetry-and-potjie-on-stoep.html



Saturday, 5 September 2015

Open Heart surgery - without an anesthetic





Antjie Krog had entertained the youngsters with aplomb on Friday and I was so looking forward to hearing her adult poetry on Saturday. The venue was again the NG Kerk, but this time the audience was a bit older than the throng who had rocked the Kerk the day before. 





Because I had never really read her poetry, I did not quite know what to expect. What a woman. Her poetry is raw, honest and stunning. She leaves no emotional stone unturned in her quest for an open, honest examination of the human state. It was in turns brutal and lyrical. I left feeling like my chest had been ripped apart and my soul exposed to the world. It was just brilliant!

David Magner


All event pictures at the following link:


 


Friday, 4 September 2015

to the McGregor community


On behalf of our committee I would like to thank all the villagers who so generously came on board to assist us with the McGregor Poetry Festival. I do appreciate your assistance whether it was offering accommodation to the poets, helping out at the venues, providing food for the poets or being great ambassadors for McGregor - which you all were.

The poets delighted in the festival and all want to return. This was our third festival and I am happy to say that the media coverage we received was stupendous. It certainly seems that the event is here to stay. Of course we learn as we go along and are grateful for the feedback we have received. It encourages us to keep the faith and to improve.

I would like to share what singer/poet Gert Vlok Nel shared with me yesterday.

‘Thank you to all of you for creating the Poetry Festival. It is a warm thing in a cold world’

My gratitude and appreciation to all of you.

Billy

I could have Danced all night

What a treat it was to see Mary Corpe’s dancers in action over the festival. Mary has singlehandedly trained a Dance Group, The Next Step Dance Company, and also a ballet group, The First Step Company. 


The children are all locals, and Mary has done a stunning job with them. This was very evident when they performed on the Saturday of the festival. They delighted the audience as they performed outside the Church Hall, and visitors to McGregor were amazed to see the quality of Dance on offer. 




Both groups then delighted the large crowd attending the Poetry Competition Prizegiving, with their own versions of I am an African Child.

Thank you Mary- you are a very special lady!


David Magner

All event pictures at the following link:



Thursday, 3 September 2015

2015 Poetry Competition




Judging a competition like this was no easy task! The organisers received hundreds of entries, and it was a pleasurable, though lengthy- process to give each entrant due diligence. Finding a winner in each category had a number of difficulties. The poetry reflected different styles and content, and was also in different languages. 

Afrikaans and English entries were separated- unfortunately we had no IsiXhosa entries this year- and the judges spent many hours whittling their piles down. When we arrived at a more manageable number, all the shortlisted poems were read out loud to each other. A further shortlist was thus developed. The judges then arrived at what they considered their top three in each language in each section. Independent poets were then consulted as to their opinions. We were happy to note that their choices mirrored ours. We then sat together as a group and arrived at a final decision as to the top poem in each category. 


The schools’ section:

Under 18 yr finalist Onele Rolobile is from Cape Town and attends The Cape Academy of Mathematics , Science and Technology. She won a Gift Voucher for R2000 from Exclusive Books for her poem I’m at War



I’m At war by Onele Rolobile

I’m at war with myself
I’m at war with my thoughts
And choices
I was raised to always trust your instinct
what I think is right IS right
but lately I’m afraid they will kill me
I’m afraid of the reflection I see in the mirror
Because I know…..
I know that WHAT I see is not WHO I am
and Lord knows my mom didn’t raise a vindictive monster
WHO AM I
I’m at war, but I don’t even know who I’m at war with…
but they tell you that you can lose the battle but win the war
HOW ?
See… this is why I’m at war
Because the world I live in tells me I’m crazy for being myself
It tells sixteen year olds that having “relationship” goals is better than having “life”
They call it living in the moment,YOLO
I’m at war ..
But it’s no longer with myself
Its with who I’m SUPPOSE to be ..




The winner in this section was a local girl from Bonnievale, Mia Beukes who attends Bonnievale High School, for her delightful piece entitled Namiblied. Mia won herself an I Pad for her efforts.




NAMIBLIED by Mia Beukes

Die ooswind sing
deur die  sandkorrels
 om nog ‘n duin van misterie en wonder te bou
So rooi soos die oerduin daaronder,
So blou hang die suiwer hemelruim daarbo.

Oos lê  bruin , amper swart klip, met enkele trane
Wat al vloeiend in die Kueseb loop....

Wes borrel die wit skuim van die Benguela-branders
Wat b r e e k

As die son besluit om agter die rooiduin te skuil
En die blou lug geleidelik pers verkleur,
Bly die grysgroen Welwitchia steeds onversteurd.
Soos die skemer oor die duine daal,
Wys die gemsbokke  hul swart en wit maskergesigte vir  ‘n wyle
En die horingadder bêre sy sandgeheime.

As die aandster se diamantoog in die nag blink
en die duine aan slaap begin dink,
sing die ooswind se stem sag
en die Namiblied raak stil.
  




The adult section :

In the adult section the winner was Louise Westerhout from Cape Town for her wonderfully descriptive poem entitled, I Simply Left.





I SIMPLY LEFT  by Louise Westerhout


I simply left
rose up
wafted out like cigarette smoke and chatter mid-set the tuned-out
soloist mounted his offensive while I slipped out toward the back (I'd
come in for free at the front but man I paid in full) skint now thigh
deep in sharp faces and flat gazes past leaning mops, stacked plastic
chairs, obsolete guest lists, fibbing stock charts, bruised beer
crates dribbling on the way I grabbed a used ashtray stubbed out my
heart  in the glass bottom

out,

all the way past the halfwit toilets,  photos of greats, me-me beat of
wings against bare bulb, right to the end of the joint I squeezed past
offended dumpsters rearranging their junk under too-tight lids over
threshold under exit sign

in the alley
I stole lungfuls of midnight
gazed up at the  silent
full swoon of a blood moon crowning I inhaled until the smug black
velvet backing stars stared me down to my last breath in that site

lost

then the air was silent
chilled
I flexed the collar on
my loner cape I
fucked off. 



We were delighted with the interest shown in the competition, and also by the quality of work before us. We hope that the competition can become bigger and better in 2016! Thanks to everyone who entered, and special congratulations to the winners.

David Magner