Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Poets Printery

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Athol Williams, Janet Lees, Radhika Budhwar, Lynda Bullerwell, Devika Rajan in Trainstorm

Athol Williams

Janet Lees

Radhika Budhwar

Lynda

Devika Rajan


» read article

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn , Anthology of Migrant Poetry of South Africa makes it to National NIHSS Book Award

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn photo HardCover1_zps2a067fd1.jpg

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn photo HardCover2_zpsa71f093d.jpg

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn photo HardCover4_zps9057d29b.jpg

 photo MIGRANTJACKET2_zpsa02aa609.jpg

At a glittering function held at Parktown, Johannesburg, our book Splinters of a Mirage Dawn, Anthology of Migrant Poetry of South Africa immortalized itself in the section ‘Edited Fiction Volume’ as the only one shortlisted. Dr. Naomi Nkealah received the citations on behalf of the book and its contributor poets. The Hon Minister for Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, gave away the honors. This recognition seals the achievement of creative and poetic voices of millions who came to South Africa, becoming part of it, participating shoulder to shoulder in developing, ethnic understanding and integrating within the contemporary African poetry movement.

From the Editorial:
There is a war within and there is a war without. Fighting such wars in a life threatened by barbed wires and milestones, ‘health’ sometimes is an unheard word. The bullet only grazes the subterranean cortex, fibrous scars spring out trying to patch widened surfaces. An African Bush War creeps within surreptitiously. The Somali Spaza shop owner sells bread through apertures from his shack; yet living is a tight rope walk on an immigrant value. The war in Mogadishu continues to beckon him from where he once escaped for a better living.

Kole Odutula, internationally acclaimed Nigerian poet and author of ‘Diaspora and Imagined Nationalities’ in his review of the book in African Writers.com, aptly titled ‘Immigrants, Irritants, Relocations & Dislocations in Text’
I hope the “war within and the war without” alluded to by Amitabh Mitra, who I am not scared of referring to as one of the immigrants-in-chief, in his editorial, would one day have a resolution and all children of African and Asian continents can live in harmony as the pigeons live in nature.

Renowned Zimbabwean poet Chirikure Chirikure writes:
One’s emotions rise up and down, as one moves from one poet to the other. Some pieces make you drop a tear, while others make you chuckle through their ability to make a sad story very much light-hearted. This anthology is a solid step in the overdue journey towards a world where we all sing from the same page, in our varied, individual voices.

Ben Williams writes in Sunday Times, October 2013 about this book, mentioning the poetry of Adebola Fawole, titled, ‘Times and Places’

Contributors

Adebola Fawole
Amitabh Mitra
Arpana Caur
Campbell Macfarlane
Femi Abodunrin
Geoffrey Haresnape
Graham Vivian Lancaster
Jean-Marie Spitaels
Lucas Mkuti
Naomi Nkealah
Nikki Kirby
Philani Amadeus Nyoni
Raphael d’Abdon
Renos Nicos Spanoudes
Rodwell Makombe
Sarah Rowland Jones
Sarita Mathur
Sharon Moeno
Tendai R. Mwanaka
Tsitsi S.A. Sachikonye
Victoria Pereira

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn is jointly edited by Amitabh Mitra and Naomi Nkealah. It has the art on Migration by the internationally acclaimed Indian Artist Arpana Caur. A Poets Printery Publication


» read article

Six Delhi Poets

 photo SixDelhiPoets11_zpsf1a2cd41.jpg

Delhi is a city of dreams and dervishes, a city with innumerable skies and stranger horizons spreadeagled over a stretch of rapturous melody. Thoughts lose streets at traffic jams and belief remain an undeterred sun.

Such is Delhi

Such are its Poets

The Poetry of Keshav Malik, Rakshat Puri, Dan Husain, Subroto Bondo, Nibedita Sen and Suman Keshari can only be uniquely explained in its Indian hues, a solitary percussionist finds a gypsy beat suddenly on an evening tainted with color of old summers.

