LRC Memoir Course: Routes to Meaning in Johannesburg!

The Life Righting Collective (LRC), founded by Dawn Garisch, is offering a memoir course in Joahnnesburg at the end of the month. Dawn will be facilitating the course:

We all have a story to tell from our own lives about how we became who we are. Stories about the way we were born, or about how someone helped us. About how we got ill or overcame a terrible loss.

Stories about how someone we loved to hurt us, or how a political or spiritual circumstance almost broke us. Stories about how we were bullied, about how an accident changed the course of our lives, or about how we were able to make a difference in someone else’s life. These stories are often invisible to others. They might still influence the way we think and feel in ways we don’t fully understand.

Writing about your own life can help you connect with the story you are living, and it can help to heal or manage the effects of trauma. It is a powerful way for us to communicate and to grow compassion for ourselves and for each other. 

During this course we will find refreshing approaches to assist us in putting our personal stories down on the page.

Beginner writers are welcome!

DATES: Saturday 30 April – Monday 2 May 2022
TIME: 9 – 2 pm daily
VENUE: Family Life Centre, 1 Cardigan Road, Parkwood, Johannesburg
FEE: R3 000 
FACILITATOR: Dawn Garisch

If you are keen on joining this course please make your bookings via admin@liferighting.com  and kindly forward to anyone you feel might be interested.

Remember, for our health and safety, all LRC in-person courses will be conducted in strict compliance with current Covid-19 rules and procedures.

We look forward to having you on the course! 

With thanks from the LRC team.

LRC

A note from Dawn: People who cannot afford the full course fee, please get in touch with the organisers (contact details above) and they will try to accommodate you.

Poetry in McGregor 2021

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

POETRY IN MCGREGOR: KARAVAN POETS

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

Book your ticket here: R50

WIN A FIVE-DAY FIVE-STAR WRITING RETREAT

STUNNING NATURE & ART LOCATION | ULTRA-MODERN DESIGNER ACCOMMODATION

Dear Writer,

You haven’t seen anything like this before.

Imagine having five heavenly days to write and write and write in the heart of the wilderness yet with all the modern amenities available to you. Not only that, you’re a step away from an amazing outdoor art exhibition in the NIROX Sculpture Park that you can visit at any time. Located in the Cradle of Humankind, all this could be yours for just R100 entry ticket for this Life Righting Collective lucky draw competition.

Huge thanks to LRC friend Clara Cruz-Almeida for offering this special place as a writing retreat micro-home pod for our LRC fundraiser!

WHERE?
 
The POD is located inside the NIROX Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind on the R540, 20 minutes from Lanseria Airport; 45 minutes from Johannesburg & Pretoria. Entry to the park is free for dwellers of the POD.  A very safe and protected area, the property has guards who inspect the fences at night.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Travel costs to and from the POD location are for the winner’s account. 

A beautifully fitted kitchen has a two-plate gas hob, fridge but no oven or microwave.  There’s a braai grille but please bring your own wood, coal and firelighters; you can pick up kindling in the forest. All the necessary cutlery, pots and plates are provided.

A mezzanine bedroom is accessed via a built-in ladder, sleeps two and all linen and towels are provided.

WHEN?
 
DATES: Monday 1 Nov to Friday 5 November 2021. Check-in is from midday 1 Nov and checkout by 11:00 am on 5 Nov.
  
WEATHER
 
Weather is a bit colder in the evenings than Joburg, with lots of dew and spider diamond webs in the early morning before humans move around. It is close to the Bloubankspruit river.


WHAT TO BRING

Bring clothes, warm layers and a T-shirt or two; also an extra blanket to wrap yourself in so that you can enjoy the braai in the evening. Bring a torch so you can take walks in the park at night to scare away the snakes. Yes, there are snakes. It is the wilderness. And boots, as the dew on the grass wets your trainers at sunrise. Bring your own food and drink, firelighters and wood; the restaurant “and then there was fire” is open but booked weeks in advance (you could try and book ahead). There is a bar /sandwich service you can access if you haven’t booked. NOTE: Please keep the POD locked and all openings closed when you go for a walk as a troupe of monkeys can create havoc. You can practise your aim at the monkeys with the slingshot there, and reconnect with your childhood naughty self. 

YOUR ONLY OBLIGATION, APART FROM WRITING
 
If you post on social media about your stay, please hashtag #podidladla and #liferightingcollective or check-in on Facebook, or send Clara a review of your stay that she can quote you on!
 
HOW TO ENTER
 
All you have to do is purchase a lucky draw ticket by paying R100 to the LRC Banking account:

ABSA
Life Righting Collective
Cheque account number: 40 9382 6013
Branch code number 632005.
Please include your full name as reference.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Send your POP to terry@liferighting.com with your name and contact details: email and phone number please, so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. All proceeds will go towards supporting the LRC. You’re very welcome to purchase more than one ticket and increase your chances of winning!

Members of the Life Righting Collective EXCO are excluded from the competition. The winner will be decided by drawing a random name and will be contacted to make booking arrangements directly with Clara.
The competition is now open and will end on 13 October 2021. The winner will be announced on the 15 October 2021.
 
Please share and forward this to anyone who might be interested in buying tickets for this fabulous writing retreat.  

