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TIME OF THE WRITER (article first published : 2006-02-17)

Internationally-acclaimed American writer Alice Walker, who was scheduled to appear at the 9th Time of the Writer Festival hosted in Durban by the Centre for Creative Arts in March, is now unable to attend due to the ill-health of a family member.

"We are very saddened that Ms Walker is now unable to visit South Africa, as we believe she would have added enormous value to the festival," says Peter Rorvik, Director of the Centre for Creative Arts. "She has expressed great disappointment at not being able to be here, but we are hopeful that she will attend at a future date. We respect the fact that she has to remain close to her family at this time and wish them strength and courage."

The Time of the Writer Festival takes place from March 20 to 25 and the line up of celebrated writers include Nigerian Chris Abani; outspoken American journalist Eliot Weinberger; Bernardine Evaristo from the United Kingdom, and Amitav Ghosh from India as well as South Africans Eric Miyeni, Kagiso Lesego Molope, OEHM Nxumalo, Marguerite Poland, Marita van der Vyver, Ingrid Winterbach and the provocative cartoonist Zapiro.

The continent of Africa further supplies a diverse spread of writers and these include the Angolan Josť Eduardo Agualusa; Patrice Nganang from Cameroon; Monica Arac de Nyeko from Uganda; Ayu Utami from Indonesia, and Abdelkader Benali who represents both Morocco and the Netherlands. These luminaries give further global reach to the festival's interactions.

The festival includes public presentations, readings, discussions and book launches which take place every evening at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. There is a range of activities including workshops, a publishing forum, an educators forum and a prison writing programme.

Of special interest this year is the conference organized by the Centre for African Literary Studies called The Changing Face of African Literature, which runs from March 21 to 23 on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Tickets R20 for the evening sessions (R10 students) can be purchased through Computicket or at the door one hour before the event. Workshops and seminars are free.

For more information on Time of the Writer visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za or contact The Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal on 031 260 2506 or e-mail cca@ukzn.ac.za

The Centre for Creative Arts acknowledges funders and partners with great appreciation: National Lottery Distribution Fund, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, HIVOS, French Institute of South Africa, Royal Netherlands Embassy, British Council, Ethekwini Municipality and the City of Durban.




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