The watercolor cover of this collection, done by me is rebellion of love; its tryst in a destiny, Delhi remains the same.

Amitabh Mitra
14 January 2014

Cover Art by Amitabh Mitra

Read the complete anthology


» read article

Dilli, An Anthology of Women Poets of Delhi

Dilli photo DILLICOVER1_zps6420ce6e.jpg

Delhi – a city described as home to everyone yet belonging to no one. I feel that that is the best feeling ever. A city that has the ability to make one feel such emotions simultaneously is quite rare. I came to live in this city ten years ago and at that time I never wanted to be a part of it; I wanted to go back home- to that sheltered, protected environment where I had grown up. Something made me stay; several years later I can’t think of living anywhere except in this city. The charm and the spell that it casts on one’s mind are indescribable. The people, the food, the history- it takes years to understand this city and I believe ages to know every nook and corner of this mysterious place. Mysterious, yes that’s the word for this city. It can make you experience different worlds as one move from one corner to another. The fascinating bit about the city being that every part is distinct from the rest. 

To celebrate and to meditate about the city, Dr. Amitabh Mitra came up with the wonderful idea of publishing an anthology which talked about the city and the interesting angle that was added was that the city be described by women poets who were below the age of 30. We got a tremendous response and it took a lot of time to go through all the submissions and finally select the poets we have featured in this anthology.

It was a delight to go through all the works and each work is distinct and unique in its own way. The way this city has been described in so many beautiful ways is for you to read and be mesmerized.

 

Celebrate with us the city called Dilli !

 Semeen Ali

Susmit Bose photo SusmitBose_zps0eeafd8f.jpg

Foreword

 I met Dr. Amitabh Mitra a few years ago through my 1978 released album “Train to Calcutta”; I was humbled by his kind words. His many artistic attributes besides being in a busy occupation of being a Doctor makes me respect him for the way he so constructively uses his time, and therefore, whenever he asks me to be a part of any project he undertakes, I only feel grateful for the faith he reposes in me. Thank you Doc!

I am so glad that Dr. Amitabh Mitra has compiled this anthology of poems on Delhi, and especially by women poets of Delhi, and that too below the age of thirty – a perspective I am really looking forward to reading.

I came to Delhi as a young boy of ten in 1960 with the little boy’s excitement of being in the capital of the country, with a sort of chip on my shoulders and that feeling that I had arrived. I have loved Delhi with all its past and its present, from the Indraprastha to the high-rising concrete and the NCR and its ever-changing chameleon temperament, but I don’t know if I really share its ethos now. Being a singer/songwriter, I always listened to the lyrical and poetic Delhi, its political and social attitudes. The city gave me so much to think and I just reacted through my urban folk songs. I am excited to read these young poets to experience the influence that Delhi has had on them.

My curiosity in reading this anthology is more because I understand that the poets are all below thirty years of age, which means they were all born in the eighties. Lots happened before then, in fact, according to me, the best time in Delhi were the seventies. It was the watershed and a milestone period which possibly dictated the modern times in India and I am curious to know if their poems are based on stories they have heard from their parents about the preceding years or are the poems typical reactions to the mid-nineties that we from the previous generations were trying to resist and the youth were trying desperately to get back and hold on to the ethos and emotions of the seventies through music and the arts.

I grew up in those dichotomous times – the Vietnam War, a tragedy of human barbarism, the moonwalk, and a technological invasion of outer space and arrogance of the human mind. There were these great movements of Women’s liberation, Leila Khaled’s of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ( PFLP) hijacking of a plane, Marianne Faithfull’s assertion of female sexuality, and the turbulence of the Naxal uprising. On the more gentle side of human emotions, there were the Hippies, a community that grouped together to resist consumerism and materialism in their developed nations and who came to India looking for Nirvana through transcendental meditation. New concepts of Spirituality and, Universality came about while an undercurrent of the corporate market was slowly raising its ugly head. People like Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and so many others were singing in support and in solidarity with young people. It was our first attempt at globalisation, not through the market but through people.

