Academic Invited to Attend Literary Festival in Ireland
Poet, playwright and UKZN academic Dr Kobus Moolman has been invited to attend the Winter Warmer Poetry Festival in Cork, Ireland, from this Friday to Sunday.
The Festival is hosted by the Ó Bhéal organisation which has also arranged readings for Moolman in Dublin, Skibbereen and in Schull.
‘I am honoured to be invited to this Festival,’ said Moolman. ‘This is a significant Irish festival for poetry. For me it is heartening because it indicates that South African poetry can travel beyond the borders of our country, and be accessible to foreign audiences. This is particularly important because my work at the moment is very deeply rooted in specifics of time and place, in a conscious and tangible sense of South Africanness.
‘However, in my own research and reading I have discovered some kind of truism: the more specific a writer makes their work the more an audience - any audience - is able to experience it; the more general a writer tries to make their work, the less an audience is able to experience it,’ said Moolman.
With Ireland boasting a history filled with strong writers, and a society in which the place of the writer is taken seriously - whether in political, social or artistic circles, Moolman sees the invitation as an opportunity to meet and share ideas and interact with some of the country’s leading contemporary poets.
‘Such festivals are very significant barometers of the state of writing within a particular society, both from the point of view of the writer - the type of writing being done, and from the point of view of the audience - how society in general is responding to its own writers.
‘These festivals also allow for a deeper discussion of literary influences, new ideas and developments. They allow the community of writers to meet in person and to hear each other read. Poetry is in its roots an oral art form, and the oral dimension to poetry is becoming very important not just in South Africa but also globally. So hearing poetry being read is a particular treat,’ said Moolman.