February 2019 Events

29 Jan 2019

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.


  • Launch of We Are The Ones We Need by Sihle Bolani
    Where: Bridge Books, 95 Commissioner Street, Between Loveday and Rissik, CBD, Johannesburg
    When: Saturday 2 February, 1 p.m. .
    About: Xarra Books in collaboration with Bridge Books brings you a book signing of the controversial memoir by Sihle Bolani. Through its memoir-esque style, We Are The Ones We Need delves into the challenges faced by black professionals in South Africa’s corporate environment.
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  • Book Discussion Miss Behave conversation with the Cheeky Natives
    Where: Bridge Books, 95 Commissioner Street, Between Loveday and Rissik, CBD, Johannesburg
    When: Friday 9 February, 1 p.m.
    About: Malebo Sephodi joins the Cheeky Natives in conversation about her book Miss Behave. What happens when a black woman decides to live her own life and becomes her own form of who she wants to be? She is often seen as misbehaving. Miss-Behave challenges society’s deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be an obedient woman.
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  • Launch of The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić (Cape Town)
    Where: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday 12 February, 5:30 p.m.
    About: Penguin Random House and The Book Lounge invite you to the launch of The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić. The author will be in conversation with Sean O’Toole at The Book Lounge.
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  • Book discussion: Everyone is Present by Terry Kurgan
    Where: WiSER Seminar room 6th Floor, Richard Ward Building East Campus, Wits University
    When: Thursday, 14 February, 1 p.m.
    About: Terry Kurgan will be discussing her book Everyone is Present with Pamila Gupta and Sarah Nuttall.
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  • Launch of Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa
    Where: Hiddingh Hall, 31 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
    When: Saturday 16 February, 5:30 p.m. for 6 p.m.
    About: The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) is proud to announce the launch of the ICA’s new book, Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa. In this ground-breaking collection of critical essays, 15 writers explore the experimental, interdisciplinary and radically transgressive field of contemporary live art in South Africa.
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  • Launch of To The Fairest Cape by Malcolm Jack
    Where: Clarke’s Bookshop, 199 Long St, Cape Town City Centre
    When: Tuesday, 19 January, 5:30 p.m.
    About: PEN SA member Malcolm Jack will be introducing his brand new historical account of European Encounters in the Cape of Good Hope (as the book is subtitled) to readers in Cape Town.
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  • Launch of North by Frank Owen (pen name of Diane Awerbuck and Alex Latimer)
    Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday, 19 January, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    About: Pen SA member Diane Awerbuck and co-author Alex Latimer will be launching a brand new novel under their pen name, Frank Owen. They will be in conversation with PEN SA member Henrietta Rose-Innis.
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  • Launch of The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić (Johannesburg)
    Where: Love Books, Bamboo Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville
    When: Wednesday 20 February, 6 p.m. for 6:30 p.m.
    About: Penguin Random House invites you to the launch of The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić. The author will be in conversation with Michele Magwood at Love Books.
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  • Book Discussion – Taura/I Zvenu: Five Bhobh
    Where: Zeitz MOCAA, Silo District, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
    When: Friday 15 February, 4 p.m.
    About: Taura/I Zvenu’, the title of heeten bhagat’s essay in the ‘Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era’ catalogue, is a play on the phrase ‘taura zvenu’ (speak about your own affairs) and ‘taurai zvenu’ (that’s what I’m talking about!). It raises questions about the experience of an artwork and its subsequent translation. Panellists will include writers, heetan bhagat, Hayden Proud and artist Berry Bickle. The discussion will be moderated by the exhibition’s curator, Tandazani Dhlakama.
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  • Pick Me Poetry Art-Fest
    Where: Get Ribbed, 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng, Joburg
    When: Thursday 14 February, 6 p.m.
    About: Another session of great open mic poetry,live music and an overall exquisite art experience
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  • 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.
    Featuring Diane Awerbuck on 1 March; Jim Pascual Agustin on 15 March.
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  • Reddits Poetry, monthly poetry nights in Grahamstown
    Where: Cafe D’Vine, 31 New Street, Grahamstown
    When: Last Friday of every month, 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.
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  • Nailed at Market Theatre
    Market Theatre, Newtown, Johannesburg
    When: 8 February – 3 March
    About: This year, the Market Theatre has decided to celebrate the centenary of our literary legend Es’kia Mphahlele by adapting PEN SA member, Niq Mhlongo’s short story ‘Nailed’, from his latest collection Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree, as part of an incubation project supported by the Department of Arts and Culture.
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  • World Read Aloud Day
    When: 1 February 2019
    About: Help Nal’ibali reach their goal to read aloud to 1.5 million children by taking their #WRADCHallenge2019 pledge today!
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