Stephen Symons reading at Karlstad University

Last month, Stephen Symons gave a reading of his poetry in the Karlstad University Library (Sweden) titled “For Everything that is Pointless and Perfect”. Stephen was in conversation with Swedish poet Linus Gårdfeldt, who heads up the Creative Writing programme at Karlstad University.

Stephen Symons has published poetry and short-fiction in journals, magazines and anthologies, locally and internationally. His debut collection, Questions for the Sea (uHlanga, 2016) received an honourable mention for the 2017 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, and was also shortlisted for the 2017 Ingrid Jonker Prize. His unpublished collection Spioenkop was a semi-finalist for the Hudson Prize for Poetry (USA) in 2015. His second collection, Landscapes of Light and Loss (Dryad Press), was published in 2018, and third collection, FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS POINTLESS AND PERFECT (Karavan Press) in 2020. Small Souls, a collection of collected and new poems will be published in 2022 by Karavan Press.

Symons holds a PhD in History (University of Pretoria) and an MA in Creative Writing (University of Cape Town). He is attached to the Department of Historical & Heritage Studies at the University of Pretoria as a Mellon Research Fellow.

Stephen Symons will be reading at The Red Wheelbarrow on Thursday, 20th January, at 19:30

Stephen Symons will be The Red Wheelbarrow’s featured poet this week.

Stephen Symons has published poetry and short-fiction in journals, magazines and anthologies, locally and internationally. His debut collection, Questions for the Sea (uHlanga, 2016) received an honourable mention for the 2017 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, and was also shortlisted for the 2017 Ingrid Jonker Prize. His unpublished collection Spioenkop was a semi-finalist for the Hudson Prize for Poetry (USA) in 2015. Landscapes of Light and Loss (Dryad Press) was published in 2018, and For Everything That Is Pointless and Perfect (Karavan Press) in 2020. Small Souls, a collection of selected and new poems will be published in 2022 by Karavan Press.

Symons holds a PhD in History (University of Pretoria) and an MA in Creative Writing (University of Cape Town). He lives with his family in Oranjezicht, Cape Town.

**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: 20th January 2022
Time: 19:30 SAST

Meeting ID: 952 904 1131
Passcode: 12345

Poems by poets featured previously at TRW can be found here:
https://redwheelbarrowpoet.wixsite.com/website

The Karavan parked at EB Cavendish this week

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!

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.

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

KARAVAN PRESS entries for the GBAS Book Cover Design Awards 2021

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:

GBAS Book Cover Design Awards

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