Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
Riding the midnight river, we reached a new dream called summer- Pritish Nandy
Publishing a poetry book on rhino extinction is like reaching home only to find that a rude summer we once loved has changed into a concrete landscape, photos of my home and peacocks on my veranda are only tales, now that I have for my children. Life, love and rivers of many such thoughts, of humans and animals roaming freely lies cluttered in my dreams. Explaining the process of publishing Harry Owen’s international anthology in simple words remains a not so simple task. In creating a movement towards extinction awareness, Harry and his fellow poets have shared shades of a fractured dawn within an increasing globalization indulging in increasing trauma, finally loosing the sense of pain to a long lasting drought.
Publishing poetry, right from realizing a colour on a blank canvas to building in strange shadow lines and finally creating a sustainable structure, remains a challenge. For me, as a trauma surgeon, I need to regroup my values far more frequently reviving them in the involvement of the making of such a poetry book. I asked myself a number of times, “Why the rhino?”, it’s possibly because I too have lost long back disclosures, on trauma driven late nights at Niger, Eastern Congo, Zimbabwe and now in Mdantsane, South Africa. .While the eye simply records interpersonal violence and the most extreme trauma, the mind blunts itself to changing horizons. The killing of a rhino is a representation of man’s own gradual extinction in sky less pandemics closer than one thinks.
This book will remain, Harry’s dreams that he shares, his confidence in my own recurring illusions from where this book evolves and in Rentia Ellis’s power in subscribing to these thoughts and indulging in building walls of a far dynamic outcome, than we ever believed.
The Rhino lives; this book with its extraordinary poetry will live too.
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In early 2012, as part of a rapidly growing criminal poaching campaign in Africa and Asia, three white rhinos were attacked and brutally mutilated for their horn at Kariega Game Reserve, near Grahamstown in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. The animals suffered appalling injuries and were left to bleed slowly to death.
Dr William Fowlds, a noted wildlife veterinarian, was called to treat them but one rhino died at the scene and there was little hope extended for the other two. As a result, however, of Dr Fowlds’s care and professional attention, one animal survived for three weeks before tragically drowning in a water hole, and the other – Thandi, whose name means ‘Love’ in isiXhosa – miraculously still lives more than a year later and is recovering from her trauma.
This international poetry anthology, For Rhino in a Shrinking World, its editor and poet Harry Owen’s attempt to raise awareness of the horror that is rhino poaching through the words of some of the world’s best and most generous-spirited poets. It is illustrated by renowned South African artist Sally Scott, whose specially commissioned work, like that of the poets, is contributed entirely free of charge.
All proceeds from the sale of this beautiful volume go, via the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (http//www.chipembere.org), to support the work of fighting poaching and protecting our gravely threatened natural heritage.
Some of the international poets whose work is represented include (amongst many others): Shabbir Banoobhai, Kerry Hammerton, Lesego Rampolokeng, Mxolisi Nyezwa, Rosemund Handler, Geoffrey Haresnape, Chris Mann, Dan Wylie, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers & Joan Metelerkamp (South Africa); Geraldine Green, Sheenagh Pugh, John Lindley, Pascale Petit, Pippa Little, Kate Noakes & Jennifer Wong (UK); Adam Tavel, J.D. Smith, Veronica Golos, David Mallett, Alfred Corn & Hélène Cardona (USA); Chloë Callistemon, Nola Firth, Lorne Johnson, Andy Kissane & Philip Neilsen (Australia); as well as superb poets from Ireland, Canada, India, Zimbabwe, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Germany, Botswana, Nigeria, France and The Netherlands.
The poets who have contributed to this book forcibly bring to mind the terrible plight of the rhino in the modern world. We applaud their efforts. – Dr Ian Player and Andrew Muir (The Wilderness Foundation)
I trust the power of the written word gathered within this wonderful collection, inspired by Harry Owen as an expression of his own journey, is enough to change our hearts and ignite us into action. – Dr William Fowlds
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Geeta Chhabra’s poetry book ‘No Journey Ends’ is being launched on Tuesday, 26th March 2013, 5.30 pm, Arabian Gallery, 34th Floor, Media One Tower, Media City, Dubai, U.A.E.
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Geeta Chhabra is the winner of the Poets Printery International Best Poetry Web Site Award for Creativity and New Age Poetry. The award is given annually, judged by a panel of international poets and website developers.
Poets Printery is pleased with our cooperation, in Geeta’s words, No Journey Ends is the proof of our comradeship.
“Unbreaking the Rainbow – Voices of Protest from New South Africa”,
The Poets Printery, South Africa, 2012, ISBN 978-0-620-52212-0.
