14 Aug

ABOUT: Robyn-Jade Hosking

RJHRobyn-Jade Hosking was born in 1991 in Fish Hoek, a sleepy seaside suburb nestled in the Cape Peninsula, but spent most of her childhood and teenage years surrounded by the lush forests of Knysna after relocating to the Garden Route. She has since moved back to Cape Town and currently manages an art gallery in Muizenberg. She is studying Theory of Literature and Art History through Unisa.

Robyn-Jade has been writing poetry and songs since before she can remember, and has maintained a lifelong love affair with the English language. She has recently only started submitting her work to poetry competitions and publications. Her poetry explores a variety of themes including  human relationships, questions of identity and the mind’s capacity for escapism. Most of her more recent works focus on the relationship between self and surroundings. There is no revelation is a meditation on the relationship between sexuality and spirituality, reflecting that instances of enlightenment are not always explosive revelations, but can blossom gradually in the subtle moments of intimacy between lovers.

Poets that have inspired Robyn-Jade and influenced her work include T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath and Peter Clarke. She is also greatly influenced by visual art and music and believes that all artistic disciplines go hand in hand. She is a compulsive lyricist and has collaborated with her sister singer-songwriter Maya-Rose Torrão on several songs, with more to come. She writes prose as well as poetry, and tries to find time to work on short stories between balancing work and studies. She also makes and sells collage earrings, paints and writes online book reviews to supplement her income.

 

Robyn-Jade’s poem “There is No Revelation” appears in The #Coinage Book One

11 Jul

I know

pen

I know you’re going to want to see this letter
Wishing for comfort
Feeling misunderstood
Feeling confused because they said they love you
Feeling used
Feeling like you have everything to say
but no one has asked you,
Or you’ve run out of people to tell,
Or people to call,
Or people to take calls from…

I know you’re going to come out of this
And go into it again
And ask yourself
If you are,
And who you are,
And how you came to be
And what it all means…

I know it feels like
They all eventually leave
(Keep a door open)
I know you have to get up
And sit down without
Witnesses and enquiry

I know you look for affection
I know it feels unfair

I know you’re looking for this letter

Well then write to yourself
Write for yourself
And find out you’re enough just the way you are
And soon,
To your pain,
They’ll come back,
And you’ll wonder why they do this all the time

You stay
Let them be as they may.

I know what you want to hear
You go too long a time without the words
You go too long a time not saying them
(Who would you say them to? Would they be worth the yolk?)
I know you wish the one phone call
Would come and never cease coming

I know

And while its not, and the hours go by
And so does your life
And you ask yourself your value and your position
And your relevance and your worth
And a new haircut and polished shoes
And a new week by the sound of the alarm
But the words or the phone call
Or the misery or the doubt
Or the consequent self-loathing that go along with it

I know.

There are no answers but to answer yourself
I would rather you run without looking back
To a place of fresh start but you’ll always be running
I’d rather you beg but you’ll always be begging
I’d rather you end it all but it will always be over

I know you’re stuck in-between,
in-betwixt,
encrusted and enveloped,
Wrapped tight and chained
And when you say “help” they ask “come again?”

Its funny

But I know if you overcome and survive
You’ll not only live but you’ll know what its like to be alive.

– Thibedi Mokgokong | 2015

21 Jun

ABOUT: Khalida Moosa

kmoosaKhalida is a stay-at-home mom who has little inclination for cooking, sewing or baking.  She is a wordsmith and loves the musicality and rhythm of the written word.  She is also an avid reader and enjoys sharing good reads.  Khalida currently hosts a community book club in the South of Johannesburg.

Her poem was inspired by a need to give voice to the words which have remained silent for too long.

Khalida is interested in narratives which defy social norms.  She is attracted to writers who break boundaries around issues which address gender inequality, sex and cultural stereotypes.

She has an obsession with collecting beautiful notebooks which remain ink unstained and instead accumulates bits of paper stringing thoughts into sentences.

When not reading, writing or gardening, Khalida enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids and much adored Scottish terrier.

You can connect with her on Twitter @rosybic

 

Khalida’s poem “Words Swallowed” appears in The #Coinage Book One

19 May

ABOUT: Indigene Corefio

Indigene CorefioIndigene is no stranger to the love of word, having fallen in love with poetry from her formative years when she found refuge and therapy in writing and the expression it afforded her. Her writing spans across the universal themes of love, existential angst, divine bliss, esoteric consciousness, social challenges, sexuality, and feminism.

In 2005, Indigene began performing her poetry in Tshwane.  She launched and hosted regular poetry and Hip Hop sessions at “Cherry Jam” in Hatfield which was a customary meeting place for like-minded music lovers and spoken word enthusiasts.

