Karavan Press title: Elton Baatjies by Lester Walbrugh

In this anonymity they are able to be themselves, shadows and all, even if only for a few minutes in the day.

The Cape Peninsula carries secrets known only to the wind, the fynbos, and the creatures that live there. Six teenage boys are found raped, murdered, and dumped down the side of its mountains.  

It is two years since the discovery of the first body and Detective Junaid Japtha is no closer to cracking the case. With pressure mounting, and without any tangible evidence, he can only rely on his experience and instinct to track down the killer.  

Fifteen-year-old Tyrone May from Macassar spends his days in limbo. He has no one to talk to. No one listens. He is curious and confused about his feelings. Like most boys, he has yet to develop a sense of his own mortality. It allows for a daring that will dissipate as he grows older, but, for now, Tyrone will accept the friend request a handsome stranger sends him.   

Elton Baatjies is the newly appointed teacher at a local high school. These are his people, and he is soon embraced by the close-knit community. But he is tied to the six dead boys in ways no one could have predicted, and the secrets among them threaten to tear the sleepy mountain town apart. 

Publication date: September 2022

ISBN: 978-1-7764064-7-0

LESTER WALBRUGH is the author of the short story collection, Let It Fall Where It Will (Karavan Press, 2020). Elton Baatjies is his first novel. He lives in Grabouw.

PANYA ROUTES by KIM GURNEY launched at the A4 Arts Foundation

Last week Thursday, Panya Routes: Independent art spaces in Africa by Kim Gurney was launched at the A4 Arts Foundation. Kim was in conversation with Neo Muyanga.

“I travelled to five cities on the African continent at intervals during 2018 and 2019 to visit an independent art space in each. Panya Routes is an invitation to join this journey and discover how such spaces work, think and navigate conditions of constant flux. These independent art spaces form part of a larger family of small-scale platforms, often artist-led or with artistic thinking at heart, whose numbers have flourished in recent years although their existence can also be short-lived. This book focuses upon five case studies of such spaces that have all been active for more than a decade, thus offering compelling tales about sustaining non-profit and innovative practice in an increasingly commodified world. My visits, conducted as part of the African Centre for Cities research project Platform / Plotform, were timed to coincide with emblematic programming, predominant art in public spaces. And, where possible, other independently curated events and spaces from a street art festival to an “off-biennial” were considered in parallel in order to glean another reading on art in each city …” (Panya Routes, p. 9)

Thank you, Nancy Richards and Natalie Becker, for the photographs!

The Red Wheelbarrow: Dawn Garisch

Dawn Garisch will be the featured poet at The Red Wheelbarrow next week.

Dawn Garisch is an award-winning author and poet, a medical doctor and founding member of the Life Righting Collective. As an LRC facilitator, she teaches writing and poetry as a route to self-discovery, self-recovery and community building. Her second collection, Disturbance, (Karavan Press) came out in 2020.

Broken

A toy horse falls from the shelf, breaks a leg.
The small boy, tearful, shows an uncle 
who gives him a tube of glue:
The boy tries hard like he always does, 
not knowing how to fix 
his parent’s domestic mess. 

The horse leg sets, stuck back skew, 
now it’s lame, he’s made things worse. 
His father’s long gone, but he’s to blame, 
the glue of family rendered useless. 

The boy wanders out of the house, 
climbs the tree, sits by himself, sick
with crying. Wanting his father 
joined to his mother, wanting 
the father to come home to help him. 

What he wants is impossible, so he prays
for the leg to be restored like magic, 
so he can ride away.

— Dawn Garisch

As always, the reading by the featured poet will be followed by an open mic session for poets from the audience. Poets are welcome to read from their own work as well as from the work of a favourite poet.

Join Zoom Meeting: Dawn Garisch at The Red Wheelbarrow
Date: 18th August 2022
Time: 19:30 SAST

Meeting ID: 952 904 1131
Passcode: 12345

Avbob Poetry: A creative lifeline in Women’s Month

This month, Avbob Poetry is celebrating women poets: “Melissa Sussens is a debut poet, writing strong and tender work about women’s reality – their love, mercy at work, and the relentless struggle against gender-based violence.”

You can read an interview with her here: A lifeline of creation in Women’s Month – with Melissa Sussens    

Melissa’s debut collection of poetry, Slaughterhouse, will be published by Karavan Press.

Karavan Press at Open Book Festival, 2-4 September

JOY WATSON

FORCED TO MOVE

Dianne Du Toit Albertze, Fred Khumalo and Joy Watson speak to Bettina Wyngaard about migrating to survive.

LEGAL ACTIVISM

Sean Davison (assisted suicide), Joy Watson (GBV) and Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon (urban housing) speak to Bronwyn Pithey about using the courts as tools for transforming our society.

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS

Pulane Mlilo Mpondo, Yewande Omotoso and Margie Orford unpick mother-daughter relationships in the company of Joy Watson.

LESTER WALBRUGH

VALUE AND VISIBILITY

Dianne Du Toit Albertze, Chase Rhys and Lester Walbrugh discuss the politics of being seen with Haji Mohamed Dawjee.

To see the full programme, click here:

OPEN BOOK FESTIVAL 2022

Karavan Press authors talk about love and relationships at the UJW’s Stonehaven

Last week, Joy Watson, Cathy Park Kelly and Melissa A. Volker spoke to Karina M. Szczurek about love and relationships in their lives and writing at the beautiful Stonehaven, the home of the Union of Jewish Women (UJW). Thank you to the UJW for hosting, thank you to the authors for their insights and laughter, and to everyone who attended with such generosity of spirit. A beautiful evening!

Thank you, Bernie Shelly, for being there and for sharing a few photographs with us!

Karen Watkins reviews The Other Me by Joy Watson

The Other Me is fast-paced, lively and with convincing characters who come, go and come again at Lolly’s bidding.

It will have you mesmerised and wanting more; to see the next mess she gets into and more importantly, how she gets out of it.

Lolly is resourceful, funny and captivating but also vulnerable, lonely and rejects violence.

Laugh at her, squeal and squirm, Lolly is a detestable character but in the best possible way.

It’s a delightful binge-worthy read.

Southern Suburbs Tatler

Read the entire review here: Southern Suburbs Tatler