Grace A. Musila asks Hugo ka Canham about his book Riotous Deathscapes. They explore riotous methods, rural Mpondoland, precarity, storytelling, death and life as well as the natural and ancestral worlds.
Bongani Kona interviews Gabeba Baderoon and Roger Reeves about their books The History of Intimacy and Dark Days: Fugitive Essays.
Kudakwashe Vanyoro interviews John Marnell and Alejandra Oliva about their books Seeking Sanctuary and Rivermouth. They deliberate about telling other people’s stories, the experiences of LGBTIQ migrants, immigration policies, translation, faith-based organisations and solidarity.
Yewande Omotoso asks Camille Dungy about her latest book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden. They delve into nature writing, gardening, radical generosity, writing revisions, the ethics of fellowship grants, hope and resilience.
Vuyokazi Ngemntu invites LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs and Sihle Ntuli to reflect on their poetic practice, language and dispossession, literacies, influences, rootedness, Black women’s histories and music.
Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed talk with Betty Govinden about their book Durban’s Casbah. They reflect on personal and collective pasts, bunny chows and bioscopes, critical nostalgia, indentured labour, migration, jazz and the Casbah today.
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers interviews Sarah Lubala and Mahtem Shiferraw about their poetry collections, A History of Disappearance and Nomenclatures of Invisibility.
Mia Arderne asks Jade Song about their debut novel Chlorine. They discuss beliefs about mermaids, girlhood, magical realism, mental illness, writing about violence and sexual assault, reclaiming one’s body, queer narratives and advice for writers.
Khanya Mtshali asks Jarred Thompson and Tyriek White about their novels The Institute for Creative Dying and We Are a Haunting
KB Brookins talks with Maneo Mohale about their poetry collection Freedom House. They contemplate poetry, social justice, community, police brutality, Blackness and transness as well as hope.
Sean O’Toole asks Bronwyn Law-Viljoen and Idra Novey about their novels Notes on Falling and Take What You Need. They discuss the emotional repertoires of their characters, the political context of their work, art-making as well as writing about mothers and daughters.
Lester Walbrugh asks Manuel Muñoz about his latest collection of short stories: The Consequences. Manuel reflects on his Mexican-American identity, working on farms as a young boy and embracing his family’s stories.
Cristina Rivera Garza is in conversation with Stacy Hardy about her book Liliana’s Invincible Summer. Cristina reflects on the process of writing this celebration of the life of her sister Liliana, who was murdered in 1990 by an ex-boyfriend.
Bongani Kona asks poet Charif Shanahan about his latest collection Trace Evidence: poems (Tin House, 2023).
Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi asks Athambile Masola and Makhosazana Xaba about their book Noni Jabavu: A Stranger at Home.
Angelo Fick asks Darryl Pinckney about his book Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-seventh Street, Manhattan.
Sisonke Msimang interviews Barbara Masekela about her memoir Poli Poli.
Bongani Kona hosts Robin Coste Lewis for a discussion of her award-winning poetry collections To the Realisation of Perfect Helplessness and Voyage of the Sable Venus.
Sandile Ngidi and Uhuru Phalafala honour the life and legacy of Keorapetse “Bra Willie” Kgositsile.
Ekow Duker asks Millard Arnold about his book The Testimony of Steve Biko.
Nosipho Mngomezulu asks Joel Cabrita about her groundbreaking new book Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala.
Mandisa Haarhoff interviews Jaclyn Cole in the first episode of our Black History season.
Thando Njovane chairs a discussion with Rešoketšwe Manenzhe and LaToya Watkins about their debut novels Scatterlings and Perish, respectively.
Angela Makholwa interviews Margie Orford and Marcie Rendon about their latest novels The Eye of the Beholder and Sinister Graves, respectively.
Akil Kumarasamy and Alistair Mackay talk to Abdul-Malik Sibabalwe Oscar Masinyana about their novels Meet Us by the Roaring Sea and It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, respectively.
Baeletsi Tsatsi interviews Sheila Arnold and Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa about the art of storytelling.
Efemia Chela asks Mark Gevisser and Sarah Schulman about their books The Pink Line and Let the Record Show, respectively.
Dylan Valley interviews Kitso Lynn Lelliott and Bayeté Ross Smith about their artistic practice and projects.
PEN SA board member Bongani Kona interviews Claire Schwartz and Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon.
Featured image credits: Albie Sachs by Steve Gordon In this special episode, PEN SA president Nadia Davids invites Justice Albie Sachs to reflect on his first book, The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs (1966) – a testament to his resistance…
Nikiwe Solomon and Lucas Bessire share their experiences of researching and writing about rivers in Cape Town and aquifers in Kansas. They contemplate the language of denialism, depletion and toxicity, anthropology as activism, redefining value, and responding to the planetary crisis.
Julie Otsuka talks to Bongani Kona about her three novels: When the Emperor was Divine, The Buddha in the Attic and The Swimmers. Their conversation engages with painting, memory, community, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War 2, book bans, writing in the first person plural and more.
`Thank you for visiting the PEN SOUTH AFRICA website. We are excited to announce Season Two of our podcast, The Empty Chair. This “Transatlantic Conversation” explores issues of social justice, freedom of expression in art and in life, moments of solidarity, difference, our difficult pasts, uncertain presents, and possible futures. Give it a listen.