Indigene moved to back Johannesburg and joined the poetry collective “Likwid Tongue” in 2006 which hosted weekly poetry shows and writing workshops at various venues in Johannesburg, while collecting clothing for charity. She performed at the international poetry festival “Urban Voices” in 2007 alongside Sarah Jones and Steve Coleman where she distributed her EP “Nymphomaniac” featuring 3 poems accompanied by music that sought to create awareness around female sexuality.

In 2008 Indigene produced, directed, performed at and hosted a fundraising event called “Black Widow” for POWA at the Baseline in Newtown that weaved together theatre/drama, comedy, poetry, jazz, vocalists, beat boxers, DJ’s and pure funk!

In 2010 Indigene’s poetry was published in an international yoga and meditation journal “Constant Remembrance” published by Sahaj Marg and distributed worldwide.

Her work is also featured on www.cntrlaltsex.co.za, “a voluntary sex positive organisation whose mission is to normalise alternative sexuality and provide informed spaces for people to talk positively and openly about sex”.

Her poetry featured alongside Tumi Molekane and Flo in an insert produced for MTV Base commemorating Youth Day.

Her work “Visions Implode” is featured at the closing of a documentary produced by Khalo Matabane commemorating Women’s Day.

She is currently editing her book “Chasing Infinity” to be published in 2016.

She has performed her poetry on various mass media platforms such as Y-fm, Kaya fm, the Citizen, Soweto TV, MTV Base and 3 Talk with Noeleen on SABC 3.

She is now the Director of Trillionaire Ess, a social entrepreneurship company that develops socially conscious ventures in the areas of ICT, Art & Culture, Communications, Strategy, Research and Multimedia Content Development.

Her poem,  “I do what”, appears in The #Coinage Book One. Of it, she says “it was written about someone have strong feelings for despite many attempts not to; an unrequited love. What it depicts is two people propelled into a post-wedding scenario when they have essentially only sparingly interacted in an intimate setting prior to this encounter. So where one would imagine, because the two are married, they would know each other well,  the poem explores a lot of seemingly small gestures: eye contact, breathing, and gentle touching, more indicative of the awkward embraces of strangers.  The poem speaks of love as a choiceless surrender which is an important aspect of what it communicates. So often we dictate to love, or try to, by demarcating where and how it ought to find expression, but I find that love happens to you, it is not a conscious decision that one elects.

17 May

How Can We Dance


shack

How can we dance when it rains so hard that
the rivers flood and our houses wash away,
When flocks are logs carried to the waterfall,
Can we still dance with all this upon us.

How can we dance when the child starves
and a mongrel steals his bone from his mouth,
When the stomach is distended like a dome,
Can we still dance when graves swallow infants.

How can we dance with so much ignorance
when foolishness is good and goodness is bad,
When reason is lost and ignorance is praised,
Can we still dance as sheep following to a precipice.

How can we dance when the sun sadly sets,
and darkness advances with unchecked speed,
When creeping wolves catch sleepy sheep,
Can we still dance when we can’t see ahead.

How can we dance when no master leads
but walks behind with view obscured, looking
aside yet not seeing to find any way ahead,
Can we still dance when we lead the leader.

How can we dance when we stay in one place;
dancing all day and all night long without moving,
as clouds burst and storms destroy houses,
How can we dance when going nowhere fast.

2015/01/22
Mohapi TWD

03 May

On Booze and Being a Writer

Lord Bryon said that “Man being reasonable must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication”. The regulars at clubs as well as authors seem to concur, so maybe I lost some memo along the way. Literature is peppered with heavy drinkers. From the Fitzgeralds to the quieter, lonelier drinkers like Charles Bukowski, there has always been a need to intoxicate in order to create. Is it because, as Lord Bryon would have us think, that truth and the best is only attainable when drunk? Being uninhibited and less self-critical sounds wonderful to me. Having some grand confidence and believing my laptop will be the birthplace of the next South African novel is not too shabby either. Should I pick out my poison of choice now? Two glasses, please.

So, what is it about the writing community and booze. Having read a few articles on the subject I think I have found the truth. Then again I was perfectly sober when writing this so can I be trusted? Writers write for an invisible audience. We create without really knowing who for, and that makes us anxious. We become self-critical and in questioning our talent, we land up questioning a lot more. We curse the human condition and never believe that anything we write will be good enough for the ghosts. Alcohol is that quick fix, it makes us little arrogant creatures that can scale that wall, hook up with Timothy’s brother or prove that there is no human endeavor we cannot overcome. But, I am not convinced that ghosts are the answer.

