Thursday, 11 January 2018

Scarborough 10th Jan Gig at Cathy's place

Laverne Schwimmbacher was our guest. Despite the trial of a puncture on her way to Scarbs, Laverne entertained us with poems from her chapbook.
In the open mike we had readings from Cathy, Mandy, Ash, Julia, Oliver, Doug, David and Hugh. Next gig is at Hugh's place on 24th January.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

First Gig of 2018


Frances Thompson who's visiting Cape Town is an Irish poet who lives in south west England. I heard her read at a small gathering in Kalk Bay. You'll enjoy her poems. She's not here long, so take yourself to A Touch of Madness to enjoy her voice and wisdom. Bring something of your own for her to enjoy.

Open mike as usual.
Always, Hugh

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Emi Mahmoud to perform at A Touch of Madness on Thursday 19th January

Emi Mahmoud is the reigning 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and 2016 Woman of the World co-Champion. One of BBC's 100 Most Inspirational Women of 2015, Emi studied Anthropology and Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology at Yale University and is a Darfur native from the heart of Philadelphia. A UNHCR High Profile Supporter, a Yale Global Health Fellow and Leonore Annenberg Scholar, Emi dedicates her time to spreading understanding through poetry and advocacy, particularly for the cause of refugees and disadvantaged communities. A TedMed 2016 speaker, Emi has part-taken in multiple White House round-table discussions, including a session with President Obama, and has presented at multiple United Nations events, opening and closing for the Secretary General. Having launched the 100 million for 100 million landmark event alongside the Dalai Lama, Kailash Sathyarthi the President of India, and 12 other laureates and world leaders in New Delhi, Emi now continues to spread understanding through poetry on her world tour. Her book, Sisters' Entrance, is pending release.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Welcome to 2017!

Our guests this week on Wednesday 11th January at 7pm, are Oliver Price reading his favourite villanelles at The Village Hub, Scarborough, and on Thursday at 7.30pm Hugh Hodge reading interesting sonnets at A Touch of Madness, Obz.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Obz Thursday 8 December - FINAL OTW GIG IN OBZ THIS YEAR

Our guest this week is Finuala Dowling.

Please note this is the last gig in Obz this year. We resume in January.


Finuala is a poet and novelist with four novels and four poetry collections to her credit. Her poetry collections have won the Ingrid Jonker Prize; the Sanlam prize and the Olive Schreiner Prize.  She has been invited to read her poetry at the Aldeburgh Poetry festival in the UK, in Paris, and at many South African literary festivals.  Several of her private poetry students have gone on to publish their own volumes and to win prizes.

Finuala’s novel Homemaking for the Down-at-Heart won the 2012 MNet prize for fiction. Her fourth novel, The Fetch, won the 2016 Herman Charles Bosman prize.

Finuala divides her time between writing and her role as senior lecturer in the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies at UCT, where one of her main tasks is organising its annual Summer School.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Obz Thursday 1 December

Our guest this week is Kelwyn Sole.

Kelwyn is De Beers Professor in English Literature at the University of Cape Town, and has published six collections of poetry, as well as being widely anthologised. He has won the Thomas Pringle, Olive Schreiner and Sydney Clouts Prizes for poetry, and has been runner-up for the Noma Award.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Obz Thursday 24th November

Kyle Allan was to read to us this week, but is unable to return from  KZN as scheduled. Instead, our guest this week is Tania Haberland.

Tania is the transcontinental spawn of a Hamburg sailor and an Indian Ocean mermaid. Born in Africa. Raised in Arabia. Miseducated in America.Matured in Europe. Currently sirening in Mauritius.As a poet-artist, she has used words, voice and body to co-create multi media pieces with various practitioners from photographers to drummers, dancers, a glass sculptor and a martial artist. Some of her favourite gigs have included chasing and being chased by cows in Devon, the histrionic character Mademoiselle Violette PompAssage, performing as a sadistic interrogator for the opening of Republic of An Us at the South African National Gallery and singing under a freezing cold shower for 2 weeks every morning in a campsite in Sardinia trying to capture the heart of a new love...

Her first book Hyphen won the Ingrid Jonker Prize in 2010.
Her second book Other is soon to be released.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Open Mike

We've always had an Open Mike to encourage participation, though listeners are welcome. It's a place to observe the first tentative moments in a poet's public life. Some dive straight in, others - like me - get one toe wet first and, if they survive that, they are set for life, the life of the poet.

The Open Mike is invariably after the break at the end of the guest poet's performance. Sometimes the guest stays on to enjoy and encourage. Often there's quite a number who'd like to read their own stuff or favourite poems of renown or obscurity. If the list is long we ask poets to restrict themselves to two or at most three short poems. This so everybody gets a chance to read or recite. If in doubt, ask the host if you want to read more than three poems. Be gracious if you are refused extra, and be gracious if you are not.

Off the Wall has been called a safe place. It is. It is not a slam. It's available to all. The great and the unknown read here. It's about poetry before ego.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Week of Thursday 10th November

This week we host Geoff Haresnape. I suspect we'll hear from either Erasmus Eyeball or Dr Severance Package. That's on Thursday at A Touch of Madness. At 7.30pm.

On Wednesday (9th November at 6.30pm) at The Village Hub, Scarborough, the redoubtable Open Mike reads to us at the monthly gig every second Wednesday.

See you there.

Restarting the Blog

I've spent a few hours weeding the blog's garden. The plan is to introduce new blooms yet keeping the verges tidy. And adding new colour.
Let me know, if you think I need to change or fix, or improve things.

Then I'm hoping to add news. And maybe a view of gigs done and dusted. And tasters of ones coming up.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

How do you get to be a guest poet at Off the Wall Poetry Performing?

We invite you.

If you are:
  • an established poet, or
  • an emerging poet we have noted, and
  • we know you, and
  • we think you are good enough and
  • we know you have enough material to prepare a good and balanced programme of approximately half an hour,
...then we'll put you on the list of potential invitees.

We strongly encourage you to make yourself known to us via our weekly open-mic session.

If you believe you are a potential guest-poet whom we have overlooked, please make yourself known to us by e-mailing “Off the Wall Poetry” <offthewallpoetry at gmail dot com>.  This will not guarantee an invitation, and an invitation will not guarantee a date.  It is not a good strategy for you to emerge from nowhere at short notice, expecting and demanding a slot.

We are not a pulpit for religious proselytisers.

We are not an on-demand launch venue for CDs.

Our guest-poet list is arranged in advance, so we cannot guarantee that a particular date will be available for a particular poet.  We seek, within reason, to accommodate everyone, but not to the point where we abuse the good nature of other guest poets by repeatedly re-scheduling them.

Off the Wall Poetry Performing is a POETRY gig

As its name implies, Off the Wall Poetry Performing is a poetry gig — that is, not a music gig.

Now and again, we veer off into other forms of spoken word, such as story-telling, and poems are occasionally supported or accompanied by music, but the predominant theme is poetry.

Off the Wall Poetry Performing is therefore not an appropriate venue for music gigs, for which other venues exist.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Off the Wall – Poetry Reading


Every Thursday, except public holidays if the venue is closed, at 7.30pm. Poetry takes a vacation, too, for about four weeks over Christmas.  Check the calendar, above right.


The Lounge
A Touch of Madness
12 Nuttall Road
Cape Town
(Check the map, above right.)


Free - a donation is good.

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