Unbreaking the Rainbow – Voices of Protest from the New South Africa,
includes poetry by thirty-seven talented and accomplished poets (many of
whom are well-known in South Africa’s literary circles). This handsome
paperback edition of ninety-four pages, seventeen and a-half by twenty-
five centimeters in size is edited by Dr. Amitabh Mitra, who is also a
contributing poet, illustrator of the book covers, and the publisher
(The Poets Printery, East London, South Africa), and the book’s forward
was written by Ela Gandhi (granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi).
This anthology has many strengths. The selection of contributing
poets is quite impressive, including: Naomi Nkealah, Sarita Mathur,
Anna Hamlin, Sarah Rowland Jones, Fiona Khan, croc E moses, Betty
Govinden, Vivagalatchmie Ananthavallie Naicker, Deena Padayachee,
Jean Marie Spitaels, Hugh Hodge, Tauriq Jenkins, Molefi Vincent Kau,
Jennifer Ann Lean, Khadija Tracey Heeger, Patrick Tarumbwa, Kobus
Moolman, Raphael d’Abdon, Graham Vivian Lancaster, Brett Beiles,
Sonwabo Meyi, Gillian Schutte, Pratish Mistry, Shabbir Banoobhai,
Gona Pragasen Kathan Naicker, Harry Owen, Stephen Marcus Finn,
Kogi Singh, Sue Conradie, Geoffrey Haresnape, Irene Emanuel, Karen
Lazar, Ravi Naicker, Peter Horn, Gary Cummiskey, Amitabh Mitra,
and Arja Salafranca. The quality of the poems included in this anthology
reflects positively upon the overall product, as do the variety of styles
which includes all from the elegiac to Beat-inspired prose poetry.
There is some excellent imagery included in the book, some of which is
“academic poetic” and other more “street poetry” in demeanor. Many of
the poems in this edition would easily lend themselves to public performance,
as they beg encouragement and participation by the reader/listener.
The overall message of the book would seem to be that
revolution is a process without beginning or end, and perhaps never
fully-attainable as while “oppressors” may change names and even skin-color,
the underlying state-of-humanity and cultural values often remain the same,
forever controlled by systems of thought, systems of avarice, power and
control, and which are ultimately undemocratic because they perpetuate inequality
and injustice despite the veneer of rhetoric and so-called new freedoms of
expression which are both limited and limiting.
It is difficult for the reader/listener not to reflect upon and consider the
commentaries and images presented against his/her own ideas and
experiences – no matter where in the world he/she resides. In this sense,
the sentiments in this book are both universal and timely, whether one
is in South Africa, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Europe, Asia, South America or
North America. Many voices from Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Occupy etc. echo the
same refrain “What the hell happened to our Revolution?!!”
And yet the very strengths of this anthology might point as well to a few
limitations, both as a surviving literary work and as an important historical
document. Such is often the delicate balance of political poetry: inspiring,
provoking, ranting, and inciting reaction and change but at the same time
providing a sense of hope to temper the outrage and disillusionment with
the current status quo. The inclusion of so many contributing poets with
so few works each is understandable from many perspectives but – on the
other hand – could also be seen as a weakening factor. The impassioned
works in the anthology have a relentless quality in totality, which hammer
and build throughout the entire book and fill both the mind and stomach
so fully that I – as an interested reader – found myself exclaiming “Okay, I
get it!” … as well as feeling a bit depressed by the messages of hopelessness
and disillusionment. Had the book included half as many contributing
authors and given each more space to show a bit more breadth in sentiment
through several poems then the anthology might have been more
inspirational. The process of revolution is – after all – a lifestyle, which
requires a myriad of experiences, perceptions and emotions in order
for society members to endure over time.
That being said, this is a remarkable literary and historical document, which
says as much about the spiritual state of humanity in general as it does about
post-revolution South Africa. While all of the poems are well-written, I would
like to mention a handful that particularly moved me as a poet, activist and
literary critic: “A poet’s dilemma” and “My president” by Naomi Nkealah set
the tone for the book quite well, “Fire is our favourite colour” by croc E moses
is excellent active poetry that is colorful and engaging in language, style and
imagery, “Show me the Rainbow” by Vivagalatchmie Ananthavallie Naicker is
a vibrant political essay that dazzles in its “tell it like it is” approach, “Holy war”
by Hugh Hodge is simply brilliant in its undressing of the cause behind the cause,
“In the house of exile” by Molefi Vincent Kau is sobering and beautiful, “Loxion
workers” by Raphael d’Abdon – which is dedicated to the miners murdered in
the eland shaft – is a haunting work which deserves several readings, and the
beautiful, violent, disturbing images presented by Gary Cummiskey in his poems
“Today”, “And we watch”, “What’s on today’s menu”, and “Never forget” are
riveting and unforgettable for those bold enough to face the realities portrayed.
Perhaps one of the most satisfying works for me is Amitabh Mitra’s “Mdantsane”,
due both to its quiet poetic reflection and the remarkable poetic imagery created.
