May 2016 events

21 Apr 2016

Below you’ll find a list of events featuring PEN South Africa members, as well as a selection of other noteworthy literary events, classes and workshops happening around South Africa. If there is an event you’d like us to feature let us know.

  • Literary Madness with John Maytham
    Where: Kalk Bay Book, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday 3 May 2016, 6:30 PM for 7 PM
    Cost: R100
    RSVP is essential: or 021 788 2266.
    From Hamlet to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, John Maytham presents an hour of dramatic, funny, poignant and frightening evocations of madness drawn from some of the world’s most brilliant texts. In compiling the script, PEN SA member Finuala Dowling has sought out memorable extracts from writers – including Woolf, Jung, Winterson and O’Neill – whose best works are lit up by the author’s intimate understanding of what it is like to live within a disordered mind.
  • Finuala Dowling and Sean Baumann present “Madness in Song; Dementia in Poetry”
    Where: Anatomy Lecture Theatre, UCT Hiddingh Campus, Cape Town
    When: Thursday 5 May, 5 PM
    PEN SA member Finuala Dowling will be discussing “Madness in Song; Dementia in Poetry” with psychiatrist Sean Baumann. Sean will be presenting and commenting on excerpts from his opera, A Song of Madness.
    More details
  • InZync Poetry Session
    Where: Amazink, Kayamandi, Stellenbosch
    When: Friday 6 May, 7:30 PM
    PEN SA member and Poet Laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile will be performing alongside James Matthews, Neo Muyanga, Efe Paul Azino, Maram al-Massri, Dejavu Tafari and Chrystal Williams.
    More details
  • 2016 Spier Poetry Festival
    Where: Spier Wine Farm, Stellenbosch
    When: Saturday 7 May
    PEN SA member Dominique Botha is one of the curators of this event, along with Breyten Breytenbach and Neo Muyanga. Poet Laureate and PEN SA member Keorapetse Willie Kgositsile will be speaking at the festival.
    More details
  • Isobel Dixon at Off the Wall Poetry
    Where: Methodist Church Minor Hall, Observatory, Cape Town
    When: Monday 10 May, 7:30 PM
    PEN SA member Isobel Dixon will be giving a reading.
  • Johannesburg Launch of The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
    Where: Love Books, Melville, Johannesburg
    When: Tuesday 10 May 2016, 6 PM for 6:30 PM
    PEN SA member Yewande Omotoso will be launching her new novel, The Woman Next Door.
    More details
  • Exclusive Books Coffee Morning with Yewande Omotoso
    Where: Exclusive Books Café Rosebank, Johannesburg
    When: Wednesday 11 May, 10 AM
    PEN SA member Yewande Omotoso will be discussing her latest novel, The Woman Next Door at this monthly Exclusive Books coffee morning.
    More details
  • Launch of I Am No One by Patrick Flanery
    Where: Kalk Bay Books, Cape Town
    When: Wednesday 11 May, 6 PM for 6.30 PM
    RSVP: or call 0217882266
    PEN SA member Mark Gevisser will be interviewing Patrick Flanery at the launch of I Am No One.
  • Franschhoek Literary Festival
    Where: Franschhoek, Western Cape
    When: Friday 13 May to Sunday 15 May 2016
    The following PEN SA members will be taking part in this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival: Antony Altbeker, Lauren Beukes, Kevin Bloom, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, Karin Brynard, Jenny Crwys-Williams, Nadia Davids, Leon de Kock, Isobel Dixon, Victor Dlamini, Finuala Dowling, Louis Greenberg, Jenny Hobbs, Jacqui L’Ange, Anne Landsman, Michele Magwood, Niq Mhlongo, Nick Mulgrew, Mike Nicol, Samantha Page, S.A. Partridge, Don Pinnock, Bridget Pitt, Claire Robertson, Steven Robins, Michèle Rowe, Beverly Rycroft, Elinor Sisulu, Allister Sparks, Karina Szczurek, Marianne Thamm, Hedley Twidle, Mark Winkler, Wendy Woodward, Jacques Steenkamp and Rahla Xenopoulos.
    More details
  • Literary Crossroads featuring Yewande Omotoso and Olajumoke Verissimo
    Where: Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg
    When: Tuesday 17 May, 7 PM
    PEN SA member Yewande Omotoso will be discussing “Quo Vadis Africa: The Power of Words – The Words of Power?” with Olajumoke Verissimo, moderated by Ndumiso Ngcobo.
    More details
  • Cape Town Launch of The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
    Where: The Book Lounge, Cape Town
    When: Wednesday 18 May, 5:30 PM for 6 PM
    PEN SA member Yewande Omotoso will be launching her new novel, The Woman Next Door. She will be interviewed by Dr Zethu Matebeni.
    More details
  • Lingua Franca Naked Word Festival
    Where: Magnet Theatre, Observatory, Cape Town
    When: Friday 20 to Sunday 21 May
    Cost: a weekend pass costs R200
    Lingua Franca are holding the Western Cape’s first and only festival dedicated purely to spoken word.
    More details
  • Kingsmead Book Fair
    Where: Kingsmead College, Johannesburg
    When: Saturday 21 May, 9AM to 8PM
    PEN SA members Finuala Dowling, Justice Malala, Zakes Mda, Yewande Omotoso, Elizabeth Pienaar, Bridget Pitt, Kevin Bloom, Claire Robertson and Fiona Snyckers will be speaking at the Kingsmead Book Fair.
    More details
  • Jewish Literary Festival
    Where: Gardens Community Centre, Hatfield Street, Cape Town
    When: Sunday 22 May 2016, 9 AM to 5 PM
    PEN SA members Steven Robins, Diane Awerbuck, Rachel Zadok, Patricia Schonstein, Kevin Bloom, Rahla Xenopoulos and Anne Landsman will all be taking part in the inaugural Jewish Literary Festival.
    More details
  • Launch of Continental Shift: A Journey Into Africa’s Changing Fortunes by Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak
    Where: The Book Lounge, Cape Town
    When: Tuesday 24 May, 5:30 PM for 6 PM
    PEN SA member Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak will be launching their new book, Continental Shift.
    More details
  • Launch of The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo
    Where: Exclusive Books Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg
    When: Tuesday 24 May
    PEN SA member Zakes Mda will be speaking to Mohale Mashigo at the launch of her debut novel, The Yearning.
    More details
  • J.M. Coetzee / Athol Fugard Festival
    Where: Richmond, Northern Cape
    When: Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 May
    The J.M. Coetzee / Athol Fugard Festival is held annually in Richmond.
    More details
  • Seminar on Violence, Non-Violence, and the Future of Democracy
    Where: Wiser Seminar Room, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
    When: Monday 30 May, 8:45 AM to 3 PM
    PEN SA member Achille Mbembe will be speaking at this Wiser seminar along with Wendy Brown, David Theo Goldberg, Thando Njovane, Jane Taylor and Judith Butler.
    More details