The Edna Fourie Gallery was the delightful venue for a special presentation of For Rhino in a Shrinking World at the McGregor Poetry Festival in South Africa’s Western Cape on Sunday 30th August 2015.

Six South African contributors to the anthology introduced and read their wonderful poems to a rapt and fascinated audience.

Norman Morrissey: ‘Lord of Life’

Silke Heiss: ‘Awaking’

Geoffrey Haresnape: ‘Praise Song’

Kerry Hammerton: ‘The Last Humiliation’

Ian McCallum: ‘The Elephant Tree’

Harry Owen: ‘Eyona Indala’

The event concluded, fittingly and movingly, with a recording of John Denver singing ‘You Say That The Battle Is Over’ by David Mallett.

All of these pieces and many, many more, along with the magnificent artwork of Sally Scott, were freely contributed so that every cent raised from sales of the anthology can go to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation to support their tremendous work on behalf of these glorious creatures.

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The annual McGregor Poetry Festival takes place in the beautiful village of McGregor in South Africa’s Western Cape. This year it will be from 27th to 30th August – a late winter treat indeed.

Harry Owen will be performing twice: on Saturday 29th August when he will read his own poetry in an event called ‘Searching – With Dogs!’ and then on Sunday 30th when the focus will be on ‘For Rhino in a Shrinking World’.

Harry will talk about how the international rhino anthology came about and what effect it is having in the battle against rhino poaching. And he will, of course, be reading a selection of the superb poems in the book.

Please come along if you can.

http://mcgregorpoetryfestival.blogspot.com/p/2015-edition.html

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.

The rhino is the ‘headline’ species for a much wider threat to the whole of the natural world – the “immense, unknown life / going on around you, within you” – and this threat  is the subject of award-winning Australian poet Andy Kissane’s wonderfully moving poem ‘Flight’.

Flight

Sometime in June or July, throw on a cable-stitched
grey jumper or even a thick coat for warmth,
take the afternoon off and head out past Kurnell
to Cape Solander. There, on the white sandstone cliffs
above the vast flood, look for humpbacks
heading north, swimming near the shore
to dodge the ocean current sliding south.
Witness, if you’re lucky, a whale breaching—
the corrugated whiteness of its wobbly ascension,
the dark certainty and blazing glitter of its fall.
The cold breeze ruffles the diamond quilt
until it’s as messy as an unmade bed, it tugs
at the waving tendrils of spear grass and at the tips
of your ears, it makes your eyes water
as if some old sadness has unexpectedly taken hold.
You can find no sign of a sea eagle, hovering;
you cannot name the endangered species
growing in this headland heath. But you can close
your eyes, you decide to do this simple thing,
electing to completely miss the whale if it rises again,
aware now of this immense, unknown life
going on around you, within you, as the buffeting,
lunging wind picks you up and gives you wings.

Andy Kissane

‘Flight’ comes from the collection Radiance by Andy Kissane (Puncher & Wattmann, 2014)

http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/radiance

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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VI

From fragments, horns, we dream of the unicorn,

fleet footed, ephemeral, fairest of all.

More beautiful still is the wholeness of things;

the slow rhino, pressing his feet into the earth

wirh every step.

 

VII

In the mud at the edge of the waterhole,

the earth and the water are one.

The earth and the water and the rhino

are one.

 

 

Species

 

Sometimes they rise before me in the night,

the lemurs, eyes as bare and bright as moons,

the lizard, older than the afternoon,

the coral’s tender hands which sun bleached white.

Some are immense, the tiger, shot and still,

some thumbnail-sized, like Chile’s emerald frog,

I never saw, and soon, nobody will.

 

Alison Brackenbury

 

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