February 2018 events

22 Jan 2018

Below you’ll find a list of literary events featuring PEN South Africa members, as well as a selection of other noteworthy launches, classes, performances, exhibitions, readings and workshops happening around South Africa.

If there is an event you’d like us to feature please let us know.


  • World Read Aloud Day 2018
    Where: Throughout South Africa
    When: Thursday 1 February 2018, all day
    About: Nal’ibali believes that reading for enjoyment has to be inculcated in children from a young age. To this end, Nal’ibali hopes to organise readings to one million children this World Read Aloud Day. To do this, they need the help of lots of readers! You can sign up here.
  • Copyright Workshop hosted by PEN Afrikaans
    Where: TBA, Pretoria
    When: Saturday 24 February 2018, time TBA
    About: Parliament is in the process of revising South Africa’s copyright legislation. Members of the creative industries have formed a body called the Copyright Alliance to respond to the Amendment Bill and are in the process of creating public awareness of pertinent topics. A specific focus is how the Bill will impact on authors, artists, musicians, performers and the industries that invest in their work. Thus, an important Copyright Workshop for authors, artists, musicians, performers and the industries that invest in their work will be held in Pretoria.
    More details.


  • In Light of What We Write: A Literary Event
    Where: YoungbloodAfrica, 72 Bree St, Cape Town
    When: Saturday 17 February 2018; exhibition 4–6 pm, performances 6–8pm
    About: Featuring work from South Africa and the United Kingdom by Koleka Putuma, Lidudumalingani, Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese, Allison Claire Hoskins, Julie Nxadi, Linda Kaoma, Young Fathers, Hollie McNish, Eyes of others and Michael Pederson.


  • Lunch (and launch!) with Curry author Ishay Govender-Ypma
    Where: Masala Dosa, 167 Long Street, Cape Town
    When: 12.30, Saturday 3 February (the conversation begins at 13.00 sharp)
    About: AERODROME and Masala Dosa invite you to join Ishay Govender-Ypma for an intimate three-course lunch as she chats with Ming-Cheau Lin about her book CURRY: Stories & Recipes Across South Africa. Tickets are R170 (vegetarian option) and R185 (meat option).
    More details and tickets
  • Launch of That kind of door by Alan Finlay
    Where: The Book Shoppe, Tokai Junction, Main Road, Tokai
    When: Thursday 8 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: That kind of door, Finlay’s fifth collection of poems, is a narrative of linked poems. A man loves a woman who lives on one continent and is a devoted father to his two sons who live on another – a situation that finds him sometimes in unbearable anguish. That kind of door describes his life/lives, in a lyrical sequence of taut musicality and precise sparse imagery.
    RSVP: events@thebookshoppe.co.za
  • Launch of In My Shoes: 40 original stories from refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town
    When: Monday 12 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: Featuring readings from contributors.
    RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
  • Launch of Justify the Enemy, non-fiction by Zakes Mda
    Where: Wallenberg Research Centre (STIAS, Stellenbosch University), 10 Marais Street, 7600 Stellenbosch
    When: Tuesday 13 February 2018, 5:30  p.m.
    About: Justify the Enemy is a collection of non-fiction by the prolific author Zakes Mda. It showcases his role as a public intellectual with the inclusion of public lectures, essays and media articles. Mda focuses on South Africa’s history and the present, identity and belonging, the art of writing, human rights, global warming and why he is unable to keep silent on abuses of power.
  • Launch of Under Glass by Claire Robertson
    Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
    When: Tuesday 13 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: At once a deeply researched historical novel and an intriguing mystery, Under Glass  is a high-stakes narrative of deception and disguise that will appeal to a range of readers of literary fiction by one of the country’s finest novelists. Claire will be in conversation with Ann Donald.
    RSVP: 0217882266 or events@kalkbaybooks.co.za
  • Launch of Odyssey of an African Opera Singer by Musa Ngqungwana
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday 13 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: An inspiring story of one man’s rise from poverty and oppression to success and fame in the international world of opera. Musa will be in conversation with Rodney Trudgeon.
    RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
  • Unfinished Business: A Conversation with Ashraf Jamal
    Where: Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
    When: Wednesday 14 February 2018, 1.30 p.m.
    About: Author Ashraf Jamal and Sven Christian revisit the work of a number of artists who have held a very particular position within the South African vocabulary.
  • Launch of Building a Capable State: Service Delivery in Post-Apartheid South Africa by Ian Palmer, Nishendra Moodley and Susan Parnell
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town
    When: Wednesday 14 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: This comprehensive examination of urban service delivery in the global South assesses whether the South African government has succeeded in improving service delivery, focusing on the vital sectors of water and sanitation, energy, roads and public transport. Emphasising the often-overlooked role of local government institutions, the book demonstrates that effective service delivery can have a profound effect on the social structure of emerging economies, and must form an integral part of any future development strategy. Ian Palmer (UCT African Centre for Cities) will be in conversation with Derek Powell (UWC Community Law Centre).
    RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
  • Making the Invisible, Visible: A Discussion with Thania Petersen
    Where: Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
    When: Sunday 18 February 2018, 4 p.m.
    About: Cultural analyst and author Ashraf Jamal sits down with artist Thania Petersen to discuss how her work question colonialism and post-colonialism in an effort to locate “place” in contemporary society.
  • Launch of An Unobtrusive Vice by Tony Ullyatt
    Where: David Krut Projects, Montebello Design Centre, 31 Newlands Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday 20 February 2018, 6 p.m. for 6:30 p.m.
    About: Join Dryad Press to hear renowned poet and critic Joan Hambidge in conversation with Tony Ullyatt at David Krut Projects.
    RSVP: elize@davidkrut.com
    More details
  • Launch of Mine by Sally Partidge
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland St, Cape Town
    When: Wednesday 21 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: You are invited to the launch of Sally Partridge’s fifth novel for young adults, MineMine is the roller coaster love story of Finley September and Kayla Murphy, two teenagers trying to make sense of their lives in the Mother City. In each other they find that all-for-nothing love they’ve been searching for – but also a sense of belonging. Until the ghosts from their past emerge to try and break them apart.
    RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
  • Launch of Knucklebone by Nechama Brodie
    Where: Exclusive Books Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg
    When: Thursday 22 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: Join Pan Macmillan SA for the launch of Nechama Brodie’s debut novel Knucklebone at Exclusive Books, Rosebank Mall. The veteran journalist and five-book author will be in conversation with well-known radio personality Karabo Kgoleng.
    Facebook event
  • Entanglements and Aftermaths: Reflections on Memory and Political Time, a conference by WiSER
    Where: WISER, 6th Floor Richard Ward Building, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
    When: Saturday 24 February 2018, 11 a.m.
    About: Entanglements and Aftermaths will investigate connections between histories that persist into the present and reflect on the role of memory in our understanding of political time. Do histories end when they are declared to end, or do they have an afterlife that makes it difficult to distinguish the past from the present? What is the role played by silence, repression and absence as technologies of forgetting? How are reparations claims shaped by the politics of memory? When and under what circumstances do the trials of memory, invested with the injunction to justice, turn from matters of personal or public healing to a reiteration of violence? These are just some of the questions that the conference will pose and confront across a wide range of sessions.
    Click here for the full programme. (PDF download)
  • Storytime and launch of My Great Expedition by Justin Fox
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town
    When: Saturday 24 February 2018, 11 a.m.
    About: A reading with Justin Fox from his new children’s book, My Great Expedition. Colouring activities and a lucky draw, too!
    RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
  • Launch of Brutal Legacy by Tracy Going
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland St, Cape Town
    When: Wednesday 28 February 2018, 6 p.m.
    About: Tracy will be in conversation with Sara-Jayne King.
    RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com


