Bloem poet bags national award

Awarding-winning poet Dimakatso Sedite

Dimakatso Sedite, Bloemfontein born and raised, has won the 2022 Humanities and Social Sciences Book, Creative Collections and Digital Contributions Award for Best Fiction for a book of poems entitled Yellow Shade.

According to Sedite she is grateful for the honour the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences has bestowed on the book because it says to the world, poetry does matter.

Sedite says the poetry collection was inspired by the ordinary lives of people living in the townships and the poems are mostly narrative. There are themes of childhood, loss, grief, mental health, relationships, the privileged position of men, the struggle to eke out a living, ageing, death, as well as the simple pleasures of daily life.

“Each poem takes the preceding one forward, to form a coherence and cohesiveness that tells a story. The cross-cutting theme is that of township lives, expressed with visceral imagery that takes the reader to a place of discovery, of strangeness, of unpredictability,” she explains.

Sedite says as a writer, she has no other choice but to write. “The poems are always close to my skin,” is how she describes her craft. “They wake me up in the middle of the night, they interrupt my daily life, and always catch me off-guard.

“I write poems from a place of feeling, of texture, of sound, of surprise, of an absence of thought. So with a web of rhythm and imagery warped around me, I hardly need any motivation. Writing, to me, is the biggest thrill in the world. If you write from a place of honesty, you do not need any nudging to do so.”

Yellow Shade by Dimakatso Sedite (published by Deep South) is available in all bookstores that sell poetry (including Exclusive Books and Bargain Books). Its local bookshop retail price is R100.

Justine Fortuin