If you’ve ever needed to feel inspired by or excited for South African poetry, sit in on a Kyle Allan reading.
A KwaZulu-Natal poet, Allan hurls his readers into imagining the everyday observations housed in each one of his lines. Delivered full of confidence and emotion, his voice, deep and poetic to the point of sultry, glides effortlessly from word to word remarking on ‘the spaces between us’: negative, positive, political, romantic.
Beginning the Wordfest 2019 launch of his book, The Space Between Us, with the reading of ‘I cannot forget’ – as seen in the seperatley recorded video below – what struck me was that it’s a love poem. Do poems of tenderness and desire deserve a place in the South Africa’s current climate of activism and social injustices? Of course they do, especially when they are tainted with very important concerns of politics and identity.
Beyond his creative writing, Allan plays an important role in the development of young South Africans. He currently heads the NGO WhizzKids with the aim to provide “innovative, youth-focused sport, education and empowerment programmes, designed to inspire disadvantaged youth to access our highly effective, youth-friendly, health services”.
How do you become better at your craft? According to Allan, a natural and confident tutor and mentor, it’s by taking a sentence and and playfully rewriting it, reshaping its words and its structure.
For a copy of The Space Between Us, contact the author.