A panya route in Rosebank

One of the creatives Kim Gurney interviewed for her latest book, Panya Routes: Independent art space in Africa (Motto Books, 2022), Nana Oforiatta Ayim, the founder and director of the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge in Accra, said that she “wanted to set this place up so that others like me who wanted to write and express something could come and have a home, a place to think collectively, create, push boundaries.”

Earlier today, Kim was in discussion about Panya Routes with Joy Watson – both belong to the Rosebank Writes group, recently founded by Kim and other writers who live and work in and/or are affiliated with the suburb of Rosebank, Cape Town (we have a sister organisation in Johannesburg). The event was hosted by another member, Shireen Mall, in her beautiful lounge that was transformed into an independent art space for the day. Writers, readers and creatives gathered to celebrate the publication of Panya Routes (which Karavan Press and Protea Distribution have the honour of distributing in South Africa along independent panya routes of their own) and listen to Kim and Joy discuss the book, its origins and consequences.

It was a morning of illumination, and I cannot thank Kim, Joy, Shireen and all who attended, enough for inspiring us all to search for our individual panya routes which allow us to be creative in spaces where, in the words of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, “the progress of any one person is not dependent on the downfall of another” (quoted in Panya Routes).

Cape Flats Book Festival is back with a bang!

Taryn Lock, Nancy Richards, Lester Walbrugh, Rešoketšwe Manenzhe, Qarnita Loxton and Karina Szczurek at the Cape Flats Book Festival 2022

“When you live a life of reading, you live like a cat, you experience nine lives,” Premier Alan Winde said at the opening ceremony of the second Cape Flats Book Festival, and added: “There’s nothing like a good book, nothing.” Totally agreed!

And when you live a life of reading, you get to hang out with the coolest of people – readers and writers!

This weekend, readers and writers gathered at the West End Primary School in Mitchells Plain to celebrate the wealth and wonder of literature, and it was an honour to participate. According to the organisers, the festival is “an act of hope, an opportunity to dream beyond our circumstances.” Indeed. And every minute of it was literary delight.

Great vibes, great sessions, laughter and wisdom, lots of connecting and reconnecting and simple sharing – of experience, ideas and the love of books.

Karavan Press authors participating: Joy Watson, Nancy Richards, Lester Walbrugh, Cathy Park Kelly and Joanne Hichens.

Joy Watson, Sara-Jayne Makwala King and Karina Szczurek

The second day of the festival was a little bit quieter, but smaller audience create more intimate interactions and often strong bonds are forged not only between authors and their fans, but also between the authors themselves. Writing is mostly a solitary and often lonely occupation, and it is simply wonderful to encounter others in the same boat and feel slightly less alone in the world.

And when you are lucky, you get to hug Oaky 🙂

Thank you to everyone who made this fantastic event possible!

Karavan Press family – Lester Walbrugh, Thobeka Yose (to be published next year), Karina Szczurek (holding a freshly baked bread, a gift from Lester) and Cathy Park Kelly

Hope to see everyone at the next Cape Flats Book Festival!

Cape Flats Book Festival 2022

Please join us for the Cape Flats Book Festival 2022!

Karavan Press authors on the 2022 CFBF programme:

Saturday, 15 October

12:35-13:15 In Conversation (Adults): Sara-JayneMakwala King (Mad Bad Love) & JOY WATSON (The Other Me)

15:20-16:00 In Conversation (Adults): Colleen Higgs (my mother, my madness) & NANCY RICHARDS (The Skipper’s Daughter) moderated by Leslie Swartz (How I Lost My Mother)

Sunday, 16 October

10:55-11:35 In Conversation (Adults): Karina Szczurek (Disruption) & LESTER WALBRUGH (Elton Baaitjies)

11:50-12:30 Against the Odds (Adults): JOANNE HICHENS (Death & the After Parties) & CATHY PARK KELLY (Boiling a Frog Slowly)

We look forward to seeing you there!

JRB: Read an excerpt from Lester Walbrugh’s debut novel and an interview with Joy Watson

The latest issue of the Johannesburg Review of Books features an excerpt from Lester Walbrugh’s debut novel Elton Baatjies and an interview with Joy Watson.

‘A raincloud sucks all the blue from the sky’—Read an excerpt from Lester Walbrugh’s forthcoming debut novel, Elton Baatjies

‘I think that it is important for every woman to claim the “nasty” in her’—Anna Stroud interviews Joy Watson on her debut novel, The Other Me