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Modjaji Books

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Book Lounge Book Launch: removing, a new chapbook of poems by Melissa Butler

Author of 'removing' removingremoving, a new chapbook of poems by Melissa Butler is to be launched next Wednesday July 7th at The Book Lounge.

Time: 5.30 pm for 6.00
RSVP: please by either email – – or tel – 021 462 2425

I am delighted with this first Modjaji chapbook and proud to be the publisher of a collection of work by the talented, unusual voice of Melissa Butler. I first heard her read at Off the Wall in 2007, and the goosebumps I got while listening to her made me want to be her publisher then and there, well, we have done it and here is her book.

Gus Ferguson will introduce Melissa and her work and then she will read from her new book. She has a strong performance style and does her work justice.

Stephen Watson, who was Melissa’s supervisor in her MA in Creative Writing (poetry) at UCT, has this to say about her poems:

In these poems Melissa Butler has the unique ability to take almost anything that happens to catch her eye or to figure in her mind’s eye—these can range from a bowl to a hadeda, from the concept of edges to the cusp of a silence—and make it speak volumes not only about itself, but about us in our human lives. Such are her poetic gifts; and such is the quality of this remarkable debut.

Finuala Dowling says this of removing:

The experience of reading the poems in removing is, wonderfully, one of a late-night conversation with a warm, imaginative, thoughtful, observant and compassionate friend. In pellucid language and deeply satisfying images of the real — hadedas, shelves, coats, bowls, characters in Long Street, plastic bags, pigeons – Melissa Butler manages to talk about the great questions of humanity (how we find meaning and know what we know) as lightly and easily as if she were tossing out a picnic blanket. The poems in removing are memorable for their playful and inventive use of form. Read them aloud among friends, but be wary of the discussion that follows: Melissa Butler’s poems have an uncanny ability to read their readers.

On her blog, PeonyMoon, Michelle McGrane has published a poem from the collection and the introductory essay that Melissa wrote for the book.

Thanks to the Book Lounge for hosting the event and to Leopard’s Leap for sponsoring the wine. What would we do without them?

Book details


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