The three poems shorlisted for the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award are now up at BooksLIVE. My poem, though, does not appear as it should be. So I am posting it here as a PDF for interested readers. I first read the poem a few months ago in front of a small but warm audience in Observatory, Cape Town when I was invited at OFF THE WALL by Hugh Hodge.
Click the following link to read my poem as it should look:
Baleka, What do You Know of Tenders and Thieves, Or Cockroaches for that Matter?
A piece of mine has been included in an anthology to be launched on 31 January 2015 in Manila. The book is called FAST FOOD FICTION DELIVERY. The piece also forms part of an unpublished manuscript.
I’ve posted an MP3 file of my reading, since I won’t be able to attend the launch. My teleporter is far from reliable – the last time I tried to use it I ended up in a cupboard of a next door neighbour with vicious dogs. 😛
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE SOUNDCLOUD PAGE.
Jacana Media has generously made available the three poems up for the 2014 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award. HERE is the link. My poem, “Illegal, Undocumented,” is part of my manuscript SKY FOR SILENT WINGS (or OSAMA, YOU ARE NOW OPEN COUNTRY… or THE MAN WHO WISHED HE WAS LEGO… yup, I still haven’t made up my mind which title to use, and neither has my fictitious publisher decided to accept it or not… maybe I should dream of another publisher?).
original image from Wikimedia
I’ve been meaning to share thoughts on many things – the elections in South Africa, the unsubtle threats of China to take over the water and other resources of other countries, the change of seasons in my part of the world, and some other random matters. But as often happens, the real world crashes down on my intentions.
Now a few bits of news I really have to share.
In the past few weeks I received copies of publications where my poetry appeared. It is always good when a poem finds a home somewhere I myself may never visit. Well, who knows, really? Maybe one day someone will sponsor me to fly all the way to…
LEBANON. Rusted Radishes, published by … (drum roll) … the American University of Beirut. The excellent editors liked my poem “If Palestine were a Treasured Painting.” It is a beautiful publication full of interesting graphics and bold writing.
The poem is part of my unpublished manuscript, Sky for Silent Wings, which is still hoping for a publisher.
The next country my work found a home is… FRANCE via the anthology of contemporary South African poetry edited by Denis Hirson. It’s a handsome book – tall and elegant. Everything about it just makes me wish I could read and write in French! The three poems included are “Chameleon Caress,” (which originally appeared in my book Alien to Any Skin) “People Who Live with Lions” and “That Feather Could be Yours Someday.” I was a late addition to the anthology, and I’m thankful to Robert Berold for introducing my poetry to Denis Hirson.
My poem “If Palestine were a Treasured Painting” has been included in the second issue of Rusted Radishes! I need a working teleporter to attend the launch in the next few days. 🙂
I submitted the poem a long time ago. Their fantastic editors suggested some changes which I gladly accepted. And finally it’s out there!
I finally have in my hands my contributor’s copy of The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Volume III! Took some time due to the mysterious appearance of a black hole, but what matters is that it has arrived intact ahead of the Cape Town launch in early December.
I feel lucky to be in this anthology despite sending my three poems in at the last minute. The poems, “Silent Wing,” “Human Patience,” and “Exit Music for the Disappeared,” are part of a nine-poem cycle called Endings are Beginnings which is the last section of my manuscript in progress, Sky for Silent Wings. I just wish my middle name – which is really my mother’s surname… no, wait, her father’s surname! – had not been left out altogether… well, not entirely. I see it in the biographical notes!
I’m not complaining, not at all. Just a niggle, really. 🙂
Thank you to Liesl Jobson and all the judges. Maybe next year I’ll be even luckier. Hahaha! Keep dreaming, Jim Pascual Agustin!
My country of birth is still reeling from the devastation of Haiyan/Yolanda. There is no forgetting how this tragedy has ruined so many lives. And yet human kindness and generosity shine through despite the petty politics of various parties (media, politicians, and individuals armed with keyboards). I am thankful for those who continue to help in countless ways the survivors, and all those who see beyond this catastrophe, those who seek new ways of lessening the blows of climate change. The human family can come together, I believe. This I say in a world where often there seems so little to believe in, to hope for. Yet we continue to surprise one another. We are never alone.
It used to take me a few minutes to write a poem. More recently I find myself going back to a poem from many years ago and reworking it until I find a point of satisfaction… or is that exhaustion? The monthly poetry contest at Goodreads.com has picked my work a number of times, one of them even won (AUDIO RECORDING LINK).
This month I entered something which I started writing in December 2010 but just “finished” a few weeks ago. It is post 296 near the end of page 6 on THIS LINK. Apparently it has a “local” flavor… meaning what, I wonder. hahaha. I appreciate any feedback or critique – as always. Maybe it needs more mending.
Port Jackson willow. photo from wikipedia.org
My poem is called “End of 2010: Another Science Fiction Year has Come and Gone“