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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

11TH ANNUAL TIME OF THE WRITER (article first published : 2008-03-29)

Once again Durban sparkles with literary talent as the 11th Time of the Writer gets under way. This year’s crop of talented and innovative participants range from established proven writers to young newcomers on the scene and even publishers who have managed to produce literature under the most adverse and trying conditions.

Special guest, who will arrive in Durban later in the week from Rhodes where he is to receive an honorary degree is John Pilger, acclaimed Australian journalist, author and documentary film maker.

The other participants are Henry Chakava (Kenya), Ananda Devi (Mauritius), Emmanuel Dongala (Congo Republic, Brazzaville), Dayo Forster (The Gambia/Kenya), Simao Kikamba (born in Angola, now living in South Africa), Charles Mungoshi (Zimbabwe), Shailja Patel (Kenya), and Irene Staunton (Zimbabwe).

In addition there are others we can claim as our own – Breyten Breytenbach , Max du Preez, David Evans, Michael Cawood Green, Kopano Matlwa, Kirsten Miller, Mbulelo Mzamane, Jo-Anne Richards and Angelina N. Sithebe. Regrettably, some of these have now made their homes elsewhere.

The festival was launched on Tuesday evening to a packed and enthusiastic house. Peter Rorvick, Director of the Centre for Creative Arts, introduced the evening noting that the writer was a solitary figure but that The Time of the Writer was a space for bringing writers together for public dialogue. After a moving discourse by Breyton Breytenbach, the keynote speaker, all the participants were given an opportunity to say something about themselves or their writing.

During the next few days much more will be said, discussed and debated nightly at 19h30 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and some of the daily events include Writers Talk Writing, Writers Road show, Writers in Media, Community Writing Forum, Publishing Forum, Writers Parliament and a Creative Writing Workshop. Book launches will take place before the evening sessions. The 11th Time of the Writer festival promises to be an enriching cultural experience.

Tickets, R20 for the evening sessions (R10 students), can be purchased through Computicket or at the door one hour before the event. Workshops and daily events are free. For more information contact the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts on 031 260 2506 or e-mail cca@ukzn.ac.za - Janet Whelan




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