Emotionally Delhi has always fascinated me and always will, perhaps because it is the seat of power and it dictates the governance of this huge and diverse nation. I came to Delhi with its big houses, wide avenues and beautiful historical monuments. I lived in Delhi witnessing the enormous changes that were taking place and changing its social patterns. I anguish over Delhi’s aspiration of becoming a Super “A” Capital and completely ignoring life.

As a songwriter/singer I have sung about the vibrancy of Janpath in the 70’s, I have sung about the children huddled together around a fire while others danced at nightclubs in five star hotels on Christmas and New Year’s eve. I have sung about the various voices needing to be heard in protest for the rights of people. And I have sung about the great epic Mahabharata which this city experienced many centuries ago.

I am excited about the relationship of these modern poets with this great city and how they perceive it through their poems. And I am sure; they have re-lived the decade before them through their parents, who grew up in the dichotomous times that I have mentioned.

Really looking forward to the book and thanking Amitabh for his thought.

 Susmit Bose

Art by Amitabh Mitra

A Poets Printery / Cyberwit.net India Publication

Available on Amazon Click here

Available on Poets Printery Shop Click here

Available in India at Cyberwit  and Flipkart Click here

 

 


» read article

The Heart only Whispers….. Love Poems by 60 Indian Poets

 photo Heartonly_zpsd751bae7.jpg

Edited by Glory Sasikala

Published by Poets Printery and Pubros Consultants

Cover Art – Amitabh Mitra


» read article

Message from Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu photo desmond-tutu-portrait_zps7b9b17ef.jpg

A message from Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu for the Editor, Harry Owen, poets/artists and the publisher who created this immortal book, For Rhino in a Shrinking World.  Poets Printery, its web designers, graphic designers, printers and Amitabh Mitra feel proud that we took this bold step towards Rhino Conservation.

Dear Friend,

Thank you so very much for this beautiful gift. I look forward to a good and perhaps disturbing read.
I certainly support your campaign against the ghastly attempt at eradicating these splendid creatures so gruesomely. You can if you need to, publicise my support of your campaign.

God bless you,
+Desmond Tutu.


» read article

Six Delhi Poets

 photo SixDelhiPoets11_zpsf1a2cd41.jpg

Delhi is a city of dreams and dervishes, a city with innumerable skies and stranger horizons spreadeagled over a stretch of rapturous melody. Thoughts lose streets at traffic jams and belief remain an undeterred sun.

Such is Delhi

Such are its Poets

The Poetry of Keshav Malik, Rakshat Puri, Dan Husain, Subroto Bondo, Nibedita Sen and Suman Keshari can only be uniquely explained in its Indian hues, a solitary percussionist finds a gypsy beat suddenly on an evening tainted with color of old summers.

The watercolor cover of this collection, done by me is rebellion of love; its tryst in a destiny, Delhi remains the same.

Amitabh Mitra
14 January 2014

 


» read article

Chirikure Chirikure reviews Splinters of a Mirage Dawn, An Anthology of Migrant Poetry of South Africa

Chikure Chikure photo Chikure3_zpsdd895694.jpg

Review by Chirikure Chirikure

As the title indicates, this volume is a collection of migrant poetry from South Africa. According to one of the editors, Naomi Nkealah, ‘this anthology was born out of a need to document, in poetic form, the vast experiences of migrants living in South Africa.’ True to its objective, the volume features twenty poets who migrated into South Africa, from different parts of the world. Migration, as a subject, is complex. The circumstances that force people to move from one place to another differ from one person to the other. The physical as well as the emotional paths that they go through vary. As such, each poet interprets his/her experiences in an individual way. This makes it quite a mammoth task, on the part of the editors, to decide which piece to pick or leave out in an anthology of this nature. As stated above, the main objective of this anthology is to ‘document, in poetic form’. Thus, over and above everything else, the final selection had to be based on the quality of the poetry. This anthology managed to attain that complex balance between subject matter and artistic quality. There is also quite a lot of variety within that ‘confined space’ of one thematic focus. The voices are so different, so varied, in their texture, tone, depth, aroma, and flavour. One’s emotions rise up and down, as one moves from one poet to the other. Some pieces make you drop a tear, while others make you chuckle through their ability to make a sad story very much light-hearted. This anthology is a solid step in the overdue journey towards a world where we all sing from the same page, in our varied, individual voices.

