Award winning local poet, Brian Walter, will be presenting a talk and reading from his published collection of poems titled Baakens at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, 1 Park Drive, Central, PE on 17 June 2015. Guests are welcome to arrive between 17:30 and 18:00. Refreshments will be available.
Brian Walter uses the valley as a focus of a poetic meditation, wandering into the realms of the past, memory, racial divides, forgiveness and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Walter’s early life and childhood experiences were intimately connected with a small portion of the valley which he explored with school friends, and discovered both the natural world and the people who lived across the river, in Fairview.
Like South End, the non-white communities of Fairview were forcibly removed from their land during Apartheid and in his poetry Brian reflects on how the valley was both a link and divide between people living on either side of the river. Time has, in his words, “crossed” him to that community, with his marriage into “our own Pillay” family of old South Enders.
Copies of Brian’s poetry collection will be on sale at the NMM Art Museum. The books cost R 70 each.
The poetry reading coincides with the NMM Art Museum exhibition Celebrating the Baakens Valley which is currently on at the Art Museum and ends 18 July 2015.
To RSVP, please telephone the Art Museum on 041 506 2000.
Brian Walter Biography:
Walter is an Eastern Cape poet, from Port Elizabeth, but he has spent a lot of time in the Alice region, working at the University of Fort Hare. His writing is often centred on the Eastern Cape landscapes and peoples, against which he looks at both society and self.
Walter has four books of published poetry, Tracks and Baakens (Lovedale Press), Mousebirds (Seaberg), and Otherwise and Other Poems (Echoing Green Press) and has co-authored Groundwork (MacMillan), an introduction to reading and writing about poetry, with Felicity Wood. He is the winner of the following awards for poetry: 1999 – Thomas Pringle Award for poetry published in journals; 2000 – The Ingrid Jonker Prize for Tracks, published 1999; 2000 – Premier’s Arts and Culture Awards, Eastern Cape, for literature; 2005 – Award for Outstanding Literature, National Department of Arts and Culture.
He has collaborated with both artists (Hillary Graham, Elaine Matthews) and other poets, working regularly with an informal group ECCA, which was originally formed with colleagues from Fort Hare, and which currently includes Cathal Lagan, Norman Morrissey, Silke Heiss, Alvené du Plessis and Laura Kirsten, and with the Helenvale Poets from Port Elizabeth.
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