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New collection of poems in partnership with KKNK

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 A new Afrikaans poetry collection, with verses about the Covid-19 pandemic, will be published in May this year. This bundle, Maskers en mure, offers all Afrikaans poets - established and emerging - the opportunity to express the impact of the pandemic on people and their lives. The compilers are the poets Daniel Hugo and Francois de Jongh, with the support of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. It is published by Turksvy Publications.

Established Afrikaans poets have already been invited to submit previously unpublished poems. Now the compilers are looking for new voices - contributions from poets who have not yet been published, and who want to make their debut as a poet.  

All contributions should have the pandemic as a core theme, and can be submitted until the end of February for selection. Where necessary, contributions will be created by Hugo and the Oudtshoorn poet and co-founder of Turksvy Publications, Hannes Visser.

"Poetry has been one of the most powerful art forms over the centuries to capture the zeitgeist of a historical event," says Hugo Theart, artistic director of the KKNK. "It is precisely in challenging times that the arts and literature are the most powerful weapon: to entertain, analyze, archive and assist as a therapeutic medium with a process of healing."  

The celebration of poetry is close to the heart of the KKNK. "In 2020, the new poetry project and venue, the Santie de Jager Digtersden, would be launched with the support of the Jannie Mouton Foundation," says Theart, "but due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival was forced to be canceled. It is therefore a privilege for us to be part of a poetry project that captures the pandemic in a publication. ”  

According to Visser, word art reflects the emotions, moods and perceptions of a language's people in a certain period of time and under specific circumstances. "This volume is Afrikaans poets' articulation of a global story of fear, but also courage and comfort in a strange time."

Marlene Malan, journalist and co-founder of Turksvy Publications, says Maskers en mure tells in verse the story of a year of isolation, loneliness and loneliness; of fear and loss. "But also of a time when people try to make sense of this horror - through creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, of which this collection of poems is a reflection". 

Hugo says poems are often more powerful than news reports. "When the world was hit by the Great Flu a hundred years ago, the newspapers were full of it. But as far as I know, not a single Afrikaans poem has been written about it. As a result, this earth-shattering event has disappeared from the collective memory of Afrikaans readers. It must not happen again with this pandemic. " 

Interested parties can send their contributions by e-mail to Daniel Hugo by Sunday 28 February 2021, at danielhugo.skryf@gmail.com

The KKNK is sponsored by Absa and Media24. The presidential stimulus package (stream 1), administered by the National Arts Council (NAC) on behalf of the national Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DCAS), supports the KKNK in its current activities.