By STAFF REPORTER
The Bathurst Book Fair is back with a bang after two years of Covid cancellations.
Sunday 1 May of the long weekend from 9 am to 5 pm will see book lovers flock to the quaint village hunting down bargains and rare specials from local and visiting book dealers, and enjoying a lively speaker programme with local authors and poets.
Several Makhanda authors and poets feature on the speaker programme, providing inspiration and food for thought:
- Dan Wylie, author, poet and English professor, and fellow Eastern Cape authors, unpacks why local stories are so lekker in “Written in SA: Eish!”
- Crystal Warren and Marike Beyers of Amazwi SA Museum of Literature and fellow Modjadji poet Jeannie McKeown, all from Makhanda, kick off the afternoon poetry event with readings from their published work; this is followed by an open mic invitation to share inspiration.
- And Monty Roodt, emeritus professor of sociology at Rhodes University and author of the Bernie Bernard series of crime novels, will chair a panel discussion on Adventures (and Misadventures) in self-publishing.
- Fellow Rhodes Journalism alumnus, author and photojournalist Marion Whitehead (Visitors Guide: Flower Route; SA’s Favourite Passes & Poorts) will offer a virtual tour of the West Coast wildflowers with tips on planning a trip there.
Other speakers include:
- East London engineer and Rhodes history PhD Dennis Walters (Bridging the Eastern Cape) will uncover some challenges pioneer bridge builder Joseph Newey faces.
- Dean Allen (Frontier Land: Exploring the Eastern Cape; Empire, War & Cricket in SA) brings history to life with a journey through some of the Eastern Cape’s best-loved dorps.
- Veteran travel writer and former Getaway editor David Bristow spins a good few yarns from his Veld Stories series of books.
The venue for the talks will be the lounge at the Pig and Whistle Historic Inn, starting at 9.30 am.
The kiddies’ storytime with author Mary Riley will provide a chance to meet Bathurst’s famous alpacas at the Village Green. Young visitors can also enjoy fun pony rides with the folk from Healing Horses.
There will be books and bargains galore to browse, from the marquee at the Village Green to Treasure Cove, Fables Bookshop and Books of Bathurst. Food stalls, local restaurants and pubs will take care of the less cerebral appetites.
Bathurst Book Fair Speaker Programme 1 May 2022
Kiddies corner at the Village Green: Mary & the Alpacas
11 am Mary Riley, author of Pablo & Pepito, reads her book to young readers and introduces them to the two alpaca heroes of her story.
All-day venue: Pig n Whistle lounge, Kowie Road, Bathurst village
9.30 am Adventures (and misadventures) in self-publishing
Monty Roodt, author of the Bernie Bernard series of crime novels and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rhodes University, with Frank Nunan of Write-On Publishing.
10.30 Written in SA. Eish! Eastern Cape authors unpack what makes local stories so lekker
Author, poet and English professor Dan Wylie chairs a panel discussion with authors Vivian de Klerk (Serpent Crescent; Not to Mention) and RU Creative Writing Masters graduate Zodwa Mtirara (Thorn of the Rose; Ingqumbo Yomthondo Kukuzika Kohlanga).
11.30 am Veld Stories – Confessions of a Failed Journalist
Veteran travel writer and former Getaway editor David Bristow spins a good few yarns.
12.30 pm Uncovering an unsung hero: pioneer bridge builder Joseph Newey
East London engineer Dennis Walters (Bridging the Eastern Cape) on some of the challenges faced by Eastern Cape pioneer bridge builder Joseph Newey.
1.30 pm lunchtime
2.00 pm Bringing history to life – a journey through the Eastern Cape
Dean Allen (Frontier Land: Exploring the Eastern Cape; Empire, War & Cricket in SA) has fallen in love with our dorps and brings a fresh eye to fascinate and enthral with his stories.
3.00 pm A virtual West Coast spring wildflower tour
Author and freelance photojournalist Marion Whitehead (Visitors Guide: Flower Route; SA’s Favourite Passes & Poorts) gives tips for planning your next visit to the greatest wildflower show on earth.
4 pm Round the Bend Poetry event
Crystal Warren and Marike Beyers of Amazwi SA Museum of Literature and fellow Modjadji poet Jeannie McKeown, all from Makhanda, kick off the event with readings from their work.
Veteran economics journalist Reg Rumney changes hats to launch From a Family Album (And Some Poetic Jokes), a collection of eclectic verse.
An open mic poetry event will follow them. Charge your glasses, sit back and enjoy sharing some inspiration!