Friday, April 15, 2016

This way we salute you ... Keorapetse Kgositsile

Born in 1938, Keorapetse ‘Willie’ Kgositsile left South Africa in 1961 and lived in exile in the United States and returned to South Africa in 1990. The recipient of many poetry awards; amongst others, inaugurated as the South African Poet Laureate in 2006 by the South African Literary Awards and the National Order of Ikhamanga Silver (OIS) for excellent achievements in the field of literature.  "To be recognised at home meant a lot," says Kgositsile.

"I have neither wings like a bird or a plane but believe me I can fly"
- Keorapetse Kgositsile

Prof Kgositsile has also studied and taught Literature and Creative Writing at a number of universities in the United States and in Africa and used these exceptional talents to expose the evils of the system of apartheid to the world.
Kgositsile’s poetry ranges from the unambiguously political and public to the lyric and confessional. In addition to his unique poetic voice, he is also a gifted teacher. Among his publications is an excellent book on teaching the craft of poetry – not the ‘what’ but the ‘how’.

A strong feature of his work is the recognition and celebration of his influences, his friendships with other artists and, in particular, his deep love of blues and jazz. His poetry scintillates and throbs with quotations from songs, references to music and, most importantly, to musicians themselves.

We chat to Keorapetse about his life in exile, his view on the sustainability of the arts and he also offers his wisdom to young artists.

To listen to the show just click play:

Thought of the Day:

Join us for a delightful evening in Centurion:

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(Reference: Poetry International Rotterdam)

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