/ 21 August 2012

New honour for Serote

Award-winner: Mongane Wally Serote.
Award-winner: Mongane Wally Serote.

Mongane Wally Serote, who will be in conversation with Nadine Gordimer at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival, has joined Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal as the only other African winner of the Golden Wreath Award.

Serote will accept the Golden Wreath, which is for lifetime achievement in the field of poetry, at the Struga Poetry Evenings 2012 in Struga in the Republic of Macedonia from August 23 to 26. The award is made to world-famous poets for contributions to poetry and history. Previous winners include Pablo Neruda (1972), Ted Hughes (1994) and Seamus Heaney (2001).

The award at Struga — an annual event recognised by the United Nations as one of the most important poetry festivals in the world — means that Serote’s session with Gordimer, hosted by Craig MacKenzie, has had to be moved from Tuesday August 28 at 7pm to Saturday September 1 at 7.30pm. The venue for the session, titled No Time like the Present, remains the main stage of the Market Theatre.

Taking its place on Tuesday August 28 at 7 pm is a screening of the film Aliker, the screenplay of which was written by festival guest Patrick Chamoiseau, one of the finest writers in the Francophone world. Best known for his Prix Goncourt-winning Texaco, a narrative history of his homeland Martinique, Chamoiseau will introduce Aliker before the screening in the Market Theatre. Released in 2010, the film tells the story of André Aliker, a journalist in Martinique in the 1930s who battles against the island’s French colonial overlords. Directed by Guy Deslauriers, it runs for 108 minutes. Entrance is free, courtesy of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 and 2013 (france-southafrica.com).

Thiresh Govender of UrbanWorks Architecture + Urbanism has joined Jonathan Noble on the panel for Joburg: City of Extremes, which will be chaired by Marie Huchzermeyer (Market Theatre, Saturday September 1, 11.30am to 1pm).

Go to mg.co.za/litfest for festival news, stories, video interviews and booking details, or get in touch with the festival project manager, Zeenat Mahomed, at [email protected]