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Friday, June 3, 2011


A selection of poems from Floss M. Jay’s anthology, A Drawer Full of Flowers, will be read by her and her two companions, Diana Wilson and Hazel Barnes - a trio from the 1960’s Natal University Drama Department in Durban. This forms the next Mondays at Seven programme at St Clement’s in Musgrave Road.

Classical guitarist Peter Tennant (and sometime Classics lecturer at PMB, UKZN) will punctuate readings with musical interludes. There will be time allotted for requests, questions and comments.

In 2010, Floss Jay launched her volume of poems, selected from her writing over 30 years, in Pietermaritzburg, at the Grahamstown Festival and at the Cape Town Book Fair. Published by umSinsi Press and edited by the late Lionel Abrahams and Stephen Coan, comments on her work have suggested that her poetry invites the reader to experience “the unguarded immediacy, intimacy and frankness” of a poetic voice described by Abrahams as that of a “priestess of feeling.”

Each of the four sections of the anthology reflects a theme coalesced in moments of feeling. In the notes, “About the poet”, flowers are seen in her life as metaphorically present and blooming, absent, lost and dead, or as a living part of her being. The sections take their titles from poems included in the volume and, in turn, they manifest exhilaration (Eating Jewellery), the necessary structures of human living (Bones), the very dark passages of human experience (In The Belly Of The Whale) and the gentling acceptances we may be fortunate to arrive at sometimes (Bridged With Stillness).

CUE reviewer at the Grahamstown Festival writes, “Like the sunflowers in her work, her layers of creativity bear fruit through her expressive imagery…There are many dimensions to this woman: daughter, mother, wife, writer and psychotherapist, and she shares them all through her poems.”

Litnet reviewer, Janet van Eeden, writes: "Few can remain unaffected by her visceral and powerful imagery and her vibrant use of language...Her innate sense of humour permeates all but the very saddest of the poems and makes this anthology sparkle with life."

Mondays at Seven at St. Clements cultivate a culture of bistro entertainment – art, poetry, music, film drama, etc. St Clements is situated at 191 Musgrave Road on the righthand side a short way down Musgrave after the St Thomas Road intersection. Mondays at Seven run between 19h00 and 20h00. Table bookings is advised on 031 202 2511. There is no cover charge but there is a donations box to support presenters