You are invited to join the Friends of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum for a reading by Cape Town writer Michael Wentworth, from his poetry collection. Cape Town-born writer, director Michael Wentworth, who currently resides in Nieu-Bethesda in the Great Karoo where he is working on a new novel, launched his debut collection of poetry titled A Love Letter for the Epoch with readings in Nieu-Bethesda and Cape Town during December.
Born in Lansdowne, Cape Town to a diversely talented family, Mikey, as he is affectionately known to friends and colleagues, patiently and determinedly nurtured his dream to be a writer since his primary school days. Wentworth became independent from a very young age, traveling continuously between Cape Town and Windhoek to visit his Namibian family. These trips soon morphed into traversing across the length and breadth of Southern Africa, profoundly nourishing and honing his skills through many encounters and projects with a broad spectrum of creative South Africans. These experiences are reflected in the diversity of his offerings as a journalist, playwright, director and poet.
Wentworth started out writing children’s theatre in Taung in the North West in 1996 and two years later his play Inside the Rainbow was shortlisted for the British Council International New Playwright’s Competition. He has since written and directed numerous dramas and musicals. He has collaborated with household names such as Itumeleng Motsikoe, Peter Mashigo, Mbali Ntuli and Manaka Ranaka but most of his work over the last decade has been produced outside Cape Town, so, atypically, he is somewhat of an enigma to his home audiences.
Career highlights include the musical Torong – A Place to Dream which he wrote, composed and directed as well as his one-man play Waiting which opened at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2008 and featured live musical accompaniment by multi-instrumentalist Hilton Schilder. The following year Wentworth returned to Cape Town to direct and co-produce with brother Gary Wentworth the multi-disciplinary performance Live rAge, which was an 80th birthday tribute to the poet and writer James Matthews, who has been a source of inspiration and encouragement over the years. (One of South Africa’s famous self-publishers whose debut collection Cry Rage was the first book of poetry to be banned by the Nationalist government.)
In 2010, the fifteenth commemoration of the murder by hanging of Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, Wentworth wrote and co-directed the play Progres’ that drew attention to the ecological devastation of the Niger Delta and the struggle for self-determination of the Ogoni people. He is known for such activism as well as his writing workshops with juveniles and youth at risk, encouraging them to develop alternate ways of self-expression.
While Self-Publishing now internationally accounts for most new work available in traditional and social media, this is still a very brave exercise, especially in South Africa.
Moreover the act of publishing one’s own verses is even more daunting at these rather complex and menacing times. A Love Letter for the Epoch however consists of poems that have been written over the last two decades and should be read as a creative take on the “birth” era of South Africa’s democracy. The Foreword to A Love Letter for the Epoch is written by fellow writer and poet Keith Adams who was first introduced by mutual friend and music director Abdel Naroth in 1995.
The Cape Town launch featured a special collaborative spontaneous expression session with musician Hilton Schilder and the acclaimed visual artist Donovan Ward who is also from Lansdowne.
A limited edition of numbered and signed copies of A Love Letter for the Epoch will be available at R100. Further orders can be made directly from Michael Wentworth.
- Date: Wednesday the 27th of February 2013
- Time: 17h30
- Venue: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Lorimer Hall, 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth
- Entrance: Free
- RSVP: 041 506 2000 or email: artmuseum[at]mandelametro.gov.za.
Refreshments will be available. Donations welcome.
The Friends are a Public Benefit Organisation who serves the Nelson Mandela Art Museum in a non-profit manner to raise funds for the purpose of enlarging the collection.
Membership forms will be available: “Be a Friend”
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/02/a-love-letter-for-the-epoch/