FORMER Pietermaritzburg resident Norman Morrissey will be launching his latest poetry anthology, Strandloop, at Café Tatham, on the first floor of the Tatham Art Gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Road at 5.30 pm for 6 pm on Friday, May 6.
Now resident in the Eastern Cape, Morrissey matriculated at Alexandra High School and studied at the Department of English at the then University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal). He began writing poetry in 1979. He will speak about his life in poetry and read from the collection at the launch.
The book is a collection of 261 poems and the book’s title suggests an imagined walk by the poet along the shoreline of his poetic creation. As he beachcombs so he sees individual poems, and clusters of poems, as if washed up out of the ocean of his experience. The poems that he sees as most “useful”, as he puts it, are the ones chosen for this collection.
Speaking about the anthology, Nigel Bell, former editor of The English Academy Review, said: “Reading Norman Morrissey’s poems are at once a revelation and a delight. A revelation, in that as one reads the conviction grows ever stronger that one has in one’s hands the work of a major poet, with no equal among current South African writers, and few, if any, in the past.
“In fact, I’d go as far as to say, with little fear of contradiction, that Morrissey is a poet of international stature, who can take his place in the company of illustrious poets of any age.”
Strandloop also contains a preface by the author, a complete bibliography of his previous publications, a brief biography, and an inspired portrait for the frontispiece by Morrisey’s wife, Silke Heiss.
The cover of the book features an image, Moonshine 1 (2010), from artist Norman Catherine.
Signed copies of Strandloop will be available at the discounted price of R240 (cash only). There is also a special hardback collector’s edition available.
Light snacks, refreshments and red wine will be available at the café; and parking with a car guard in attendance is available next to the gallery. Kindly RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so catering can be estimated.
There will also be a book launch at St Clements Restaurant, 191 Musgrave Road, Durban, at 5.30 pm for 6 pm to 7 pm on Wednesday, May 11. Inquiries: 084 550 9688 or 021 782 2943.
Strandloop is published by Echoing Green Press.