  • Off the Wall, weekly poetry readings in Observatory
    Where: A Touch Of Madness, 12 Nuttall Road, Observatory, Cape Town
    When: Every Thursday night, 7:30 p.m.
    About: Off the Wall poetry invites established poets to give readings every Thursday night, followed by an open-mix session. The open-mic session is for anyone, from first-timers to veterans, to perform their own poetry or that of other poets.
    More details
  • Beverly Rycroft at Kamili Coffee
    Where: Kamili Coffee, 48 Harrington Street, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday 6 February 2018, 5:30pm onwards
    About: A regular reading of poetry/essays/extracts/prose by invited authors on the first Tuesday of every month at Kamili Coffee. This month’s edition features Beverly Rycroft, whose second poetry collection, A Private Audience, was published by Dryad Press in October 2017
    More details
  • ‘n aand saam met Bibi Slippers en ander bekroonde digters
    Where: Exclusive Books Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria
    When: Tuesday 13 February 2018, 6pm onwards
    About: A reading by Bibi Slippers, author of Fotostatmasjien, and other poets.
    RSVP: brooklyn@exclusivebooks.co.za
  • Reddits Poetry, monthly poetry nights in Grahamstown
    Where: Cafe D’Vine, 31 New Street, Grahamstown
    When: Friday 26 January 2018, 6 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
    About: Reddits has been running monthly poetry nights in Grahamstown for over a decade. Come for featured readings and an open mic.
    More details


  • Another One’s Bread, a new play by Mike van Graan
    Where: Mannie Manim Theatre, Market Theatre, Johannesburg
    When: 10 January–4 February 2018; nightly (other than Mondays) at 20:15 and at 15:15 on Sundays.
    About: The complex dynamics of food insecurity, nutrition and hunger play out in a new theatre production written by PEN SA member Mike van Graan (When Swallows Cry), and directed by award-winning veteran TV actress, Pamela Nomvete.
    More details and tickets
  • Whistle Stop, a play by Ameera Patel
    Where: POPArt Theatre, Maboneng Johannesburg
    When: Thursday 15 February 2018–Sunday 18 February 2018
    About:Penned by Naledi Award-winning playwright Ameera Patel, Whistle Stop is the quirky love story that begins with a woman on a park bench whistling to herself as she browses through a magazine. The production is directed by Frances Slabolepszy and stars Patel and her real-life partner, Jaques de Silva.