Chirikure Chirikure

(Born 1962) is a Zimbabwean writer of poetry, prose, educational and children’s books. He writes in Shona and English. He is also a performance poet, performing solo and/or with musical accompaniment. He has recorded his poetry with music. All his poetry books have received several local and international awards and/or nominations. His poetry has been translated into a number of languages. He is a recipient of the DAAD Artists in Berlin fellowship for 2011/12 and the University of Iowa (USA) fellowship for 1990.


» read article

Sunday Times 20 October 2013 featuring the Migrant Poetry of Adebola Fawole from Splinters of a Mirage Dawn

 photo SundayTimes_zpsff812096.jpg

to buy the book, please click here


» read article

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn, An Anthology of Migrant Poetry from South Africa – Excerpts

Splinters of a Mirage Dawn photo bookcover1_zpsd982bbb5.jpg

Whatever I Hang – Femi Abodunrin

For Grace Nichols

I
From love of Calypsos
Through theorizing about the Middle-Passage
And amazing glimpses of the ruins of a great house
I watched the new Oilgerian game of death
But some call it the game of life
Disembarking at ORT to an implausible reception
By skeptical teams of post-apartheid Customs and Excise!
“Ah! This way Sir” – I heard one sister say to a brother.
“What have you brought from Oilgeria?” She would like to know
But the bulging Ghana-Must-Go had given away the game
“Eish! These Oilgerians think they’re clever”, sister mouths wordlessly
Tubers of yams sprouted from the bulging bag and brother feigned surprise
Cassava flour emerged trailed by iru, okasi and assorted bush meat!
“What are these?” Post-apartheid sister mouthed enraged
Nothing-to-deklare brother smiled and embraced the empty Ghana-Must-Go!
It’s every day for the thief, he retorted, without bitterness!

II
But just yesterday we were theorizing about the colonial baggage
Blown wide open on the conveyor belt – exposing decades of postcolonial angst
But now can we focus on the new post- without remorse?
And is the post- in post-colonial the post- in post-racialism?
Leaving my wazobia ways to participate in this orgy of tricolored angst
And nollywood stars trailing and cursing – not to mention
Sacrilegious ‘nothing-to-deklare’ sisters, joining the macabre dance.
In Jozi we shall all meet in an arranged marriage of inconvenience
The lobola dance terminating at ABSA – while we exchange
Knowing glances of notions of home. Ah! Whatever I hang!
‘And what are these?’ post-racialist sister would like to know
‘Fixes’, nothing-to-deklare brother retorted without contrition
‘You mean those things our girls hang on their heads’ sister corrected
‘And don’t they hang beautifully?’ he would like to know
And whatever I hang, he smiled ruefully,
Is this what I shall call home?

Femi Abodunrin
Polokwane, December 2012

Femi Abodunrin is presently Professor of English Studies and Performing Arts at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus. He studied at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria and holds a PhD degree from Stirling University, Scotland, UK. He has taught at universities in Nigeria, the UK, Germany, Malawi and Swaziland. His major publications include Blackness: Culture, Ideology and Discourse (BASS, 1996, 2008).

Times and places – Adebola Fawole

My mother said, “Don’t look me in the eye! A well-brought girl never does.”
My mother said, “You must learn to cook and clean! “It is your right.”
My mother said, “You must get married and have children! They complete you.
My mother said, “The printed page is a must! You can’t succeed without it.”
My mother said, “You must greet people around you! You will always need them.”
These values I carried with me on my journey;
not burdensome but a guide to chart my course.
And they served me well in that time and place.
But alas!
Crossing borders and the threshold of womanhood to bringing forth,
they are challenged.
I am told only liars can’t look you in the eye!
Women are no longer cleaners!
Men are unnecessary essentials and having children is a choice!
Listening to the book is the way to succeed!
You are all sufficient in yourself. Greeting demeans you!
And my children; crossbreed of divergent times and place
Are caught in the interplay
I can only point to the course I charted in the middle of the two.

