Well known for his political poems, renowned South African poet James Matthews, 87, from Silvertown will be performing at the McGregor Poetry Festival in the Winelands on Saturday August 27.
Matthews, who is the eldest of six children, was born on May 25, 1929, in Bo-Kaap.
In 1972, he wrote his first collection, Cry Rage, an attack on the apartheid government. The collection was banned that year. In 1974, he edited a collection called Black Voices which was also banned. He was arrested for his political poetry and was imprisoned at Pollsmoor Prison in 1976.
He will be reading from three collections at the McGregor Poetry Festival – Poems from a Prison Cell, Gently Stirs My Soul and Age is a Beautiful Phase.
When asked what his first poem was, he said: “I think all boys start writing poems at the age of nine or 10 to the girls they like.”
In 2004, Matthews received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for his excellent achievements in literature, contributing to journalism and his inspirational commitment to the struggle for a non-racial South Africa.
* The poetry festival runs from Friday August 26 to Sunday August 28.
For more details, you can visit https://mcgregorpoetryfestival. blogspot.co.za/