Ever heard about ‘BOOKTOWN RICHMOND’ in South Africa? Well. It is a wonderful complement to general literature…or very much an integral part…depending on how the general lover of the written word around Africa views it. What is clear is that for years now, they have added exhilarating fizz, zaniness, creative effervescence, etc to the dynamic South African literary ambience. We wish to introduce them via their latest release, titled:
(October 25, 26, 27 & 28th 2017)
I am just back from a wonderful week in the dorp; beautiful sunny days, admittedly the mornings were “fresh” but very tolerable. Stoep sitting on Loop Street in the full sun was superb. The evenings were chilly but with the Aga in full throttle and with the help of a little red wine, the week was fantastic. But then the bloody Cape of Storms decided to send some weather our direction and I could see the black clouds moving in from the south and snow falling on the hills towards Murraysburg…….Northern Cape winter at its best. Bitter cold, well below freezing in the evenings which necessitated sitting even closer to the Aga….and even more red.
The town is looking great and there is a palpable buzz of activity in the dorp. New guest houses, eateries, fresh paint and a hint that the old Masonic Hotel on Pienaar Street may be displaying a “Sold” sign if things go according to plan and it looks set to be a very upper end boutique hotel which will be fantastic for the entire town and its people. We may be just on the cusp of becoming a Karoo winner!
The village is putting up some serious support for BookBedonnerd which looks set to be a bumper 10th anniversary for Booktown Richmond. We are bringing in the whole shooting’ match, with activities and demonstrations at the Richmond Museum, a Connolly Richmond Mile road race running the entire length of Loop Street and offering a thousand Rand first prize. We reckon to find the next Wayde van Niekerk right in Richmond. The younger kids are in a frenzy constructing their famous karretjies for a parade through the dorp. The Kerk will be holding its regular Bazaar on the grounds so you better fast a bit so you can get your mouth around those lovely Karoo choppies. MAP the fantastic art gallery…more than a gallery it’s as big as a shopping mall, will be putting on special exhibits and offering curator tours of the entire premises. Nicol Grobler local restauranteur and architect will once again be doing a Richmond walkabout and describing the wide range of old buildings in the village , their construction and evolution over time. Local historian John Donaldson will be doing his Boer War walk and talk about town ending at Vegkop with sundowners. We have confirmed that steel guitar blues man Doc Maclean will be performing (admission free) at the BTRHQ on Thursday evening along with complimentary wine tasting / drinking courtesy of Hawksmoor and Strandveld wines. We plan other evenings entertainment ……and of course more wine tasting, which we will announce in the next newsletter. There will be several “Off Broadway” events to keep everyone amused and occupied.
This year as you may know we gave the May, Coetzee / Fugard Festival a miss and a big part of the May gathering was around the Independent Publishers awards and banquet. So, we are holding the grand business of celebrating and honouring the wonderful South African Independent Publishers Awards on Wednesday October 25th. Write this down and put a reminder on your phone!
We are very proud to be the only book event countrywide to honour the best of the best amongst self-published books. This is truly a singular event in the Karoo, and indeed in all of SA because self-published books are special. In most cases they represent a writer’s life-time obsession. Have a gander of what to expect. From books on a cross dressing Indian with the name Hari Pottermari to books on Table Mountain, ‘Mural Man’ Mike Norris’ book on the East African Safari, Rose Willis’ book on one of the most astonishing hospitals in SA a mere 40km from Richmond to Tara the dog that sailed all around the world, BookBedonnerd 10 will have you riveted to your seats.
Certainly one of the highlights of this festival will be the gala awards banquet on Wednesday October 25 at the Supper Klub.