The taxpayer speaks – Adebola Fawole

The door opened with a push from feeble hands
Eyes like daggers drawn looked towards it,
taking in the fact that this is a stranger.
You can smell them a mile away.
Questions are fired off without waiting for answers.
“Where are you from?”
“When did you arrive here?”
“When are you going back?”
Only the last answer made sense.
“Soon”, said the head
bowed down in shame for a crime unaware of.
“It better be! Stop wasting taxpayers’ money!

Adebola Fawole was born in Nigeria and moved to South Africa in 2007. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student in the Department of Translation Studies and Linguistics of the University of Limpopo. Before this, she taught English language and arts and culture in a Pretorian high school.

Aliens – Sarah Rowland Jones

The South African National Biodiversity Institute
offers detailed and specific guidelines
on its website, for the identification
and treatment of aliens present in this country.

Some, especially those which threaten infestation,
are subject to compulsory removal.
They must be eradicated from the environment.
The law is clear, and brooks no exceptions.

Others are regulated by area or activity.
Permits must be issued to enter the country,
to breed, to move. This much is clear:
they may not inhabit riparian zones.

Many pose no threat to the native populations.
These aliens may come here freely,
and enjoy leave to remain, to spread,
to put down roots and become naturalised.

The rules are clear and implemented with care.
Everyone knows exactly where they stand.
If only the Department of Home Affairs
would take a leaf out of the same book.

Sarah Rowland Jones was a British diplomat for 15 years before being ordained as an Anglican priest in her home of Wales. She moved to South Africa in 2002, on marriage, and is Research Advisor to the Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba, having also worked for his predecessor, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.

sunnyside nightwalk – raphael d’abdon

a rusty lamp throws a weary towel over the street corner
i sit on a bench and share some words with alain,
my brother from burundi
he’s a street vendor
he’s got two public phones
sells candies
matches
chips
and even single rizlas
in case of emergency

he’s trying to make a living and raise his two kids
between the cops’ raids
and the xenoidiotic threats of some local afrophobiacs
(king shaka would be ashamed of these modern age fighters
and don quixote would pity them)

apart from this
alain’s doing fine
his babies are sleeping now
they’re dreaming of tomorrow’s crèche
where they’ll be playing all day
with the policemen’s kids

i salute alain as
three skinny cats jump out from a deserted building
look at me with disdainful indifference
it must be my long beard and my tattered shirt
or maybe
they’ve more urgent things to think about
like finding a way to catch that bloody bird

they’ve skipped too many meals this week
ribs don’t lie
and the night cutting wind reminisce
of how fragile they are

i kick dreams away as a
washed out pack of nik naks swirls down the sidewalk
and arrogantly lands
over my rugged takkies
littering is fascism
and i just can’t stand ignorance
niknaks
and dirt

drunk screams from the flats across the road
from under a leafless tree the glittering shadow of a knife
blinking in the shrieking winter fog

“business as usual” smiles the flashy nedbank billboard
over the razor-wired fence

the umpteenth sickening sound of police sirens
rips the moistened sky in two
it stiffens the mallow along my squeaking spine
while needles
sting the midpoint
of my frozen anus

it reminds me that it’s time to go home
and i agree (even if i don’t have one).
i walk around the corner
find a seat at sipho’s tavern
pull up my overcoat
pull down my beret
and order another beer

it’s the penultimate one
for today

Dr Raphael d’Abdon is an Italian scholar, writer, editor and translator. His essays, articles, poems and short stories have been published in volumes and journals. In 2008 he moved to Pretoria, where he lives with his wife and his daughter. He is a vegetarian and his hero is Prince.


» read article