SEVEN Eastern Cape writers have again joined pens in the publishing of their 16th anthology of poems, to be launched at the Athenaeum Theatre in Central, Port Elizabeth, today.
The Ecca poets, named after the Ecca Pass near Grahamstown, are renowned for their crafting with words that capture the essence of the Eastern Cape landscape and its people.
Brian Walter, co-founder of the writing group and the brain behind the well- known Helenvale poets, said Ecca initially began as a group of friends writing together. “The other founding members, Cathal Lagan and Norman Morrissey and I worked at the University of Fort Hare in the 1980s and 1990s,” Walter said.
“It was our way of encouraging and pulling one another through during very difficult times in the country. We have lost some writers and gained a few, but we are a group of friends who try to contribute to the art of the written word.”
The diverse group, consisting of a preacher, a musician and a journalist among other professions, typically write about their experiences of life in the rural province. The group does regular readings and runs creative writing workshops in the Hogsback and King William’s Town regions.
Under Walter’s guidance the Helenvale poets have published two anthologies, Uitsig and Tussen Strate, which capture life in the notorious Port Elizabeth suburb in poetry.
About the launch of their latest anthology, This Questioning Terrain, Walter said: “Poetry is a beautiful way to engage people poetically on things that matter.” – Alvené du Plessis