Here is our list of finalists for the Self Publishers awards:
1) MIKE NORRIS – ARTIST ROUND THE BEND
2) ELKARIEN FOURIE – VAT JOU HELE HART
3) ASHWIN DESAI – HARI POTTERMARI
4) CICELY ANNE VAN STRATEN
5) ROSE WILLIS/ ARNOLD VAN DYK/ KAY DE VILLIERS – YEOMEN OF THE KAROO
6) MARILYNN MILLS – TWISTED BLOOD VINES
7) TOD COLLINS – THE BLACK SHEEP
8) WERNER SCHMIDT – DEATH BY DESIGN
9) DEON KNOBEL
10) JOAN KRUGER – ON TOP OF TABLE MOUNTAIN
11) MATTHYS STRYDOM - STORIES TEEN MY MUUR
12) HEATHER CASTORAS – HOW HEATHER GOT HER HAT’NESS BACK
13) LINDI BAIRD – JOHN BAIRD : FIRST LANDDROST OF BEAUFORT WEST
14) WERNER SCHMIDT – CHINCHILLAS
15) JEFF GAISFORD – THE NAVIGATOR TRIANGLE
16) BARRY SMITH/ ANDREW BLAINE – THE NEXT STEP
17) JOHN CAMERON-DOW – F.W. DE KLERK BIOGRAPHY
18) JOE SPIRIT – THE BOOK OF JANE
19) WYNAND VAN EEDEN – THE BUSHMAN CANDLES
20) JOHN MATISONN – GOD, LIES AND SPIES
21) DUDU BUSANE DUBE
22) JOHN BURGESS- THE ROAD THROUGH THE GROVE
23) KYLE ALLAN – HOUSE WITHOUT WALLS
24) ROSEMARY FORRESTER - TARA THE TERRIER WHO SAILED AROUND THE WORLD
25) CHRIS MARAIS / JULIENNE DU TOIT – EASTERN CAPE ROAD-TRIPPING
26) WILLEM MALHERBE – DIE CAMINO : CHURROS EN CHIRURGIE
27) MADINE SWART – FLORA SE GEHEIME TAAL- STORIES OOR SUIDER – AFRIKAANSE PLANTE
28) BARRY PIENAAR - FREDDIE BOY
29) CARA-LEIGH O’ SHEA – SHADOW WIZARDS
30) HEATHER CASTORAS - FODDER
As Booktown Richmond comes of age so we have been fortunate to get some buy in from participants and supporters. Yesterday we learned that Hendrik Mentz, a participant at our 2016 JM COETZEE/ ATHOL FUGARD FESTIVAL, (a writer / photographer and some time farmer!) offered his services to record verbally and pictorially BookBedonnerd 2017. Thanks HM you have made our day! He will also be posting each day’s snaps on line so the audience can interact with the goings on at BookBedonnerd.
A new face in the dorp is writer / poet / IT specialist Angie Gallagher. She will be helping us to organize the local community as well as recording the proceedings on YouTube as well as on Facebook. BookBedonnerd is special, and it is the ordinary people like Hendrik Mentz and Angie Gallagher and many other in the village and elsewhere as well as of course the writers who all make it so very special.
I was reminded of this last night when I opened a book from a total stranger for the SA INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS AWARDS. Only in its third year, what a bumper harvest we have had. I already have my top 3 contenders for the BookBedonnerd Prize penciled in. Number 3 came in yesterday. You know what they say about never judging a book by its cover? Well I got taught that lesson last night……big time. Visitors will also learn that lesson as well when they listen to our speakers. We have no Breyten Breytenbach this year. No Athol Fugard. No Antjie Krog. No Mongane Wally Serote. But if you don’t leave Richmond thinking “wow, what the @#%$! Was that” … These unsung self-published authors will truly make BookBedonnerd the most original book festival in SA, on that I will vouch my manhoodJ
Here then is an almost final indication of what’s on the Booktown Richmond Hit Parade in 2017:
1) NAOMI MEYER - WEB
2) ERNS GRUNDLING – EL CAMINO
3) DONVE LEE – SCARS THAT SHINE – THE SYD KITCHEN STORY
4) MIKE NORRIS – ARTIST ROUND THE BEND
5) MATTHYS STRYDOM- STORIES TEEN MY MUUR
6) JOAN KRUGER - TABLE MOUNTAIN BOOK
7) GAIREYAH FREDERICKS – T.B.C
8) FANIE OLIVIER
9) ANDRIES BEZUIDENHOUT – THE HISTORY OF PICTURES
10) GARY CUMMISKEY – POET
11) ANTOINETTE OLIVIER – HAIKOES - OPTELKLIPPIES
12) ANDRIES BEZUIDENHOUT – COSATU
13) KEN BARRIS – PHOTOGRAPHIC
14) SABATA MOKAE – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SOL PLAATJE – T.B.C
15) ELKARIEN FOURIE – VAT JOU HELE HART - CHINESE ODYSSEY
16) VERNON HEAD – NEW BOOK 1
17) VERNON HEAD – NEW BOOK 2
18) TONY JACKMAN – COOKBOOK
19) ROSEMARY FORRESTER - TARA THE TERRIER SAILING AROUND THE WORLD
20) LOUISE HECKL – THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
21) LUTHANDO LUCAS – I AM
22) ATHOL WILLIAMS – PUSHING BOULDERS
23) PIET MATIPA – DWARSKLAP – T.B.C.
24) KIRBY VAN DER MERWE
25) HEATHER CASTORAS – HOW HEATHER GOT HER HAT’NESS BACK
26) CLINTON DU PLESSIS
27) RINA THERON – SANDVELDKOS: KOSNOSTALGIE EN STORIES VAN GISTER
28) MADINE SWART – FLORA SE GEHEIME TAAL – STORIES OOR SUIDER-AFRIKAANSE PLANTE
29) BARRY PIENAAR - FREDDIE BOY (The Inge Lotz trial through the eyes of defence lawyer Barry Pienaar)
30) BERNARD ODENDAAL – WOORDE HUL STORIE SIEN KEN – ESSAYS EN RUBRIEKE
So there you have it until you hear from us next. Any suggestions or queries please contact DED or PCB.
Book your accommodation as soon as possible as the town is gearing up at a pace.
Be good and if not possible then be careful….
DED & PCB