// SA National Poetry Winner ; Puno Selesho ; Word n Sound Digital Slam & more //
Wassup wassup fam. I hope you are all well, and that you've started the 3rd month of 2021 on a great note. We're back with another poetry feature, updating you on what's been happening over the past few weeks, as well as what to look out for over the next few weeks. As always, we try to keep you in the loop with as much dope content that's taking place online and offline, so I hope you're ready for this jam packed article.
To start things off, we would like congratulate Busisiwe Mahlangu on winning the South African National Poetry Prize with her poem "I wear mother's bones". On the 1st of March 2021, New Contrast in collaboration with Drift Wine Estates hosted The South African National Poetry Prize 2020 Winners Announcement And Reading where the official announcement was made, and this year’s judges were Saaleha Idrees Bamjee, Uhuru Portia Phalafala, as well as Meg Vandermerwe. For those who are not familiar with New Contrast, it's one of the first South African literary journals and it is devoted to publishing the best of poetry and prose, art, reviews and interviews from both local and international authors. In addition to the top 3 winners receiving monetary prizes (R10000 for first prize, R3000 for second prize and R1000 for third prize), all the shortlisted poets will receive a complimentary 1-year electronic subscription to New Contrast. We would like to also congratulate all the writers who were shortlisted for the award (below you'll find the names of the writers and the titles of the poems they submitted):
BETONY ADAMS - INGRID AND THE SEA // CONNOR COGILL - CONTINENT WITHOUT A NAME // STEPHEN DEVEREUX - 2020 // STEPHEN DEVEREUX - A SIMPLE REQUEST // MICHAEL FRIDJHON - AN OLD MATADOR COUNSELS A YOUNG TOREADOR AGAINST REMAINING IN THE PROFESSION // MESHALINI GOVENDER - “FROM WHERE?” // NEDINE MOONSAMY - CANCER HAS A COLOUR // DAVID SCHMIDT -DOOR OF NO RETURN // MELISSA SUSSENS - A NEW VETERINARIAN SPENDS A COMPULSORY YEAR WORKING AT A SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
While we're still in the congratulation zone, we also have to say congratulations to Soetry (Solly Ramatswi) on winning last months edition of the Word n Sound Digital Slam. The #WNSDigitalSlam is an extraordinary digital experiment answering the question: what happens to a legendary slam that has been running for 10 years in theatres across Joburg city when a pandemic forces a global shutdown? They kicked off Season 2 of this spoken word showdown with 18 poets from around the world, and if you want to see want went down, you can watch the show here. It looks like it took a king (Soetry) to finally dethrone another king (Xabiso Vili - Word n Sound Season 10 Poetry League Slam champion). Oh well, do check out Soetry's winning piece below, and if you're interested in participating in the next slam, make sure you follow Word n Sound on social media / click on the poster below. "In #WordNSound we trust..."
Moving on to the 3rd poet, we're going to take a few steps back to the 14th of February and introduce you to Puno Selesho's latest offering : "Love Handles - tiny tales from my twenties". The transformation and creative entrepreneur launched her first poetry book, which she described as a dream come true because it also meant that she's now a self published author. You can order her latest body of work via her site " www.punoselesho.com "or by clicking on any of the images below. I can't wait to buy my copy and read the book (I blame the NAC for not being able to buy the book yet because they have been playing games with funding artists lately. #Smh). Anyway, do make sure that you sign up for her newsletter here so that you can stay in touch with her words and adventures. If you've read the book, feel free to share your feedback.
NB: Love Handles is available to order as a hard copy or eBook on Amazon. If you reside in ZA you can order a hard copy straight off her site www.punoselesho.com .
We've reached the half way mark of this jam packed article, and if you've made it this far, then you're really a dope poetry fan (and you deserve a Bells). The next poet I'd like to talk about is Siphokazi Jonas and the recent piece she did entitled " A place of many names" for South African Tourism in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. She creates a bespoke love letter to her country, as she takes you on a journey across South Africa showcasing the diversity and beauty the country has to offer. You can continue your journey online by visiting g.co/ShareSouthAfrica for more virtual exploration (with regards to the project), but for now, do enjoy her poem below that was produced by Core Productions Ltd. It's really inspiring to see what she's been able to achieve over the past few years, and from performing at this year's SONA, to the continued success and major developments of #WeAreDyingHere film, it's safe to say that she's not just a force to reckon with, but one of the major forces still leading the way within the creative economy. I'm really excited to see more of the greatness that's in store for these poets who continue to put in amazing work year in and year out.
Alright, now we're quickly gonna visit Zim just to inform you that Page Poetry Alive's Isolation Stories are back on Instagram. Do get in touch with them for a feature fam. The first artist they featured this year in their #IsolationStories series was Kay-Dee Dineo Mashile - a dynamic spoken word artist and performer of note based in South Africa. You can watch here piece here. Page Poetry Alive will also be hosting a series of 4 "Birthday Edition events" this month, dubbed "Iconic Woman", so do make sure you follow them on social media so that you don't miss out. You can click on the images below to find out more information about Page Poetry Alive and their events.
Before the article reaches its conclusion, I gotta share with you the second episode of the #RadiaoctivePoetryCafe which premiered on Facebook on Monday the 1st of March. We featured poets from South Africa, Canada and Zambia for this episode, and as usual, we had our favorite host "Onkarabile Marumo". A big shout out to the poets "Busiswe Mahlangu, Soetry, Preacher Technique, Klara du Plessis, Petronella Nyirenda and Oraitle Molale" for sharing their amazing work. Do check out the show by clicking the poster below and let me know what you think. It's amazing what one can produce on their phone lol, and I already can't wait to produce the next episode. The 3rd episode will premiere on Facebook on the 5th of April on The Radioactive Blog page.
And we've finally come to the end of another jam packed article, and I hope you've enjoyed the content so far. To end the article, I would like to share a few announcements and poetry opportunities that you can be part of. The first one is vida e caffè celebrating World Poetry Day with Hear My Voice & Retail Capital: they will be rewarding poetry writing with free coffees to celebrate the written arts. Click here / on the image below to find out how you can enter. The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) presents the 24th edition of the Time of the Writer International Festival that will be hosted virtually on the festival's social media channels from 15 to 21 March 2021. You can find out more by clicking on their posters below. They currently have an open Call for poetry submissions, under the theme "Poetry for Human Rights" (Deadline for submitting your poem is the 8th of March), so do make sure you check that out and apply ASAP.