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.
Mandisi is a drummer and composer, who moonlights as a writer. He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, and spends most of his time beating drums and jump-starting his career as a songwriter. While he is more focused on his music career, he remains incurably addicted to writing and, due to this affliction, Mandisi skulks off, from time to time, and writes until he has had his fix.
King Charlatan, his poem featured in The #Coinage book One, is a highly-charged commentary on the morally ambiguous political parties in South Africa. The titled is derived from a notable and favourite novel of Mandisi’s by China Miéville, King Rat.
Mandisi’s fictional pieces haven previously been published in Sable LitMag and AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers and Unconventional Fantasy: Forty Years of World Fantasy.
Twitter, or Instagram, is the best way to keep up with Mandisi, however, one is likely to be bombarded with links to his music, band performances, esoteric music as well as random politically incorrect banter and strong anti-establishment sentiments *I like – Try*. Follow at own risk as Mandisi is not to be held liable for any brain damage incurred. He also takes zero responsibility if offended.
Robyn-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
I know you’re going to want to see this letter
Wishing for comfort
Feeling confused because they said they love you
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
To your pain,
They’ll come back,
And you’ll wonder why they do this all the time
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
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
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,
encrusted and enveloped,
Wrapped tight and chained
And when you say “help” they ask “come again?”
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
Khalida 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
Indigene 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.
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.