All readers of this book will find his/her personal favorites, as the overall selection of
poetry is quite good. This is an ambitious project which works very well. See the
publishing company’s website: www. poetsprintery.co.za for more information about
the book, the publishing company, and how to order this and other publications.
- Adam Donaldson Powell, Norway, 2013.
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Daily Dispatch, South Africa’s premier news daily talks about the South African Protest Poetry Anthology -
Published in March 2012, the book is set to be launched at the National English Literary Museum at the Eastern Star Gallery in Grahamstown on 6 July, 5.30 pm. For Mitra, this launch is particularly important as it represents the voices of contemporary South African political poetry movements.
“This project is very important. It’s the first book ever produced after the democratic elections in South Africa regarding protest poetry,” said Mitra.
Mitra added that the protest poetry on a global scale is synonymous with protest poetry in South Africa during apartheid.
Other than featuring some of South Africa’s greats in the world of poetry, the book also has a foreword written by Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of the late and great Mahatma Gandhi.
Photographs from the Book Launch organized by National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
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”The 25th July evening at St Clements was a memorable event, I am glad to inform you. The bad weather did not deter good friends to come and listen to poetry from Dust, songs and music”. Dr. J.M. Spitaels
Dust on the Road – A collection of Art, Poems in English and French by the Physician Poet, Dr.Jean Marie Spitaels was launched at Durban in the fashionable up market restaurant, St. Clements. Poets Printery South Africa is proud of being a part of this beautiful book. The book can be bought directly from us at a special price of Rand 100 or from any Exclusive Book Outlets on ordering.
Dr. Spitaels work features prominently in the Protest Poetry Anthology, Unbreaking the Rainbow, Voices of Protest from New South Africa.
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The latest issue of the international prestigious print poetry journal, A Hudson View has the poetry of -
Jana van Niekerk, Cape Town, South Africa
K P Shashidharan, New Delhi, India
Bina Biswas translating Rabindranath Tagore, Hyderabad, India
Subroto Bondo, New Delhi, India
Karen Lazar, Wits, Johannesburg
Victoria Valentine, Publisher, Hudson View, Water Forest Press
Brian Landis, Jungian Psychotherapist, USA
Stephanie Pope, Editor of Mythopoetry Scholar
Semeen Ali, Agra, India
Amitabh Mitra, East London, South Africa
Naomi Nkealah, Wits, Johannesburg
Debapriya Dey, Kolkata, India
Tsitsi Sachikonye, Rhodes, Grahamstown
And many more
Please contact me at the earliest for multiple copies
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The Poetry of Liu Xiaobo, its interpretation in Watercolor
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Daily Dispatch, Premier News Daily of Eastern Cape
I Write Who I Am – An Anthology of Upstart Poems Edited by Harry Owen
At the Nuns Chapel, Grahamstown, Launch of I Write Who I Am surrounded by young poets
With the staff of National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
Poetry of Liu Xiaobo
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Our latest publication, Dust on the Road, a collection of poems and art by Jean Cornet. The poems are in English and French. Jean Cornet is the pen name of Dr. J M Spitaels, a Medical Specialist at Durban, South Africa.
Poets are dreamers, as such they constitute a threat for the power that be resenting their cult of beauty, deep introspection, tolerance, aloofness and, especially, their fierce independence of spirit.
*Plato bans poets from his Republic, Victor Hugo is sent in exile by Napoleon the third, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk shackles Sufism in newborn Turkey and our own* Mphutlane wa .Bofelo dances away from his wounds.
Jean Cornet, a pen name, certainly claims loudly to be a dreamer:
and Me !!! in a dire need
of a dream
who am I
the weather vane or the wind (North West)
you won’t’ stop me dreaming
African sister of mine
but his main reason to hide behind a pen name is not entirely to escape extremisms of all sorts. As a medical man ( his real name is J.M. Spitaels), he was more concerned in his earlier books, written in French, to create fiction, sometimes relating medical experiences, without being accused of breaking confidentiality!
The pen name stuck!
The author, now retired, hails from Congo (DRC) where he was born in 1939 and worked as a medical practitioner (1964- 1969) before conducting some research in Gastroenterology for Durban’s medical school in South Africa (1969-1995) where he settled.
*Numerous publications in the field of parasitology (bilharziasis), hepatic diseases, duodenal ulcers and chronic pancreatitis testify of his enthusiasm.
But his mere mental survival in those difficult times entirely depended on his writing poetry (catharsis).
His first poem, by the way, was published, when a teenager, in l’Essor du Congo, daily for which his mother
(née Cornet) was a chronicler.
Hobbies? Attending monthly meetings of LIPS (Live Poets Society) in Durban : three cheers to them!
* Fly fishing, flea markets. Has been singing in a Barbershop choir as baritone.
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* His grand-children call him Bon-Papa…when he is not or they are not …grumpy.