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Strong poetry from 2 anthologies

June 14, 2016 @ 7:30 pm


Editor Rethabile Masilo and publisher Mathew Staunton will present their 2 anthologies, with readings from a selection of the contributing poets.

Rethabile Masilo is a Mosotho poet from Lesotho, who left his country with his parents and siblings to enter exile in 1981, following an attack on his family that killed his 3-year-old nephew, Motlatsi; his elder brother, Khotsofalang, had been killed a few years earlier fighting the government. The family moved through the Republic of South Africa, where they experienced Apartheid, Kenya, and the United States of America. He settled in Paris in 1987, blogs at Poéfrika and co-edits the online literary magazine Canopic Jar. His collections are: Things That Are Silent (2012), Waslap (2015) and the forthcoming Letter to Country. He insists that his greatest wish is for his poems, and poetry in general, to be readily available to Basotho, the people who inspire him to keep writing.

Originally from Coolock in Dublin, Mathew Staunton is a printing historian, printmaker, lecturer, and publisher working in France and the UK. He divides his time between research, teaching, illustrating and editing for Evertype publications in Ireland, printing on a small press at the bottom of his garden, and running The Onslaught Press in Oxford.

This is an angry book. Assembled during Operation Protective Edge in the Summer of 2014, it took two weeks to make, from the call for submissions to the first hardcopy proof off the press. 40 poets, writers and visual artists from around the world answered the call. Some were fathers, daughters, half-brothers, colleagues, friends, and some were complete strangers. All were angry enough to speak out and offer their work. The aim of the book was much less to accuse than to paint an accurate picture of the reality of Gaza at the time. What was at stake went well beyond the politics of sides. It was a festival of deliberate crime and killing disguised as defense. Bishop Tutu has said that “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” The work presented here, unlike the non-actions of those who actually have political clout and power, chooses the side of the oppressed.
Mathew Staunton

In 2015 Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao was killed in Lesotho. As the editor was striving to write a poem from the feelings of that killings, the idea of inviting other writers was born, together with the title, “To Kingdom Come (voices against political violence)”. The response has been tremendous, and shows how more than just a few people do care about the prevalence of violence. Although the book was triggered by one event, poets from everywhere were invited to share their feelings about political violence in general, and the result is poems and prose in English, Sesotho and Afrikaans. There are 44 writers in all and almost twice that many poems. Untended, political violence promises to keep stoking humanity’s fears, and to send mankind’s hopes to kingdom come.
Rethabile Masilo

This event marks the close of our reading season. Poets Live will be back in September, under new management and with a new site. Please join our mailing list to stay informed throughout the transition:
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Have a good summer!


June 14, 2016
7:30 pm


Poets Live


Berkeley Books of Paris
8, rue Casimir Delavigne
Paris, 75006 France
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