Midwinter session of Jozi House of Poetry on 1 July: from Page to Stage
Is writing for performance different to writing for the page? This month at Jozi House of Poetry three poets share their poetry and their process. Back from the USA for a brief visit, poet/actor Antonio Lyons joins poet/director Napo Masheane and poet/editor Natalia Molebatsi for an afternoon of verve and inspiration. All poets have published poetry, and Antonio and Natalia have released CDs of their solo performance. Natalia and Napo both feature in Struik’s 2011 classic poetry anthology Letter to South Africa: Poets call the state to order. Bring your poem to share at the open mic, and participate in a lively discussion hosted by Myesha Jenkins and Word ‘n Sound’s Qhakaza Mthembu.
Napo Masheane is an acclaimed theatre director and performance poet. With a background in theatre studies at the Market Theatre Laboratory, she has grown from a passionate student of theatre, absorbing everything she could about the stage from lighting to marketing to being a prolific playwright and determined director, with sell-out shows such as The Fat Women Sing and her own one-woman show, My Bum is Genetic – Deal With It. She is one of the founder-members of the electric spoken word collective Feela Sister, and her recent collaborations include bringing together an indigenous orchestra, working with jazz musicians and continuously building her theatre skills. She is the author of two books of poetry, Caves speak in metaphors (2008) and Fat songs for my girlfriends (2012), a highly acclaimed work with a foreword by Mongane Wally Serote. She has performed her poetry across the length and breadth of South Africa as well as in the USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Senegal.
Natalia Molebatsi is a prolific writer, performance poet, workshop facilitator and programme director who has presented shows such as An Evening with Alice Walker, Urban Voices, International Spoken Word Festival, and an evening with the father of Ehio-jazz, Mulatu Astatke. Since 2005, she has performed with acclaimed artists such as Simphiwe Dana, Sibongile Khumalo and Maya Angelou, Gcina Mhlophe, Lebo Mashile, Jimmy Dludlu, Tu Nokwe, Sello Galane, Napo Masheane and Thandiswa Mazwai. She has performed in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Holland, Italy, Nigeria, Senegal and Arzerbaijan. Last year she toured South Africa and Italy with her band, the Soul Making. website: http://www.nataliamolebatsi.co.za/content/profile.html
Antonio Lyons is a familiar face, with a number of TV and movie roles to his credit. He is a spoken word artist with a strong affinity to music, and his voice has accompanied a number of house classics. His second album We Dance We Pray was released in 2011 with acclaim for his ability to combine the diverse musical and literary influences to create a highly listenable experience for audiences. His one-man show We are here played to full houses at the Johannesburg Theatre in 2011, and he is currently studying towards a Masters in performance at one of the USA’s finest universities. He has performed across Southern Africa, in Europe, the USA and in the Caribbean.
And don’t forget to bring a packet of pads for Pledge-a-Pad, and get a R10 discount on your tickets!