Launch of English Alive

2012 English Alive was launched on Wednesday 15 August and Wynberg Girls’ High was once again on the guest list, because the work of one of our students, Sian Ferguson, was published. 

The event was hosted by Bishops in the Heatlie Pavilion. Guests were welcomed by Anne Schlebusch and five contributors, introduced by Terrill Nicolay, were invited to read their work to the audience. Robin Malan – who certainly needed no introduction – was called to the podium, where talked of his 20 years of experiences as Editor of English Alive. Reading from the writing published in this prestigious magazine, he illustrated ways in which English Alive had always in some way reflected the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times.This occasion marks the occasion of Robin Malan’s retirement as editor: in 2013 Megan Hall, an award-winning poet and senior publisher with Oxford University Press, will take office.

For a fuller report on the evening please follow the link to the website of English Alive.

We congratulate Sian on having her work selected for publication.  Not surprisingly, a significant number of those who have had their work selected go on to meet success as writers – often award-winning – in their adult life. And Sian has had her work selected by English Alive prior to this. We bring here the poem that was published in the 2012 edition.

Coffee Table Books
By Sian Ferguson

The history of this country is coloured
By the yellows of teargas
and the sepia of dried blood
and the reds of Soweto soccer fields
and the greys of –

I don’t need to tell you this.
All the glory all the stories,
Are sitting there in a glossy, crisp-paged book
That rests comfortably on your mahogany coffee table,
Between the Afro-centric flower arrangement, and the remote for the DSTV.

It must feel wonderful, knowing that your
Ex-freedom fighter friends can sit on your leather couch
Clean hands paging through stories of suffering
And the yellows of teargas
And the sepia of dried blood
Discussing how far this country has come, patting your backs,
Because you’ve done so much to promote equality amongst all men.