Award-winning poet Kobus Moolman is this year’s first Andrew H. Mellon Foundation fellowship writer-in-residence at Rhodes University. During his three month residency, from mid-April till mid-July, Moolman will teach the Masters in Creative Writing students and create his own work “free from the pressures of daily duties”. He says the residency grants him time to pause and reflect. “It helps to look at my work a bit more objectively and to look at where I’ve come from and where I’m going.”
Moolman launched his sixth anthology of poems, Left Over on Thursday 6 June, at NELM’s Eastern Star Gallery. His previous work includes Time like Stone and a collection of radio plays entitled Blind Voices as well as editing Tilling The Hard Soil: Poetry, prose and art by South African writers with disabilities, a concern which lies close to his heart.
“I need to be able to engage with people who live with and are of the word,” says Lesego Rampolokeng. A self-confessed wanderer, the internationally acclaimed writer, iconoclast and wordsmith is spending three months as a writer-in-residency at Rhodes University as a recipient of the Andrew H. Mellon Foundation fellowship. In his inimitable ironic style, he says: “I’m a glorified vagabond. I carry my roots on my head, hence the dreadlocks,” referring to his trademark hair. “If I cut them, I’m done.”
Rampolokeng has been working with the Masters in Creative Writing students, creating his own work and collaborating with the English and Drama departments. The Mellon writer-in-residency is sponsored by the Rhodes research office and the selection of the Mellon fellow is made by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA) board, motivated by recommendations from the 14 writers who teach on the MA programme.