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Two New Titles Launched at Jozi Spoken Word Fest

Allan Kolski Horwitz at Jozi Spoken WordLiesl Jobson ReadingBackdrop at Jozi Spoken Word FestivalFriday evening was the main event of the vibrant four-day long Jozi Spoken Word Festival. It started with the joint book launch of Botsotso 15 and Liesl Jobson’s View from an Escalator. This debut poetry collection was the recipient of a generous Community Publishing Project Grant from the Centre for the Book and the NLSA, and is a co-publication with Botsotso.

The event in the Wits Amphitheatre was well attended by Joburg poetry lovers. Performers read against a spectacular backdrop – a painting which spread across the stage had been curated by Lionel Murcott and co-created with Juanita Frier and Conrad van Straten during the previous evening’s Women’s Month festivities.

Prince Shapiro in PerformancePeter Horn To celebrate the special edition of Botsotso 15, featuring work from last year’s festival, poets Prince Shapiro, Masoja Msiza, Peter Horn, Allan Kolski Horwitz and Ike Mboneni Muila shared the stage. Liesl Jobson also read a selection from her new book, including the title poem:

View from an Escalator

I would like a photograph
of the grandmother at the dress shop door
bright winter coat, red as her desire,
the ball gown simmering in the window.

Animated, she points to the sweetheart neckline,
rose pink lace over wine dark silk,
remembering a dance, a dress the same sheen
on a night the sky was spun with sequins.

I imagine her telling the shopkeeper
dresses like that needed a warning label.
Such shades of wine and roses, shimmering
on a young girl’s curves, inspire big dreams,

promises like planets: the sun, moon and stars.
A girl should always check a guy’s pockets
for evidence of earth within the satin lining,
check at least for a foil wrapper.

By the time you’re a grandmother you know
that true love needs space and time, so very much time
but not too much expectation
because a well-cut dress can outlast a man.

The evening’s performances continued, after a short break, with contributions from Mphutlane wa Bofelo, Mmakgari Dabutha, Damon Berry, the Botsotso Jesters, Nkqo, Mpumi Magwaza, Mak Manaka, Richard Fox, Afurakan and Vonani Bila.


Ewa Kowalska & Richard Fox Ike Mboneni Muila Raks & Sindi Seakhoa Masoja Msiza Allan Kolski Horwitz & Chris Thurman Liberty Sekhesa & Nadine Ngwenya Linda Gabriel & Liberty Sekhesa Charles Mnkandla, Masoja Msiza & Njabulo Ndimande Nosakhe and Zweshfikush Twalo Lekau Mphasha & Joy Mashimbye Tim Hyslop & Peter Horn Vonani Bila & Siphiwe ka Nwenya Ike Mboneni Muila & Emanuel Tsanwani Allan Kolski Horwitz & Pam Nichols Christine Lucia & Jeanne Simmonds Jansie Niehaus & Lionel Murcott Mulana Dzivhani, Justice Mokhethi & Musa Masilela

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    August 18th, 2008 @15:18 #

    Congratulations Liesl, can't wait to see the book.

    Been meaning to say that I have read some of the "100 papers", they're so rich and textured, that don't want to wolf them down. Your writing rocks!


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