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PREMIERE FOR LIVINGSTONE POEM (article first published : 2005-08-20)

It has long been thought that everything written by the late Durban poet Douglas Livingstone was definitively documented. Arguably South Africa's greatest poet, his work is revered around the world. The Douglas Livingstone Collection holds pride of place in the National English Library Museum at Rhodes University and last year his voluminous collected works was published under the title A Ruthless Fidelity.

Last month, the literary world received with joy the news that a large selection of previously unknown Livingstone poems and other writings was discovered. Included in the find is a 55-page epic written in 1971, 25 years before the poet’s death. It is called The Voyage of the Zoobie and subtitled An Epic of Deep-Space for Young Astronauts and promises to delight young and old alike.

The Live Poets' Society (LiPS) in Durban is honoured to be presenting the world première of a selection from that and other new-found Livingstone works. This historic event takes place at 18h00 on August 30 in the Quarterdeck of The Point Yacht Club.

The poems will be read by actor, playwright, director and author Professor Pieter Scholtz who will also deliver a brief introduction of the poet, who was a good friend of his. He will also reveal how and where this treasury of poems was discovered. He will be accompanied by well-known actor, director, broadcaster and journalist, Caroline Smart, who also knew Douglas Livingstone well.

A bronze portrait bust of Douglas Livingstone is housed at Durban's Kwasuka Theatre. Sculpted by Durban artist, Hannah Lurie, the bust was stolen two years ago from the Douglas Livingstone Courtyard at Kwasuka. On its mysterious return it was discovered that a piece of the sculpture had been cut away and obviously analysed as to its value because the report was still attached to the bust. The work is now placed in a safer haven inside the theatre!

As there is no booking and a major response is expected, it is advisable to arrive early to get a good seat. All are welcome regardless of whether they write poetry. As LiPS has always tried to be accessible to all, entrance is on a pay-what-you-can basis although the main event will be a professional presentation.

The evening's theme is simply "Livingstone". Those with poems which could be linked to the subject in any of its forms or incarnations are invited to present them. This section of the get-together will be followed by the Poet Pourri session when poets may air their work on any subject they wish.

There is a limited menu, cash bar and guarded parking. Further details from Brett Beiles on 031 266 4762, 082 516 0517 or email thirdeye@3i.co.za




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