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As with Harry Owen’s previous collections, The Cull: new and resurrected poems reflects his lifelong fascination with, and growing concern for, the natural world, especially in relation to damaging human interactions with it.

Our encroachment upon formerly pristine wildlife habitat has given rise to an enormous increase in cries for the ‘culling’ (i.e. organised slaughter) of animals deemed to be problematic. Elephant ivory, rhino horn, lion bones and the body parts of innumerable other animals are much in demand so that these and many other magnificent creatures are under real threat of extinction. Poaching and trophy hunting (and the despicable business of ‘canned hunting’) add to the pressure.

So culling is at best a questionable practice. This collection attempts to ask some of those hard questions while at the same time celebrating the grandeur of what we still have.

The Cull: new and resurrected poems is scheduled for publication in the first part of 2017.

Edward Bibbey of De//Cultured was inspired by the rhino anthology to create these powerful artworks using a modern urban, graffiti-style. He has kindly sent us these six images to distribute for non-commercial, non-profit, educational and charitable use.

 

 

 

 

The current issue of Plumwood Mountain has a fine review by Moira Sheppard of For Rhino in a Shrinking World .  She concludes:

“Harry Owen’s anthology of poems is more than a vigil; it is more than a protest; it is a loud and desperate plea for humankind to question their ideologies and actively help save these rhinos, nature and our future.”

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Here’s the wonderful news – and great footage – from Kariega.  It’s movingly narrated by Dr Will Fowlds who treated Thandi, and the late Themba, after their brutal attack by poachers in March 2012.

Many thanks to Adrian Steirn for getting this out so soon after Thandi gave birth on January 13th 2015.

Last Sunday host Dennis Morton highlighted the Rhino Anthology on KUSP’s weekly Poetry Show broadcast from Santa Cruz, California.

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He movingly reads a selection of the poems and the introductory material of the book. Even better, KUSP’s blog page promises more readings from the Anthology at a future date.  You can listen to the podcast by clicking through to the Poetry Show website at KUSP.

All of the KUSP Poetry Show podcasts are in iTunes, see below, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s great that the Anthology is now reaching a much wider audience.

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Great video recording by Roar recordings: Harry reciting Eyona indala to eloquent visuals and music.

Sally Scott’s majestic front cover image hangs on my study wall and at this time of year autumn sunlight slants across the picture making dark shadows and new contrasts.

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I’ve taken a few photos of this and today I reworked one of them.  I chose three keywords – rhino, shrinking and world – and used the photo as a base to run them through WordFoto.  It’s a very clever application that selects area of similar colour and shape in a picture and then replaces them with your selected words at different sizes.  Here’s the comparison.  There’s no intention to change it!

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Two weeks ago Harry sent a copy of the rhino anthology to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

He responded this afternoon as follows:

“Dear Friend,

Thank you so much for this beautiful gift. I look forward to a good and perhaps disturbing read.

I certainly support your campaign against the ghastly attempt at eradicating these splendid creatures so gruesomely.

You can, if you need to, publicise my support of your campaign.

God bless you,

+Desmond Tutu”

Earlier this week there was a special announcement made at Kariega Game Reserve: Thandi the rhino is pregnant.

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There’s already a movie clip (taken on Saturday 7th December) of Thandi in the Facebook Post by Harry Owen.  Harry says that the trust she shows in the clip is remarkable considering the ordeal she has suffered.

These photos are courtesy of James Fleming who was with Harry at Kariega.