The Book Show

The best Poetry Volumes in SA right now

Mathews Phosa joins Jenny Crwys-Williams and Redi Thlabi as they look at some of the best Poetry Volumes this country has seen.

Listen the Book Show spoke to some wonderful South African poets and discover their latest poems.

Chants of Freedom, by Mathews Phosa (Penguin) Paperback: R160.00

Chants of Freedom is Mathews Phosa's first English poetry anthology. Mostly written while in exile as the commander of an MK unit in Maputo, Mozambique, Phosa’s poems vividly recreate the feelings of anger, defiance, frustration, shame, pain and ultimately hope that characterised the exiles’ experience of the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa.

Jenny and Redi invited Phosa to studio where he graces his audience with an impromptu read of his poetry, listen to the interview and the reading below:

Beyond Touch, by Arja Salafranca (Modjaji Books) Paperback: R150.00 Available from www.modjajibooks.co.za

Arja Salafranca’s new poetry collection offers portraits of people on trains in England, as well as recounting the experience of being a stranger in Spain, where she was born.

She treads warily on the icy streets of London, but returns years later to have a life-changing epiphany while rowing on the Thames.

Her incisive, photographic gaze penetrates the lives of people, from an Indonesian woman in the sea to a child begging in Johannesburg.

Jenny asked Arja to read an extract from one of her poems, listen to the reading below:

Synapse, by Antjie Krog (Human & Rousseau) Paperback: R206.00 eBook: R194.00

The poems reflect Krog’s deep attachment to her homeland and her continuing involvement with this country’s complex history and people.

At the same time she is redefining her identity as an Afrikaans poet, experimenting in some poems with the distortion of language.

The talented Antjie Krog reads from her latest offering,Synapse:

Undressing in Front of The Window, by Vangi Gantsho Paperback: R130.00 Available from Protea Bookshops

Former journalist Miranda Strydom describes the book as “a collection of bold, honest work: words that pierce the conscious in language that is sometimes awkward as the artist delves into uncomfortable issues”. The award-winning musician Gloria Bosman said about the collection: “We are so different, yet alike; Vangile exposes this.”

Listen to Gantsho read an extract from her first poetry volume on The Book Show below:


This article first appeared on 702 : The best Poetry Volumes in SA right now


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