Mother and daughter: a poetry reading with Finuala Dowling and Beatrice Willoughby

Thursday 8 December 2022: Erin Hall, Rondebosch, 18.30-19.15

Twenty years after the publication of her Ingrid Jonker prizewinning debut, I flying, Finuala Dowling enters a poetic conversation with her daughter Beatrice Willoughby, an award-winning copywriter on the brink of publishing her own first collection. The back-and-forth of poems between mother and daughter is scintillating: not quite dueling banjos, not quite a duet, but a witty and moving conversation about shared lives, loves and losses.

“Just glorious” 

Booking is on Quicket.

Finuala Dowling interviews Karen Jennings (An Island) and Joanne Joseph (Children of Sugarcane)

Friday 13 May 2022: Franschhoek Literary Festival, 11.30-12.30.

Booking on Webtickets.

John Maytham interviews Finuala Dowling

Saturday 14 May 2022: Franschhoek Literary Festival, 10.00-11.00.

Booking on Webtickets.

John Maytham performs ‘Valentine’

Saturday 14 May 2022: Franschhoek Literary Festival, 17.30-18.30.

John Maytham reads poems and letters that speak to every variation of love: young, old, or middle-aged, comfortable or sizzling, fancy-free or heartbroken, plain-speaking or passionate. Compiled by Finuala Dowling, the script includes famous voices from Shakespeare to Derek Walcott. As Romeo said, ‘Heaven is here’.

Booking on Webtickets.

John Maytham performs ‘Ice Cream, Thank You’

Sunday 15 May 2022: Franschhoek Literary Festival, 13.00-14.00.

How should we approach news of other deaths and the certainty of our own? With rage and fear, or equanimity and fitting last words? Performed by John Maytham, Ice cream, thank you presents a range of poems about death: some funny, some sad, but all thought-provoking.  Compiled by Finuala Dowling, the script includes works by Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda and Wislawa Szymborska.

Booking on Webtickets.

Finuala Dowling describes how her latest novel came about

Wednesday 18 May: Zoom, 18.00.

Kingsmead Literary Festival

9.30 – 10.30

Finuala Dowling (The Man Who Loved Crocodile Tamers), Yewande Omotoso (An Unusual Grief), and Karen Jennings (An Island) talk about the challenges and rewards of writing compelling, award-winning novels with Alma-Nalisha Cele (Cheeky Natives).

See programme details here.

11:40 – 12:40
Poets Upile Chisala (Nectar), Jess Robus (A Few Slivers of Light), and author and poet Finuala Dowling (Pretend you Don’t Know Me) look at poetry as a way of processing life. Poetry has found more resonance than ever, in a time when words often seem to fail us.
Age: 13+
R60 entrance fee

Six Ways to Think about a Poem

Course starts 9 May 2022.

Off-the-Wall reading 13 December 2021

Click here to join.

UCT Summer School courses January 2022

Booking through Webtickets
Booking through Webtickets

18 November 2021

‘Just the first sentence: starting to write your novel’

Thanks to the first four letters of its name, November is novel-writing month. Some people attempt the impossible, but this 90-minute lecture followed by Q&A sets a more manageable goal: to write just the first sentence. Using inspiring illustrations and author interviews, the lecture takes you from the sources and ideas that lie behind novels to the many different ways of approaching a first sentence. It introduces the all-important concept of voice, which – if you get it right in the first sentence – may give you the momentum you need to produce a completed manuscript.