Do writers drink because they are so conscious of the human condition that to be away from it, distanced by a foul breath and a hangover makes writing about it easier? Do we have to ‘forget’ in order to write and in that forgetting find ourselves? I recently took a course on writing for children and what took me by surprise the most was the notion that the modern writer is a lawyer, a doctor, a kindergarten teacher with time on her hands. The idea of what ‘a writer’ is is morphing and with it are their drinking habits. I am not suggesting that there are not drunken authors, just that what an author ‘ought’ to be like is changing. Writers can be people who write for 2h a night and then cook and finish their statistics work before bed. Too often do we paint this somewhat glamorized picture in our heads about what it means to be an ‘artist’. We imagine that we, like Hemingway, we must be tortured and drunk in order to write. That the apartment in Paris and the empty gin bottles are welcomed signs of greatness. That in being drunk we are ‘most free’ and what we write will be most fine. I have never written drunk, and there is nothing about the looseness that comes with the state that I enjoy. I am a writer of notebooks, of keeping the margins clean and my water bottle full. Call me prudish but I don’t think that drink is the answer; I think reading is. By reading, we engage with others troubles, their small hopes, and their voice. We can find ourselves in the pages of other books or write ourselves into ones. Drinking may make us more confident, more self-assured but does it make us more talented. I don’t think it does. Confidence should not be in the bottle for if we look hard enough we can find that our confidence is sprinkled across the literature that came before us.

21 Apr

ABOUT: Melissa Van Hal

MvH

Melissa has faced many adversities in life. Her ambition to write started at a young age but the courage to publish her writing took several years. She enjoys writing both short stories and poems but has yet to embark upon a book.

Although, her peers encouraged and enjoyed reading her work she fought hard at school for her literary skills to be noticed but the label of being both dyslexic and ADHD were an on-going hurdle which, continued into her university years; despite achieving a Masters in History and an Honours in Psychology.

She has written papers for seminars and three theses at postgraduate level. She has been involved in educational writing since 2008. She has been a co-author to an educational book and written blogs for Pearson Education.  She also has several educational blogs which is she is currently trying to place under one site.

Her own difficulties at school developed an amazing gift of being able to relate to any child and to identify their individual strengths and potential. She currently works with children struggling in the school system and has had tremendous success. She has not published a creative work until now: It is with the inspiration of the children she works with that she decided to publish her first creative literary work.

Her poem, The Torn Soul, is featured in The #Coinage Book One; and this has inspired her to travel further down the road of creative literary works and she will be endeavouring to accomplish more published works in the near future. She intends to write works of an emotional nature to engage more deeply with her readers. Her works will also include inspirational and motivational pieces. She will continue with her educational writing as it is her dream to write a book to assist learners struggling in the school system.

She sees herself as a revolutionist and would like to be the change to encourage more people to achieve their true potential.

Find Melissa on: Eduhelp website,  Facebook and her new upcoming page.

 

 

27 Feb

ABOUT: Batia Efrat

Batia is a writer of many things, poetry being her favourite. Born to an artist mother, she found herself gifted with words at an early age. Her work explores both the thrills and fragility of the human condition – those murky spaces where few dare tread. Batia’s free style imbues her writing with poignant images that are riveting and personal.

A feminist and humanitarian at heart, Batia writes on society and politics at On the line and manages a Facebook platform called Don’t Flatter Yourself – a body-positive initiative which tackles beauty stigmas and standards in the media. Batia has a diploma in copywriting and, when she isn’t raising controversial issues, spends her time working on her music blog.

Batia’s allows the words to choose themselves, then breathe a little, before making changes – a routine she believes preserves the roughness and authenticity of her work. Batia’s poetry is intended as a performance of uncensored expression rather than as poised literature – and that’s exactly how she likes it. She feels artists can destroy a wonderful messiness in their work by over embellishing or ironing out too many kinks. Batia admits that her most memorable writings are the ones which she spent very little time correcting. “When it comes to writing poetry, my method is entirely different to when I write copy.”

Batia’s signature is her wonderful use of rhythm – a quality that comes naturally to her – and, though she has no overarching theory of it, Batia’s easy (or, if she wishes, jarring) cadence comes from an instinctive attention to words. As an author, Batia is less concerned with construction and diction than she is with the ebb and flow of a piece. “If it doesn’t sound right on the ear, it’s not working,” she says. “Poetry is meant to sing. It’s music for your mind.”

Batia’s poem Sunday renders late-capitalist modernity – and our lives in it – as tedious and grasping, evoking the sobering come-downs that follow the brief, hopeful (futile? desperate?) escapes we all ache for. Like most of Batia’s work, Sunday speaks of a frustrated pursuit of happiness and the futility (or unavoidability) of searching for fulfilment through recklessness and hedonism. Sunday is disillusioned, asking “is there nothing more to life than this?” – this plight of routine and the concealed desperation for exile and escape in a society which favours structure over freedom. Sunday tries to leave the reader feeling uneasy and isolated, and arrives at the disappointment which hides behind every elevation and ecstasy – it’s the promise that nothing good lasts forever.