Emily Dickinson said that she recognized a good poem by the fact that it made her whole body so cold that no fire could ever warm her up. And Franz Kafka said that a good book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us. What do both of these ideas have in common? That a poem and a story are not abstract and ethereal things. That a poem or a story are physical. And they produce physical effects. They freeze the blood in our veins. They smash the ice of our complacency and familiarity. They force us to think and to feel when thinking and feeling are the very last things either we or our societies want from us.
Welcome to the June 2015 issue of New Coin. Response to the bumper December 2014 issue was overwhelmingly positive, particularly with regard to the symposium on contemporary South African poetry that was included in the issue. It is my aim that New Coin will continue to elicit such enthusiasm.
Stephen Symons : Mapwork
Kyle Allan : I don't know
Kerry Hammerton : coming back; Tearing Apart; First Time
Medzani Musandiwa : Blood moon
Diana Bloem : Painting strokes
Kelwyn Sole : Vigil
Alan Finlay : leaving (iv); leaving (v); leaving (viii)
Kirsten Holmes : Flying Home in Funeral Clothes
Tania Haberland : Pullover; Beloved
Lucas Zulu : For my daughter
Lezel van den Berg : Yours; Arousal; His
Vanessa-Lynn Neophytou : Sunday
Jennifer Lean : A secret language
Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese : Stone Wall
Sandhya Mathura : Stones in a Bucket
Elizabeth Trew : The unknown valley
Kobus Moolman : Untitled film stills
Khulile Nxumalo : Judo's # 13
Anton Krueger : Uncle Noodle
Catfish McDaris : Tour De Force; The Last Poem
Gerard Rudolf : Christ Re-entering Cape Town; Stones
Raphael d'abdon : my god; fear and loathing in my teenage days
Bruno Sourdin : The sixth hour; Blues for Brautigan; Haikus
Denis Hirson : Making place
Silke Heiss : Table of five
Richard Fox : Black heads dont roll; going to watch your plane; punctuation lung
Mbongeni Khumalo : Behind Buzz
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers : Police line; Horse
Dawood Mahmood Gabru : Weary contemplation
Azola Dayile : Claustrophobia; Pursuit of Happyness
Yuan Changming : Snowy Siamese Stanzas; Winter View
Ian C Smith : Barcelona Song
David wa Maahlamela : My God; Unloneliness
Musawenkosi Khanyile : When Poverty Happens; Pietermaritzburg; to mothers whose sons erupt into monsters
Subhankar Das : Sending a cake virtually; When I was a tree
Mark Espin : Unreachable; After reading; Salt River, 1974
Ari Sitas has recently published two volumes of poetry: Rough Music (Deep South), which is a selection of his poetry from 1989 to now, and Around the World in Eighty Days - the India Section (Unisa Press). He was also one of the initiators of Insurrections - A Musical Dialogue Between Indian and African Artists, which featured his words and the words of Pitika Ntuli, Malika Ndlovu, Vivek Narayanan and Sabitha Satchi. The ensemble's work and the CD (released by the University of the Western Cape) were one of the highlights of Poetry Africa in 2013 in Durban and 2014 in Cape Town.
The terms in which Kobus Moolman has written A Book of Rooms are set down in the epigraph by Georges Perec which opens his book, part of which reads : 'I have no alternative but to conjure up what for too many years I called the irrevocable : the things that were, the things that stopped, the things that were closed off - things that surely were and today are no longer, but things that also were so that I may still be'.
Despite what the 'evangelical' title might suggest at first glance, the volume Twelve + One does not engage with the renowned prophet from Nazareth and his bunch of devoted followers, but - as the back cover providentially clarifies - with Some Jo'burg poets : their lives and poetry. Published by Botsotso in 2014 and edited by Allan Kolski Horwitz - popular wordsmith and activist, as well as deus ex machina of Botsotso - the book is a collection of interviews with some of the most prominent representatives of the Johannesburg poetry scene. Embellished with remarkable sketches of the poets, which appear both in their profiles and on the book cover (as a collage), the book features 7 male poets (Meintjies, Muila, Patel, Murcott, Ngwenya, Kolski Horwitz and Alfred) and 6 female poets (Fox, Yaa de Villiers, Dendy, Masango, Xaba, Vundla); two of them are under 30 (Masango and Vundla).