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SHABBIR BANOOBHAI FOR LIPS (article first published : 2007-06-16)

Shabbir Banoobhai, the celebrated Durban poet now living in Cape Town, is to launch his eighth collection at the next gathering of the Live Poets’ Society (LiPS). Entitled water would suffice – reflections of love, it is the second of an intended series of such “reflections”, although his other works also embody aspects of this “many splendoured” subject.

The event will take place in The Quarterdeck of Durban’s Point Yacht Club on June 26 at 18h00. Elegantly designed by Sumayya Essack and beautifully produced, the book will be available at just R100 – a generous discount from bookshop prices. Shabbir Banoobhai’s other works will also be available.

A protégé of the late, great poet Douglas Livingstone who mentored him, Shabbir Banoobhai’s work has been praised by some of South Africa’s leading poets and editors including Joan Metelerkamp and Kobus Moolman. In 2001 he was awarded the Thomas Pringle Poetry Prize for his poem sarajevo, an account of his failed attempt to enter that besieged city.

A former anti-apartheid campaigner, Shabbir Banoobhai still speaks for victims of oppressive regimes elsewhere and therefore his personal poems frequently carry a political message. Yet as a grand humanitarian, his political poems often extend to spiritual dimensions. He has consequently been compared to the mystical poets of the great Persian tradition.

As he is in effect returning home to Durban, Shabbir Banoobhai has nominated the evening’s theme as Homecoming. Those with poems which home in on this subject are invited to present them after the main event. Then in the Poet Pourri session, poems on any subject may be aired.

Entry is free and all are welcome even if they don’t yet write poetry. Guarded parking is available at R5 and there is a cash bar. More details from Brett Beiles on 031 266 4762.

For more details on Shabbir Banoobhai visit www.veilsoflight.com




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