Book festival returns to Fish Hoek

The Blown Away by Books festival returns to Fish Hoek library this month.

Writers, editors, poets and publishers are part of the Blown Away by Books literacy festival, which returns to the Fish Hoek library from Thursday September 15 to Saturday September 17.

The annual festival, which wasn’t held last year because of Covid, is hosted by the Friends of Fish Hoek Library.

“Many of the writers live in the south peninsula, giving the festival a genuine local flavour,” said the chairman of the Friends of Fish Hoek Library, Paul Kilfoil. “The publishers we contacted have been extremely cooperative and have donated many books – some will appear on Fish Hoek library’s shelves and others will be given away as lucky draw prizes.”

This year’s line-up includes Mike Nicol (Hammerman), Finuala Dowling (The Man who Loved Crocodile Tamers), Mark Winkler (The Errors of Dr Browne), Sara-Jayne Makwala King (Mad Bad Love), Mark Gevisser (Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred), Sindiwe Magona (Theatre Road), Helen Moffett (Charlotte) and Melinda Ferguson (Bamboozled) and poet, Jim Pascual Agustin.

Most of the sessions will take the form of a panel discussion between two or three writers and a moderator, followed by questions from the audience and an opportunity to meet the writers.

“We plan to have a lucky draw at every session, with the prize at each session typically comprising books written by the authors on that panel,” Mr Kilfoil said.

There will also be an “open mic” session for budding or established poets.

The crime-writing session is on the first day, and visitors can also participate in a Japanese bookbinding workshop.

Helen Moffet, a writer, freelance editor, activist and poet who is taking part in the festival this year, said: “Blown Away by Books was the last book festival I attended before the March 2020 lockdown. It’s hard not to feel optimism creeping back in at the thought of talking books and writing with familiar and new faces.

“I’m a librarian’s daughter and believe passionately in libraries as invaluable community resources. This is exactly the kind of event that broadens the impact of a local library.”

Mike Cope, a poet and writer said: “As a south peninsula inhabitant, I love to see this kind of stuff blooming and flourishing in the ‘hood’.”

Visitors will be able to buy books after each panel session and coffee and refreshments will be on sale.

Some of the independent authors will be selling their own books and won’t have credit-card facilities. All the events are free, and booking is not necessary, except for a couple of workshops. The full programme can be found at Fish Hoek library or on the BlownAwayByBooks Facebook page or call Mr Kilfoil at 084 438 5400.