Archives for category: The Appeal

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.

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”

In advance of publication, I have now completed the Acknowledgements page in recognition of organisations that have extended sponsorship or other important support to this project.  At least, I think I’ve completed it!

Please let me know if you are aware of someone – either an individual or a business – deserving of appreciation: I would hate to make a big omission. Thank you.

TEDxRhodesU

On Sunday 12th August I will be one of the speakers at the TEDxRhodesU event being held at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. The day’s theme is Africa Inspired and the title of my talk, taking issue with the famous words of W.H. Auden that “poetry makes nothing happen”, is ‘How to Make Nothing Happen’. I believe poetry can and does make things happen – and one of the ways it does so is illustrated by our publishing anthologies such as ‘For Rhino in a Shrinking World’. I hope you will agree with me because I believe we are part of something important here.

Costs of publication have been kept to the absolute minimum but we do need the assistance of sponsors, corporate or individual.  If you can help in any way please click on the Appeal for Sponsors at the top of the blog.

In early April 2012 I attended a lecture at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa given by Dr William Fowlds, a wildlife veterinarian who had been called a month earlier to attend three rhino that had been attacked and grievously wounded by poachers. These animals had been mutilated almost beyond imagination by having their horns hacked from their faces while still alive, an act of callous savagery that I still find it difficult to contemplate.

Despite Dr Fowlds’s humanity and call for the world to wake up, after his lecture I felt utterly dispirited by an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Such acts of inhuman evil – and that’s not too strong a word for it – cannot be allowed to go unchallenged, yet what could I do?

I wrote at the time:

But still – how can I help?  I am a poet, not an activist.

And then it occurred to me: I know many other poets in South Africa and around the world who must feel as strongly as I do about this.  How many of you would be willing to offer some of your work for consideration for inclusion in an anthology dedicated to helping to save the rhino?   Many, I hope and believe.

But, of course, I can’t truly make such an assumption without asking.

SO – this note is to ask you if YOU would be willing to participate in the publication of a poetry anthology dedicated to the rhino if I could arrange it.

Would you?

THE RESPONSE WAS IMMEDIATE AND UNIVERSAL: 

“YES – COUNT ME IN!”

From that request has emerged For Rhino in a Shrinking World: an international anthology.  I have received literally hundreds of submissions from around the world, and now (July 2012) the selection process – extremely difficult because of both the number and the tremendously high quality of submissions – is just about complete.

I plan to use this blog to track the progress of this wonderful book to completion, publication and beyond.  I hope you’ll stay with me!