REVIEW | Gau-Trained by Flow Wellington

Poetry volume is a quick but deep read says Eleanor Douglas-Meyers


Eleanor Douglas-Meyers reviews Gau-Trained by Flow Wellington
Gau-Trained, a collection of poems and stories, is the latest offering by Port Elizabeth’s own Flow Wellington (Selome Motaung, nee Payne).
In Gau-Trained Wellington relates the tale of her relocating to Johannesburg in 2011 in a series of poems and short stories that will leave you eager for her next instalment.
Her publishing company, Poetree Publications, has also helped numerous other authors, both from SA and abroad, to publish their original works in poetry, children’s literature and autobiographies.
She makes sure to give voice to her own stories as well.
Having started writing poetry at the age of 12 in 1996, Wellington has, over the years, also paired her poetry with various music forms including hip-hop, jazz and classical.
She has since been published in a number of mediums including Badilisha Poetry X-Change, Poetry Potion, Poetry Institute of Africa, Atlanta Review, and anthologies such as SA’s first jazz anthology To Breathe into Another Voice. Gau-Trained is her second self-published collection, with her first, The Undelivered Score, having been published in 2011.
Gau-Trained is written as a retrospective look at the past seven years of her life while living in Johannesburg, touching on personal experiences and the tales of those around her.
Evident throughout the book is Wellington’s advocacy for women in need – women touched by abuse, xenophobia, loss and other hardships.
In the four chapters of the book: Platform, Derailed, Crossroads and Full Steam Ahead, Wellington talks openly about her difficulties finding her place “in the big city”.
“I wasn’t warned or given any tips of survival before I came to Jozi.
“This place is not exactly all that the glamorous advertisements would want you to believe, especially when you don’t have a solid plan or support structure.”
The book is a quick but very deep read, leaving you with a lot to think about.
Wellington took the book on tour in 2018 and plans on continuing to do so in 2019.
A crowdfunding campaign is under way to take the project across borders to neighbouring countries.

To buy a book or for tour dates, visit:

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