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

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, real and fictional

My mother’s garments 
never seemed to grow old.
Slack suits and twin sets
from the seventies,
woven from some synthetic
substance that did not wear
or tear, unlike the natural fibre
of her skin. My aged mother’s
delicate covering bled
every time she stumbled.
Worn out; worn to shreds.

— "Going home", Disturbance, Dawn Garisch


It has just gone six a.m. I walk my son down the road to the corner where we wait for his lift. The sun is rising, the light streaking the horizon gold. I comment on the morning buzz, the company we keep, power-walkers, the dog walkers, workers and school kids heading for the train. ‘The day carries on.’
Without you, the day must carry on.
Al says, ‘Of course, but let me remind you that you’re wearing pyjamas.’

— Death and the After Parties, Joanne Hichens


They fled with nothing, never stopping. Not even when his mother tripped, his sister, tied to her back, knocking her head so hard that a bump rose immediately. She had been crying, now she screamed. Yet still they ran, amid their own blood and spittle, as the black cloud of the burning valley hunted them, chasing them forward, forward, towards the blue sky.

— An Island, Karen Jennings


Now Shirley, you know, became a mother quite young – sixteen or something like that. She ran away from home with newborn Jason; his naeltjie at his belly hadn’t even fallen off yet. Came to Cape Town where she thought no one would find her. The Northern Cape was far.

— "Homeful", Let It Fall Where It Will, Lester Walbrugh


Lexi shrugged off her coat. She heard the rustle of beads as her mother, Sandra, came through the hippie curtain from the kitchen at the end of the long hallway. Like the town was bisected by a highway, so was their house by the passage.
‘I thought you would be asleep by now.’ Lexi feigned surprise.
‘I waited up. You’re my responsibility now.’ Her mother was in a kaftan, her hair long and loose. She looked like she’d escaped from the Mamas and the Papas.
‘Yay.’ The joys of being dumped and fleeced by her husband never ceased.

— A Fractured Land, Melissa A. Volker


I still remember my mother’s words when we got in the car to go to mass. ‘It’s Christmas, Mary, not a funeral.’ But I’ve always worn black. I would have said she was tempting providence, if that wasn’t exactly the sort of thing she would say. I should have, though. When we got home, a bunch of armed response cars were blocking the gates to the complex. The police were there. Men in bulletproof vests. Guns.

— A Hibiscus Coast, Nick Mulgrew


Not a word was exchanged between us as my mother and I made our way home. She must have seen how disappointed I was for, as soon as we walked into the house, she turned to me, demanding – ‘Where is the form?’
Puzzled, I looked at her. What use was that form now? What would she do with it? Only my father could sign it; and he had flatly refused, hadn’t he?
‘Give me the form, Thembi.’
‘Why, Mama?’
‘Letha, bo!’
My mother forged Baba’s signature.
I applied for a passport, astounded by my mother’s actions. She had shown me a side of her I didn’t suspect existed.

— Theatre Road, Sindiwe Magona


The lagoon has
forgotten us
like a son
sometimes
forgets his father

but never his mother

— "Port is red and starboard green", For Everything That Is Pointless and Perfect, Stephen Symons


But tell me this: where is his irrepressible, eternal soul? Because that is what interests me more. Where is his spirit, free of the gritty, grey residue of his body, which I have felt with my own hands? Because I, with the five senses of a woman, and undeniable sixth one 16 of a mother, cannot fathom the dimension within which my child now exists.

— "Lost", Earth to Mom, Sue Brown

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Dawn Garisch will be reading at The Red Wheelbarrow on Thursday, 4 March, 19:30

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.

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9529041131?pwd=M2VUL3RNWGMvMFZCU1Zuemt6QnU3Zz09

Date: 4 March 2021
Time: 19:30

Meeting ID: 952 904 1131
Passcode: 12345

Nina Geraghty reads Disturbance by Dawn Garisch

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.

Karavan Press title: Disturbance by Dawn Garisch

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

ISBN: 978-1-990992-57-5

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.