27th Time of the Writer Festival announces stimulating literary line-up

The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has announced its programme featuring a line-up of over 100 writers for the eight-day Time of the Writer festival. The theme for this year’s 27th edition of the festival, taking place from 14 – 21 March, is Reflections, Resonance & Revival, exploring how writers and literature continue to share and strengthen the values of South Africa as a constitutional democracy.

“The 30th anniversary this year of South Africa as a constitutional democracy provides the background for reflecting and engaging with how our writers and literature continue to strengthen the founding values of our democracy and advance us as a nation to take our position on the global stage”,
says Ismail Mahomed, the Director of the Centre for Creative Arts.

With featured author Zakes Mda headlining the festival, attendees can expect a diverse range of events, including book launches, panel discussions, workshops and readings by some of the prominent names in the literary industry. The programme will not only take place online, but also at the Alliance Française in Morningside, Durban for a live audience.

Amongst some of the authors at this year’s festival are Justice Malala, Siphiwo Mahala, Sandile Mamela, Angela Makholwa, Shafinaaz Hassim, Barbara Boswell, Qaanita Hunter, Nokuthula Mazibuko-Msimang, Sabata Mpho Mokai, Shamil Ismail, Megan Choritz, Shubnum Khan, Steven Friedman and Jonny Steinberg.

Partnering with the Centre for Creative Arts is the Wits Writing Centre, the Centre for the Study of the US at Wits University and the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Outreach programmes will be facilitated at the Denis Hurley Centre, Luthuli, Museum, K Cap and the Vushwini Arts Centre.

As a celebration of diversity and inclusivity, the festival will also put the spotlight on writing in the IsiZulu language and feature a special programme about writing for children. The dynamic series in isiZulu will feature the diverse voices of Gugu Mazibuko, Lungi Mtetwa, Sbonisile Zibane and Nobuhle Hlongwa, amongst several others. The ‘writing for children’ feature will include Gregory Maqoma, Griffen Sheer and Charmaine Monareng, amongst others.

An exciting feature of this year’s programme is an Emerging Arts Manager internship exchange programme, which has two interns from the Centre for Creative Arts spending a three-week cultural immersion programme at the Bergen International Literature Festival in Norway. The Centre for Creative Arts will host two interns from Norway in residency in Durban during the Time of the Writer festival.

Heading the 2024 Time of the Writer programme is Tsosheletso Chidi, a post-graduate student, who was appointed on an 8-month residency as a mentee curator.

The festival is supported by generous grants from the National Arts Council, KZN Department of Sport, Arts & Culture and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

For the full list of events and speakers, please visit https://tow.ukzn.ac.za