Archives for posts with tag: Sally Scott

Thandi2

This is Thandi, the heroic rhino to whom For Rhino in a Shrinking World is dedicated. Her horn was, of course, hacked from her face by poachers.

Since then, I have had both the honour and the despair of watching a rhino darted and de-horned in order to make it less attractive to poachers. Here is my response to that experience.

I wish all rhinos long life, safety and the dignity of living as they are meant to: in the wild and free of human interference.

Chainsaw

I have always hated that sound: it means
death for something, it means devastation,
the hollow shriek of human intrusion.

Now here he is, crumpled on his haunches,
a white rhino bull, too strong, too proud, too
much himself, despite the darts, to go down.

But he’s drugged, masked, pinned: this to save his world.

And clearly he has been through the nightmare
before, though his stunted horn has re-grown.
Now the indignity repeats itself.

Our work’s against the clock, the sedative,
the history; his life depends on us.
So, plenty of cool water – and a chainsaw.

The helicopter’s pilot lounges, smoking,
in his cab as blizzards of horn shavings
surge from the blade like flakes of pale soap,

like the weeping wings of termites or ants,
like butterflies consecrating the grass
beneath the sun’s fire and the chainsaw’s hell.

This is what we’re reduced to: presiding
over the face of our world, cosmetic
surgery or death, improving nothing.

Harry Owen

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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.

RhinoShrinkingWorld

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!

For Rhino front

Sally’s work for the anthology has been praised:

… ‘beautiful line drawings’ and ‘beautifully illustrated’ …

She is showing the artwork from the rhino anthology in her exhibition Delta and Desert at the Carinus Arts Centre, Grahamstown during the National Arts Festival from 27th June to 6th July.

If you want to buy the original drawings, limited edition prints or greetings cards they are all available for purchase (10% of the sales will be going to the rhino).  She says that a number of the originals have already been purchased: you can see the costs of the various items in her blog here.  If you can’t get to the exhibition you can always contact her via her blog.

 

Success!  

I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have today – World Book Day – received the first consignment of the international anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World from the publisher, The Poets Printery.  It has been a long and sometimes frustrating wait but I hope you will feel when you see the finished product that it has been worth it.

World Book Day, 23rd April 2013 - the perfect day for the rhino anthology to be born!

World Book Day, 23rd April 2013 – the perfect day for the rhino anthology to be born!

Within the next few days we will begin the process of sending a complimentary copy to each contributor and will also be organising a series of launches, beginning in Grahamstown, South Africa, and spreading to other cities and venues.  So please keep watching this space.

In addition, full information on how to order copies of the book will appear here (and elsewhere!) in due course.

Thank you very much for your patience and support so far: the hard work of spreading the word now begins in earnest.

I have now seen the draft (sample) copy of the anthology and am impressed. Keep an eye on this space during the next few days – there should be good news to report by the end of next week.

I think I owe you all an explanation for the unfortunate delay we have experienced in releasing For Rhino in a Shrinking World.

The anthology was sent by the publisher to the printer some time ago and we expected the book to be available shortly after this. Unfortunately, it then became evident that the shape and design of the book’s cover and spine could not accommodate some of the features we wanted. For example, the font size of the poems inside became much smaller than was acceptable to me if we persisted with the original dimensions. This had to be corrected.

So the book was returned to the designer and we have now made it rectangular (26 x 21cm) rather than square. This has resolved the problem with the font size and we hope that everything is now as it should be. The book has been re-submitted to the printer and I am expecting to have a sample copy in my hands within the next few days.

I can’t tell you how frustrating this has been for all of us, but I am determined that the book will be as beautiful and as fine as it is possible to make it: the delay is annoying but necessary to ensure its quality.

As soon as I have seen and checked the sample copy I shall post here again to let you know where we stand – and I truly hope it will be to say that we’re there!

Thank you once again for your patience and support.

It is now almost a year since I listened and watched as Dr William Fowlds gave his harrowing presentation at Rhodes University about the horrors of rhino poaching. I felt utterly helpless then to contribute anything. But it is also nearly a year since I had the idea of asking poets around the world if they would be prepared to contribute to an anthology in support of the rhino and the natural world of which it is such an iconic  part.

It’s been a long haul but an inspiring one for me: the response has been absolutely stupendous, and now we are within touching distance of publication. The book should, according to the publisher, be ready this month – February.

I know that you are all, like me, waiting to see it, and I thank you for your patience (although, in the great scheme of things, publishing such a wonderful book from scratch in twelve months is no mean achievement).

I hope that the next post here will be to announce that our anthology has been published, so please keep looking!

And thank you again.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Just received the drafts of the back and front. Comments?

Front cover image © Sally Scott

Back cover image © Pat Whitfield

We (Sally Scott, John Forbis, Amitabh Mitra, the designer Rentia Ellis and I) are currently in the process of finalising the anthology’s covers, front and back, and I think they look very good. As soon as the cover is finished I will post it here, so keep checking in.

Meanwhile, in response to a few understandable queries: it is still my hope and intention to have the anthology available very soon, but it must be as perfect as we can make it first. This might mean that, although the official launch may now have to be after rather than before the Christmas holiday, the book should be available for purchase in advance of this so that it can be ordered, if you wish, as a beautiful Christmas or New Year gift.

I’ll let you have full details just as soon as I have them.