Thibedi Mokgokong is a poet who discovered writing through the strain of living in a house where “a child is seen but not heard.” Poetry was a way to express complex and suppressed emotions in a verbose but quiet manner. The weight in his poetry comes from words and expressions long kept but never spoke.
Jeannie Wallace McKeown lives in Makhanda (previously Grahamstown) and works full-time at Rhodes University. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Rhodes, and has had poems published in New Coin, New Contrast, Poetry Potion, Aerodrome and other literary journals. Her work appears in the anthologies Voices Of This Land 2nd Edition, For Rhino in a Shrinking World, the EU Sol Plaatjie collections VII and VIII, and on the AVBOB Poetry website. She is the mother of two boys, has just the perfect number of cats, and a dog who wasn’t planned but is now an integral part of the family. Her collection, Unremembered Poems, will be published by Modjaji Books in 2019.
Her poem “Even-Handed” is featured in The Coinage Book Two. It is a simple and beautifully written reflection on the concurrent exploration, experimentation, growth and change within ourselves and others.
His fiction has been published in the likes of Afrosf: Science Fiction by African Writers, and Omenana. His poetry has been published in The Coinage Book One, and his academic work featured in The Thinker. He is also a proud charter member of the African Speculative Fiction Society.
Recently, Mandisi has been experimenting with speculative poetry with a focus on fantastical, science fiction and/or elements of horror. His poem, “Black Hole Fugue” explores the theme of change through the ups and downs of anxiety and depression. While the poem itself is not precisely science-fiction, there is a clear allusion to black holes, and the almost fugue state of depressive episodes. Much like the current science around black holes states, a depressive episode can feel like a time warp, where something is sucking you in (the gravitational pull of a black hole sucks in all matter, including light), and you don’t know what’s on the other side.
As a freelancer, she also operates under “all things creative”, a company which specialises in event planning, book design and layout, corporate and branding identity, photography, video production and copy-writing.
2018 sent her on a whirlwind word-adventure of finding her writing voice. She experimented with poetry, the result of which a poem titled “Age Rage” – an ode to a woman coming to terms with her fading beauty and changing body as she struggles to find relevance in the new and continuously changing world – which will be featured in The Coinage Book Two.
Kgetsa is a talented, gifted, versatile and multilingual artist who enjoys the ability to capture the hearts of his audience through poetry. He has an electrifying stage performance of the highest standard. He normally performs at corporate events, offering poetry on a range of topics to suit the audience.
Kgetsa is a member Penpals Poets, a group of performing poets committed using poetry as a medium to educate, entertain and inform. Their style has been described by their audience as a prolific and compelling, engaging different audiences in the themes they explore.
Kgetsa has shared the stage with the biggest names in poetry namely: Poet Laureate Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, David wa Maahlamela, Mak Manaka and Afurakan. to name a few. He has performed for the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, the head of the UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Nqcuka, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa, Mandla Makhanya amongst many others.
Kgetsa’s poem, My African National, Corruption is featured in The #Coinage Book One and explores the current political climate in post-apartheid South Africa.
Wanda Verster is an architect, an academic and a writer (in training). She lives in Bloemfontein and is deeply connected to this strange central town that tries to be a city. She developed a love for stories through the influence of her Grandparents, who loved history, her mother who read to her from an early age and her father who stocked their house with great literary works.
Wanda is published as an academic writer but this is the first fiction that has been accepted for publication. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing short stories since her school days. Her training as a writer was strictly academic, through her studies in architecture and Art history. As with most lecturers, a bit of formality always sneaks in when she tries her hand at writing anything other than fact-driven arguments.
Her published work is limited to the academic world. She has written research articles for the South African Journal of Art history and has contributed to architectural publications.
She writes sporadically between grading assignments and submitting plans and aspires to have more creative writing published in future. She does have half a novel on a hard drive and a few loose ideas for other essays and short stories, but her current writing project is sadly not a creative work. It is the time-consuming painful slog of a Ph.D
. All Wanda’s creative writing is fuelled by vast amounts of coffee, procrastination and a desire for a creative outlet.
Footnote was inspired by the lecturers that shaped her career, a few imagined scenes and a love for the world of academics.