Finally, my book of poems, The Craft

My book, The Craft – Selected Poems, 1989 – 2016, has finally materialised. It’s my first volume of poetry since 2005. Published by Left Field Poetry. I’m excited. It’s been a long process.

It will be launched on Monday evening, the first of three launches. Please join us at one, if you can make it.

Book Lounge, Monday, 14 August, 17:30 for 18:00
Kalk Bay Books, Wednesday, 23 August, 1800 for 18:30
Mc Gregor Poetry Festival, Saturday, 26 August, 13:30


The front cover of the book was my idea, using Christina Bryer’s image, with design and typography of front and back by Douglas Skinner.

Here’s the back cover, with nice shout-outs from Rethabile Masilo and Fiona Zerbst, and a pic of me by my wife Julia Martin.

Back Cover 'The Craft'

And here’s a small poem from the book that is (also) about writing poetry:

The Star-Gatherer
For Sophie Rose

All day I gather the stars that have fallen
out of the sky. They are hard to find,
they have become mica and crystal and pollen
or concealed themselves in water or behind
the light in eyes. Some have been lost, stolen
or forgotten, but I collect them all in my mind
and as evening falls I put them back,
one by one, in their places in the black.

If you’re in Cape Town you can get copies from The Book Lounge, Kalk Bay Books or Clarke’s Bookshop. In the Platteland, Protea Boekwinkel should have it. We’re working to get it into bookshops elsewhere in SA. If you’re overseas, I’d suggest you order it from Clarke’s.

There are several people I’d like to thank –

  • Diane Awerbuck, for suggesting the project and for helping me with the selection from among my very many poems;
  • Douglas Skinner for being a good friend, and Left Field Poetry (his other hat) for taking the volume on, and for all the many hours of meticulous editorial and design work that went into it;
  • Helen Moffett, for proofreading the galleys;
  • Rethabile Masilo and Fiona Zerbst, for reading and responding to the manuscript
  • Christina Bryer, for permission to use her image of one of her porcelain ceramics on the cover;
  • Jo Anne Friedlander for doing her usual impeccable job of layout;
  • Everyone, especially my family, who has supported and encouraged my writing.
  1. Hugh Laue said:

    Wonderful to see – I’m very happy for you. I’ve always admired your work and value the various publications (especially the Hand made one’s over the years. “For the Time Being” will probably always be the one that speaks most profoundly to me. And Intricacy. All speak on multiple levels. Lov’nhugs to you, Julia, Jason and especially your very special twins, SOphie and Sky. PS. In case you didn’t know yet I moved (mid February) to a 1 room wooden cottage in Bot River. Phone number is 0282849168 and cell still 0828575755. Please send mw your phone numbers – I lost my contacts when transferring to an iPhone.

  2. Stuart Payen said:

    It’s a beautiful book. The imagery seems to draw the reader’s mind to settle in the poems, then wander from there.

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