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Sunday, December 28, 2008


Contemporary poetry burning with love and anger.

Botsotso Publishing launches three new books in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Bluesology and Bofelosophy by Mphutlane wa Bofelo: The poems, stories and essays of Mphutlane wa Bofelo work within a framework of thinking that is an amalgam of philosophies: Black Consciousness, humanistic Islam and socialism. His voice is both lyrical and satirical, even as his barbs are sharp and his kisses tender. His beats are complex poly-rhythms that roll on in incantatory style or achieve a mystical brevity. This multi-genre collection appropriately represents his spiritually creative and socially active life.

Izinhlungu Zomphefumulo (Emotional Pain) by Bongekile Mbanjwa; English translations by Siphiwe ka Ngwenya. These thirty-five poems reflect life in Kwa-Zulu/Natal but have a wider relevance as the perspectives of a woman dealing with the uprooting of the 'old' ways and the uncertain evolution of the New South Africa. As Bongekile Mbanjwa says, "Inhloso yokubhala lencwadi yezinkondlo kumbhali kwabe kungukwenza ubuhlungu, ukudideka kanye nokuhlukumezeka okwahlukahlukene esibhekana nacho imihla ngemihla yokuphila kwethu. Leminjunju kuyofuneka ilandelwe yisisombululo salenkanankana." (My aim in writing this book was to expose pain, confusion and the different types of abuse we face every day of our lives. I also wish to show that this suffering and pain must be followed by solutions.)

Sections of Six (edited by Allan Kolski Horwitz) features work by Khanyi Magubane, Matodzi Gift Ramashia and Alison Green (who will be present) and Natalie Railoun, Abu Bakr Solomons and Thuto Mako. The book contains compact selections of 20 poems by each and is complemented by photographs by Natalie Railoun, Neo Ntsoma and Thuto Mako. The range of South Africans' often fragmented experience is best captured when individual testimonies are placed side by side – not to replace but to augment each other. These six poets cover a wide spectrum of situations, moods and concerns – sections of six spirits laid bare for those who wish to appreciate the multiplicity of our identities.