Next week’s featured poet is 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.
Date: 4 March 2021
Meeting ID: 952 904 1131
A straight from the heart reaction to Disturbance by Dawn Garisch after the launch of the poetry collection last week:
“Good morning Dawn… spent the rest of the evening reading your wonderful poems… like a skilled photographer, you capture the essence of a feeling-sense and then express it so it gets reproduced in me or maybe (as I couldn’t possibly know if that were true) better to say it evokes a complex emotional response that only that particular patterning of words can induce. Very apt collection title as each poem creates a ripple of disturbance, a rearrangement of emotional molecules that feels foreign yet satisfying. Favourites, apart from those read last night are: ‘Left Out’ (a punch in the heart) ‘Recovery’, ‘Pause’, ‘How Life Is’, ‘Littoral Zone’ (LOVE!), ‘Animal’, ‘Match’ (so clever), ‘Territory’ (aaaargh, yes), ‘Raw Notes’ (OMG!), ‘Getting Clear’, ‘Possession’ (I just about screamed aloud – Is Julia her real name?), ‘Flake’ made me laugh, ‘Sweet Girl’, ‘Waste’, ‘Going Home’. So much richness for me. Thank you.”
10 December 2020
Thank you to Nina for sharing and allowing us to post this enthusiastic reader’s review.
Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 5.30 for 6PM!
Venue: Chartfield Guesthouse in Kalk Bay.
Dawn will be in conversation with Liesl Jobson.
Attend the launch, buy a copy of the book at the event and stand a chance of winning a one-night luxury stay for two at the Chartfield Guesthouse!
we are mere players
in a pantomime, performing parts
which must stay true to narrative alone;
right now, this means weeping salt
into a chilli stew to the sound of the sea –
that enormous story, consistent and unfathomed,
repeating outside in the dark, endlessly.
I write into questions of discomfort, tracking an image until the poem reveals a partial answer.
— Dawn Garisch
“They are poems to break hearts, and mend them again. And I swear I heard the sound of the potter’s wheel turning in The Sound in Stone.”
— Jacques Coetzee
Also available on Kindle: Disturbance by Dawn Garisch
Publication date: December 2020
About the author:
DAWN GARISCH Dawn Garisch is the highly acclaimed author of a non-fiction work, a memoir and seven novels, three of which were published in the UK. Her latest, Breaking Milk, was published by Karavan Press in 2019. She has written for television and has had five of her plays and a short film produced.
Her poem Blood Delta won the DALRO Prize in 2007 for best poem, and Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Award in 2011. Difficult Gifts, her debut poetry collection, was published the same year. She also writes short stories and her What to Do About Ricky won the Short.Sharp.Story competition in 2013.
Dawn’s novel Trespass was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in Africa in 2010, and Accident was longlisted for the Barry Ronge Sunday Times Fiction Prize in 2018. She is part of the medical humanities movement and a founding member of the Life Righting Collective where she runs courses in memoir writing. Dawn is also a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.
Disturbance, published by Karavan Press, is her second poetry collection.
Author photograph by AJ Wattamaniuk.
Earlier this year, Karavan Press authors, Dawn Garisch and Melissa A. Volker participated in the Salonfestival Cape Town.
Here is a link to the brand new Salonfestival magazine of 2020. The Cape Town festival features in it. The magazine is only available in German but the photographs tell their own story of times when we could still gather freely and celebrate these cultural encounters: Salonfestival. Happy memories!
I wanted to express what I find unusual and fascinating about your writing – which this book seemed to exemplify – and I needed to think about it. I know you talk about ‘embodied’ writing. I am not sure exactly how you define that, but having read six of your books now I am going to try to articulate what I think is the ‘physicality’ of your writing.
