Strong cast of Karoo talent enriches writers’ festival


Launched on Youth Day and targeting the expressive arts in Karoo classrooms, the Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival 2022 (SKWF, Cradock June 16-21) is once again activating multi-faceted educational action as well as a main program.

Youth program activities run from June 16-21, while the main program is scheduled for June 17-18.

“We are very pleased to have the continued generous support of the AVBOB Poetry Project Involvement for our vision of giving young people a confident voice,” said Melina Smit, Youth Events Organizer at the festival and Senior Youth Specialist. education in the Eastern Cape department. Education.

Free digital books

The founding sponsor of the festival, AMAZWI South African Museum of Literature, sends a grassroots force for dynamic interaction with a number of Cradock schools.

During the last two days of the event, the AMAZWI team will be heading out into the community, showcasing 20 digital children’s books that were created during the recent Big Makhanda Book Dash X. (Cradock-based writer Charmaine van Wyk, participated in one of the titles.)

These e-books will be distributed on USB keys and are royalty-free for printing.

main program

This year’s main program events are divided into four locations: lectures at Schreiner House (an AMAZWI satellite); across the road, the Cross Street Pop-Up Fusion Arts Hub offers an interactive experience called “Where Words and Art Collide”; on the corner of Market Street, Couch Conversations will be interspersed with Fusion Performance Art events at Die Tuishuite and Victoria Manor Hotel (also known as The Vic); each day will end with a Late Night Open Mic session (from 8:00 p.m.) at the KarooBrew Bistro in Durban Street.

Fittingly, the main program opens at Schreiner House with AMAZWI manager Beverley Thomas as the anchor.

It will affirm the commitment of the literary museum in events like SKWF.

In a supporting show, two of her colleagues, Marike Beyers, Crystal Warren, will read their own poetry, as well as Jeannie McKeowen, all of whom have published work in The Only Magic We Know, an anthology celebrating 15 years of poetry by southern women. -African books published by Modjaji Books.

Professor Paul Walters and Jeremy Fogg piece together the dramatic (and very funny) story of Olive Schreiner’s rescue from the Zambezi – she could easily have been swept away by Vic Falls!

Dean Allen will talk about his Frontier Land and Marike Beyers will review poet Kobus Moolman’s response to the Karoo landscape.

Also inspired by the Karoo landscape, Izak de Vries will reflect on how his writing has progressed since his early work Van die Karoo gepraat.

Award-winning writer Henrietta Rose-Innes will share her experiences writing and translating Afrikaans fiction.

Couch talk

In the afternoon, The Vic will have tea to accompany the sofa conversation between food writer extraordinaire Tony Jackman and Sally (Tannie Maria) Andrew about The Milk Tart Murders. Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit of Karoospace follow with an enticing audiovisual presentation on Karoo Roads III.

Anything can (and likely will) happen during KarooBrew’s post-dinner Open Mic session – expect funky impromptu, ad lib performances.

After breakfast on Saturday, a host of local writers propose that laughter is the only medicine. Next point: Etienne van Heerden, the writer Litnet Izak de Vries and his translator Henrietta Rose-Innes talk about Etienne’s book Die Biblioteek aan die Einde van die Wêreld.


The main theme of the main program for SKWF 2022 is networking. On Saturday morning, this important subject will be approached from different angles by a strong line-up of speakers.

Filmmaker Dorothy de Kok will chair, speakers will be Bridgette Harrison, (Royal School of Music), Ayande Mamve (opera singer) Zongezile Matshoba and Bev Thomas (AMAZWI), Etienne van Heerden (Litnet), Izak de Vries (PEN international ), Martin Welz (Noseweek), Chris and Julie Marais (independent publishers) Sally Andrew (Recipes for Love and Murder – from books to television).

Lunch will be served with an exchange of anecdotes and recipes between two editors: Tony Jackman (editor of TGIFood of the Daily Maverick) and Martin Welz (editor of Noseweek).

Die gezoem van die Bye is a nostalgic session with Des Lindberg and Di Cassere.

Interactive art installation

Open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, June 16 through Tuesday, June 21, the Cross Street Pop-Up Fusion Arts Hub will feature many weeks of prep by The AVBOB Poetry Project in collaboration with AMAZWI’s talented Basil Mills.

They erected an interactive pop-up experience involving artists Janet Kingwill and Nthambo Ndamebeni and featuring three young local artists – Indi Ndlokova (poet) and visual artists Jaco de Waal and Zama Kondlo.

“A lot of people in rural areas make art but rarely visit museums or art galleries to experience art installations up close,” said festival organizer Lisa Ker.

“So it will be a rare and delightful experience – underscoring our belief that art is healing, creative and can help connect communities: one of our core goals.”

Connections and synergies

The SKWF has “connected” a family of connected creatives over the years, with synergies and networking opportunities that multiply endlessly.

The closing Open Mic session at KarooBrew is a celebration of this continuum.

Lisa Ker reiterated the festival’s gratitude to Amazwi and the AVBOB Poetry Project for their invaluable support in the ongoing process.

As a special Karoo relaxation, visitors and participants are encouraged to spend Sundays in the welcoming spaces of the Karoo – the nearby Mountain Zebra National Park or Buffelskop where Olive Schreiner is buried.

  • For more information, contact the SKWF organizer, Lisa Ker 082 410 5596 or by e-mail: [email protected]

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