Of poetry, otters and the sea – listen to this wonderful interview about Justin Fox’s Beat Routes!
We parked the Karavan at Exclusive Books Cavendish this week, launching four of our books there, and we had the most wonderful time of celebrating the writers we love and talking books.
Tuesday: The Wilderness Between Us by Penny Haw, who was in conversation with Gail Gilbride
Wednesday: FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS POINTLESS AND PERFECT by Stephen Symons and Beat Routes by Justin Fox – the two authors were in conversation with each other and read from their collections
Thursday: The Skipper’s Daughter by Nancy Richards, who was in conversation with Kim Cloete
Thank you to everyone who made this possible, especially Linda and the great booksellers at EB Cavendish! Thank you to our authors – you make me believe in a future of Karavan Press and the journeys we are still to travel! And last, but not least, thank you to all the readers who came to celebrate these wonderful authors and their books with us – your support makes us possible.
The first Poetry in McGregor Festival Karavan Press poets participated in at a group event and it was a total success. Because of his academic commitments which took him to Pretoria this past weekend, Stephen Symons could not be with us, but John Maytham kindly agreed to read from Stephen’s poetry collections, FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS POINTLESS AND PERFECT and Small Souls (a very limited special edition of his latest poems, not for sale, but the poems included will feature in Stephen’s forthcoming Selected Poems). Dawn Garisch and Justin Fox answered a few general questions about their poetry and read from their own collections, Disturbance and Beat Routes respectively, and it was obvious from the reactions of the audience that I am not the only one in love with the way these three poets craft words into art. Thank you to everyone who attended and who asked questions and bought books! We are grateful for the enthusiasm and generosity with which we have been received.
The rest of the festival was an immersion in words. ‘You are a river that cannot be denied,’ Malika Ndlovu began her reading at the festival with this line and reminded us that ‘love is persistently at work’, that ‘in my heart it is harvest time’, that ‘we are found’ – and so it felt, the bounty and the homecoming we experienced at the feast of poetry that was Poetry in McGregor this weekend.
During his performance of a script that Finuala Dowling compiled for him during lockdown, “Ice Cream, Thank You”, John Maytham quoted the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski: ‘praise the mutilated world’. The last twenty months have brought many of us to our knees, or worse. To be celebrating the written word among poets in front of live audiences was truly healing.
Poetry is ‘necessary’, Lara Kirsten said during her reading. Thank goodness there are so many fine poets who hold this truth close to their hearts and share it with us so abundantly.
It was also a joy to tell one of the young poets attending that it will be an honour to publish (hopefully, in the near future) the stunning poetry manuscript she had shared with me earlier this year. I hope that she will be reading from her debut collection at the next Poetry in McGregor Festival. Watch this space!
Thank you to all who make Poetry in McGregor possible! You are all ‘necessary’ and I am deeply grateful.
Literary greetings, Karina
Stephen Symons is among the finalists for the GBAS Book Cover Design Awards in the Poetry Category for his design of Justin Fox’s Beat Routes.
Congratulations, Stephen and Justin!
For the entire list of finalists, please see: GBAS Book Cover Design Awards Finalists
Join us for this wonderful celebration of poetry!
Celebrating the fabulous, multi-talented designers we work with:
Monique Cleghorn | Nick Mulgrew | Megan Ross | Stephen Symons
Not representing Karavan Press at the Awards this year, but hopefully next year again, is Megan Ross, who designed the stunning covers of Melissa A. Volker’s novels, A Fractured Land and Shadow Flicker (2019). Melissa’s third novel is on its way …
In the meantime, Megan’s SSDA Disruption cover features at the Awards in 2021:
“Always restless and inquisitive, Justin Fox fashions his poems out of travel adventures of one kind or another, exploring a panorama of places, people and occasions. At the same time, he is always experimenting with how much he can bend language to his expressive will as he surfs along on waves of words, stopping to share moments, observe what is salient before moving on to the next port – and poem – of call. It makes for a thoroughly enjoyable mix.”
— DOUGLAS REID SKINNER
“We have been aware – the way we are conscious of an essential dimension of being human in this environment with these seas bordering this continent, as we would be of sentinels in the night scouting for daybreak and the dawning distances – of Justin Fox exploring and lighting up the life-trip we are embarked upon here in this forever Neverness. Even so, we are drawn in again and again, and are awed – beautifully so, searingly so, searchingly so, along lines of song – to where we know we belong. What a celebration to be invited to partake of the riches! ‘I am all of these and none of them. I am the land.’ How lucky we are to enter this volume of giving us back to ourselves in the poems of this fellow-being!”
— BREYTEN BREYTENBACH
Publication date: November 2021
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JUSTIN FOX is a poet, travel writer, photographer and former editor of Getaway magazine. His articles, poems and photographs have appeared internationally in a number of publications and he is the author of twenty books, including The Marginal Safari, Whoever Fears the Sea, The Impossible Five and The Cape Raider. Justin is the winner of two Mondi Awards for journalism and the Patricia Schonstein Poetry in McGregor Award. Beat Routes is his debut poetry collection.
Justin was a Rhodes Scholar and received a doctorate in English from Oxford University after which he was awarded a research fellowship at the University of Cape Town, where he taught part time for two decades.
Author photograph: Revel Fox
Karavan Press Poets Dawn Garisch, Stephen Symons and Justin Fox read from and discuss their poetry collections
MC: Karina M. Szczurek (Karavan Press)
Sunday, 21 November: 9-10:30AM
@ Caritas | Temenos
Caritas at Temenos Cnr Voortrekker and Bree St., McGregor, Western Cape