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Poets to express burdens about South Africa at WFU

By Pam Barrett
336.758.5237
March 26, 2004

Bringing their South African heritage into context through poetry, poets Yvette Christiansë and Ingrid de Kok will read from their works at Wake Forest University’s Ring Theatre in Scales Fine Arts Center April 13 at 7:30 p.m. A reception will follow the reading.

An informal discussion with the poets about poetry and politics will also be held at 11 a.m. in DeTamble Auditorium in Tribble Hall.

Both the reading and discussion, which are sponsored by Wake Forest’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, are free and open to the public.

Christiansë, who was born in South Africa under apartheid, emigrated to Australia with her parents when she was 18.

She is the author of “Castaway,” a volume of poems that are set off the coast of Africa on the island of St. Helena, where Napoleon was exiled and where Christiansë’s mother was born. Her poems speak of love and desire after centuries of oppression and exploitation. In addition to writing poetry, Christiansë teaches African-American literature, poetics and postcolonial studies at Fordham University.

De Kok, is originally from Stilfontein, a gold mining town in South Africa. She has three collections of poetry, including her latest, “Terrestrial Things,” which includes poems that explore such subjects as South Africa’s AIDS pandemic, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the history of apartheid. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies around the world and translated into six languages.

De Kok currently works for the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies at the University of Cape Town.

This event is offered as part of the university’s theme for the 2003-2004 academic year “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community.” The theme is dedicated to the exploration of how free people with passionate interests and beliefs can communicate openly without turning dialogue into discord.

For more information, call 336-758-3758.


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