Saturday, July 17, 2010

Interview with Arja Salafranca at The Dye Hard Interviews

Dye Hard: Short fiction has been referred to as a sort of poor relation of the novel. What are your thoughts on that, and why do you prefer short fiction over the novel?

Arja Salafranca: I think short fiction is certainly the “poor relation” to the novel, but only in the way it is perceived by the majority of publishers, readers and booksellers. The majority, not all, otherwise we would have no collections by single authors out there at all! It’s been all a bit of a catch 22 – with stories not selling in significant volumes, publishers seem to have cut back on publishing collections by single authors in the last ten, fifteen years...Read more here

Friday, July 16, 2010

Arja Salafranca wins prestigious DALRO award for poetry

The prestigious Dalro (Drama and Lyrics Rights Organisation) Award for 2009 has gone to Arja Salafranca for her poem 'Steak' in the literary journal New Coin. Read more here


There’s a perfection in the sharp knife,
handle thick and satifying to hold.
It eases through the meat, parting it
like the Red Sea.
A thin trail of red juice eases out,
I spear the soft buttery steak
with a mushroom, add a half-moon of avocado,
a quartered tomato.
The food shatters in my mouth.

There’s something about summer nights,
the kind of nights that follow days
in a city that reeks of boiled bodies
crisping under the sun’s glare.
There’s something: the lack of breeze,
the water in the pool. gleaming bluely,
the soft murmur of traffic.

It’s an island, an oasis, the lawn jewelled green.
Candles illuminate our faces
the silver, the sparkling cutlery,
the sheer perfection of knife, fork, crystal glass,
steak, salad, speared food, shattered tastes.
At the bottom of a garden,
in the heart of Johannesburg.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Invite to the first Jozi WordJam - Friday 23rd July

Featuring four poets
& open mic

Join us every 3rd Friday for an evening of great food and wine and the spoken word.

Friday 23rd July - 7pm (R20 cover charge)

Gail Dendy was first published by Harold Pinter in 1993, and her six collections of poetry have appeared variously in SA, the UK and USA. She is an internationally trained dancer, and helped pioneer Contemporary Dance in SA between the late 1970s and the early ‘90s. Other passions are environmental- and animal-rights issues. She lives in Johannesburg together with family, pets, a law library, and a huge collection of Rock ’n Roll.

Marcia Nonkululeko Tladi is a writer of poetry and prose. Her poetry is collected in Timbila journal and in Words Gone Two Soon (Umgangato), a tribute to K. Sello Duiker and PhaswanevMpe. Marcia is a contributing member of the Miriam Tlali Book & Reading Club, a brainchild of Write Associates where she helps to run the Children’s Club. She has also worked with the Johannesburg Library and Information Services, adjudicating in their writing and poetry competitions.

Khulile Nxumalo was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, in 1971. He lives in Johannesburg and pays the rent by working in television as a writer, researcher and director. His poems have been published in South Africa, Canada, the UK and US. His first collection, Ten flapping elbows, mama, was published by Deep South in 2004. He is working on two manuscripts of poetry.

Alan Finlay founded and edited the literary publications Bleksem (1994) and donga (with Paul Wessels, 2000), and also edited New Coin poetry journal (ISEA) for four years from Dec. 2003 - Dec. 2007. In 2003 he co-edited glass jars among trees (Jacana) with Arja Salafranca. His poems have appeared in various journals locally and abroad, and short selections of his poetry have been published by Dye Hard Press (1994, 2002), Botsotso (1998), and online at Southern Rain Poetry (2009). A new collection of his poems is due out by Dye Hard Press in 2010.

Contact 011 615 7531 – The Bell Pepper, 176 Queen Street – Kensington

See link below for map

To take part in future readings and a series of planned literary salons in the coming months please mail Gillian or Arja at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review of Speaking for the Generations: an anthology of contemporary African short stories

Edited by Dike Okoro, this anthology aims to represent the best of contemporary African short stories written in English. Familiar names such as Benjamin Kwakye, Tijan Sallah, Zahra Ramij, Freddy Macha, Arja Salafranca, Odun Balogun, Tanure Ojaide, Jackee Budesta Batanda, Lola Shoneyin, Mohamed Said Raihani and Omar Akikli are more here

My short story 'A car is a weapon' is published in Speaking for the Generations. It is also published in my debut collection of short fiction, The Thin Line.