You could be a winner! And whatever happens, you’re supporting a winning cause… 🙂

Love 
And the LRC EXCO team

PS: We’d be so grateful if you would consider joining 24 other LRC supporters and become a Patreon member of the LRC for as little as R95 a month. Click on the button below.

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE LRC PATREON CAMPAIGN

On Being a Writer in Kalk Bay

Two Kalk Bay locals are shortlisted for the 2021 Sunday Times/CNA Literary Awards: Dawn Garisch for Breaking Milk (Fiction Award) and Mark Gevisser for The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers (Non-fiction Award)Earlier tonight, Dawn and Mark were in conversation with Olympia’s Kenneth McClarty and spoke about their books and writing lives on the outdoor terrace of the Chartfield Guesthouse, where we had also launched Dawn’s Disturbance towards the end of last year.

Thank you Dawn, Mark, Kenneth, Audrey of Kalk Bay Books and the fabulous people of Chartfield Guesthouse for a fascinating evening of stories. It was simply wonderful to attend a live book event and celebrate these two brilliant writers with other readers.

Dawn Garisch on the genesis of her novel, BREAKING MILK, shortlisted for the 2021 Sunday Times/CNA Fiction Award

2021 Sunday Times/CNA Fiction Award shortlist

In this novel, I explore aspects of separation and connection. Several mothers I know are estranged from their adult children, and many of us are disconnected from nature, intuition and creativity. I track the nuanced task of knowing when to intervene and when to withhold action in the lives of our own or other women’s children.

However, there are situations where we need to cut – initiation, divorce, surgery. Breaking Milk uses the metaphor of milk and cheese-making to ground these preoccupations during one day in the life of Kate, a geneticist who became a farmer when ethics in her lab were compromised. I job-shadowed a friend to learn about this ancient craft that employs patience and invisible micro-organisms to preserve milk.

I am interested in the idea “you can be right, or you can have relationships”; also how our intelligence has had some disastrous consequences for the natural world on which we depend.

Embedded in these concerns is the role of women in society – what it takes to say no, and how a woman finds her feet after divorce. The books that have informed my inquiry are Disgrace by JM Coetzee, and Accident: A Day’s News by Christa Wolf.

Sunday Times Books

Continue reading:

Extract from Breaking Milk by Dawn Garisch

Kate Sidley reviews Breaking Milk by Dawn Garisch for the Sunday Times: “A small world of deep metaphorical meaning”

Read about the organic cheese farm that inspired the setting for Dawn Garisch’s Breaking Milk: FYNBOSHOEK

Follow the cheese farm on Instagram: FYNBOSHOEK CHEESE FARM

BREAKING MILK by DAWN GARISCH shortlisted for the Sunday Times/CNA Fiction Award

FICTION AWARD

CRITERIA

The winner should be a novel of rare imagination and style, evocative, textured and a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction.

CHAIR OF JUDGES KEN BARRIS COMMENTS:

It is always difficult to select a shortlist in a competition at national level, and this year the fiction prize included books published in both 2019 and 2020. It was also a two-year period in which many of SA’s best and brightest novelists happened to publish, from gravitas-rich veterans to brilliant newcomers. It was a daunting but immensely enriching task for the panel, and we finally settled on five excellent novels.

Marguerite Poland is in scathing form in her heartbreaking tale of a young black missionary in the Eastern Cape, while Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu writes about colonialism and toxic masculinity with biting accuracy. Mark Winkler’s story is a subtle reflection on collective guilt and individual isolation, and Dawn Garisch’s portrayal of the struggle for connection is intelligently and beautifully observed. The youngest author in the line-up is Rešoketšwe Manenzhe with her engaging debut about migrancy and the destruction wreaked on a mixed-race family by the so-called Immorality Act.

FICTION AWARD SHORTLIST

Breaking Milk
Dawn Garisch (Karavan Press)

Set on a farm in the Eastern Cape, and taking place over one day, this is a finely wrought meditation on motherhood, not only in personal and human terms, but also with regards to ourselves as destructive children of the earth.

The History of Man
Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu (Penguin Fiction)

A brilliant portrait of a white, male colonialist seen through the eyes of a black woman writer. Emil Coetzee was a supporting character in Ndlovu’s prize-winning predecessor The Theory of Flight, and here she places him in the centre of the story, examining the forces that created this “man of empire”.

Scatterlings
Rešoketšwe Manenzhe (Jacana Media)

Taking place more than 100 years ago, this is a highly original novel about migrancy that incorporates myth and ritual and the stories of extraordinary ordinary women. On this journey, someone will get lost, someone will give up and turn back, and someone may go all the way to the end.

A Sin of Omission
Marguerite Poland (Penguin Fiction)

A wrenching, deeply felt story about Stephen Malusi Mzamane, a young Anglican priest, trained in England but now marooned in a rundown mission in Fort Beaufort. He is battling the prejudices of colonial society, and the church itself, when he is called to his mother’s rural home to inform her of his elder brother’s death.

Due South of Copenhagen
Mark Winkler (Umuzi)

A skilled examination of memory and culpability. Max Fritz lives quietly in a small Lowveld town, the editor of the local newspaper. Seemingly contented, he is shadowed by his childhood, and by the border war he was forced to take part in. When news of a boyhood friend reaches him, the past rears up painfully.

Read all about the Fiction & Non-Fiction shortlists here:

The 2021 Sunday Times/CNA Literary Awards shortlists