I think your writing takes one to the edges of human experience and tells us what it is like to be there. Your knowledge of the human body makes it possible for you to describe what one can barely imagine – being the mother and grandmother of conjoined twins in this case – and tell us what it is like, in a physical as well as emotional way. (Other examples: the relationship between Phyllis and the young boy in Trespass, and the ‘accident’ in Accident). Your writing takes one to the edge of what many of us have been taught to regard as acceptable subjects to speak or write about. You write as elegantly about urinating and defecating, sex and orgasms as you do about mountains and music and ideas. Breaking Milking also seems to be particularly well-researched, yet one never gets a sense of the labour that must have been involved. You write as if you were a cheesemaker yourself!
I continue to be a great admirer of your writing.
Dr Mignonne Breier is an author and academic based in Cape Town.
(Personal note posted with permission of the author.)
12 March 2020: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.
Karavan Press author Dawn Garisch will be participating in this year’s Jewish Literary Festival (JLF). The festival is taking place on 15 March 2020 at the Gardens Community Centre in Cape Town, home to the iconic Jacob Gitlin Library, SA Jewish Museum and Cape Town Holocaust Centre.
Dawn’s event will take place at 10am at the venue “ISRAEL ABRAHAMS 2“.
Writing Jewish characters — when you’re not Jewish: Where angels fear to tread…
Helen Moffett, Qarnita Loxton and Dawn Garisch talk to Karina Szczurek.
This is the third edition of the bi-annual Jewish Literary Festival, a one-day event for lovers of literature and Jewish life. Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, 15 March 2020, readers can engage with more than 70 wordsmiths, poets, journalists, filmmakers and educators over more than 40 sessions. The presenters all have some Jewish connection, are engaged with subjects of Jewish interest or have a way with words and, with multiple sessions running simultaneously throughout the day, the organisers offer genres that cover fiction, sport, food, memoir, politics, journalism, the arts and more – a wide choice to suit all tastes. It is a literary feast of note. Don’t miss it! Tickets sell out quickly, so do not hesitate to book yours here: Quicket.
Writing the Environment: where fact meets fiction
Novelists Lynton Burger (She Down There), Melissa A. Volker (Shadow Flicker) and environmentalists Colin Bell (The Last Elephants) and Richard Peirce (Orca: The day the Great White sharks disappeared) talk to Robin Adams of World Wide Fund for Nature about telling stories that need to be written about our world.
Saturday morning, 14 March, 10:00-11:30, Fish Hoek Library.
This Writing Life
Tracey Farren asks novelists Dawn Garisch (Breaking Milk), Qarnita Loxton (Being Shelley) and Trevor Sacks (Lucky Packet) where their stories come from. Do they arrive fully formed, or do uncontrollable characters dictate what will happen next? How do they write, and when, and why, and can anyone ever fully explain this writing life?
Saturday afternoon, 14 March, 14:00-15:30, Fish Hoek Library.
I have just completed reading Breaking Milk and I enjoyed it completely. It was a rollercoaster ride in the best way. At first I was less intrigued by the story and more fascinated by the style of writing, it truly is poetic in the analogies that are drawn and the way Dawn describes the surroundings, people and feelings. After a while I became accustomed to the style of writing (still fascinated by it though) and then I was absorbed into the story. But towards the end the most riveting aspect of the book became the understanding and expression of the human condition by the author.
Breaking Milk left me feeling unbroken and light. It reaffirmed my notion that nothing really matters in the bigger scheme of things and that in as much as we consider ourselves significant and often make mountains out of molehills, we are actually quite insignificant in the universe, which is reflected by the ejaculate of the Milky Way over the moon on the book cover and as described in the text. The vocabulary used is really excellent and I needed to consult a dictionary from time to time which I didn’t because I was enjoying the book so much and I could make sense of the words in the context of the sentences. I also particularly like the absence of quotation marks because it allowed everything to flow so well. I really enjoyed how the text broke away from the story by working in philosophies and theories during a portion of the written work where Kate has a conversation with her goats.
I must admit that I was waiting for something raunchy to happen and the writing didn’t disappoint, even if the performance by one character wasn’t exactly up to par. Once again, the way it was captured was mesmerising.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book along with the journey and emotions it led me on and to.
Thank you to Earl Nicholas Petersen for sending this wonderful review.