Join PEN SA in Commemorating the 2017 Day of the Imprisoned Writer

08 Nov 2017
Join PEN SA in Commemorating the 2017 Day of the Imprisoned Writer

PEN South Africa and the Institute for Creative Arts, University of Cape Town invite you to join us in commemorating PEN’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer on 15 November 2017.

It is a day that marks, globally, the persecution, and imprisonment of writers peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.

This year’s cases include Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa (Honduras), Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (Vietnam), Ramón Esono Ebalé (Equitorial Guinea), Razan Zaitouneh (Syria), and Zehra Doğan (Turkey). Updates on Dareen Tatour (Israel) and Stella Nyanzi will also be provided. More information on the cases can be found here.

Join us for an evening wherein we celebrate literature, free expression and declare our solidarity with imprisoned writers everywhere.

There will be readings by Gabeba Baderoon, Damon Galgut, Mark Gevisser, Siphokazi Jonas, Nick Mulgrew and Toni Stuart.

While the event is free, seating is limited so please be sure to confirm your attendance:

When: Wednesday 15 November, 6 for 6.30pm
Where: Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town,
Inquiries/RSVP: communications@pensouthafrica.co.za

Gabeba Baderoon is the author of the collections The Dream in the Next Body (2005), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005) and A hundred silences (2006). She received the Daimler Award for South African Poetry and is Gabeba Baderoon b&wa member of the African Poetry Book Fund. She teaches at Pennsylvania State University, where she co-directs the African Feminist Initiative. For 2017, she is an Artist in Residence at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, where she is working on a new collection of poems, Axis and Revolution.


Damon Galgut is the award-winning author of several novels, a collection of short stories and a number of plays. His novels, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Good Doctor and The Impostor have won the 1991 Damon GalgutCNA award, the 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa Region) and the 2008 University of Johannesburg Prize respectively. He has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, for The Good Doctor (2003) and more recently for In a Strange Room (2010). His work has been translated into several languages. His most recent novel, Arctic Summer, was published in 2014.


Mark Gevisser, is a prize-winning South African author and journalist. His new book, The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers will be published in late 2018. His previous books include Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred, which won the Alan Paton Prize in 2008, and Lost and Found in Johannesburg (2014). Mark Gevisser His journalism has appeared in publications and journals including Granta, the New York Times, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Public Culture, and Art in America. He has been an Open Society Fellow and is also a curator and documentary film maker.


Siphokazi Jonas is a storyteller and stories of ordinary lives fuel her work in poetry and in the theatre. Her experience of growing up in Komani, in the Eastern Cape, during the transition years of South Africa’s democracy, has an on-going influence on the kinds of stories which she tells. S Jonas b&w Her work engages questions of faith, identity, gender based violence, cultural and linguistic alienation, black women in rural spaces, and the politics of the everyday. She has appeared at the Open Book Festival, Word and Sound International Youth Festival and Poetry Africa. Jonas has been a featured act at numerous poetry sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. She was crowned as the first Cape Town Ultimate Slam Champion in 2015.


Nick Mulgrew b&wNick Mulgrew was born in Durban in 1990 to British parents. He is the author of three books, including Stations, which is shortlisted for the 2017 Nadine Gordimer Award, and his latest, The First Law of Sadness. He is the fiction editor of Prufrock and the publisher of the award-winning poetry press, uHlanga. He lives in Cape Town.


Toni Stuart is a South African poet, performer and spoken word educator. Her performances include, a group show at the Paris Autumn Festival 2013 (as part of France South Africa Seasons 2012/2013), poetry Toni Stuartinstallation Here To Listen (London, 2015), poetry & film exhibition From My View with filmmaker Shelley Barry (South Africa, 2013); Stretching Silence with visual artist Firdous Hendricks (South Africa, 2013); sound installation Between Words and Images with curator & visual artist Ernestine White (South Africa, 2013). In 2014 was part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Commonwealth Poets United exchange. In 2013 she was named in the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 inspiring Young South Africans. She has an MA Writer/Teacher (Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was a 2014/2015 Chevening Scholar. She is one half of international poetry/music duo Gertrude & Jemima with UK poet/drummer Remi Graves.

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