MARÍ PETÉ    POEMS

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Marí Peté (Photo: Steve Peté, 2018)

 

ABOUT | FIRST COLLECTION | SECOND COLLECTION | THIRD COLLECTION


In partnership with academic staff, I reach to remain on the edge of change -- to provide students with curricula and learning environments relevant to the wired world of work. In this context I believe that meaning-making could make the difference between merely surviving, and thriving as 21st century scholars and academics.

In my research practice I play the role of technology ethnographer, combining the disciplines of educational technology and poetry. Like Kress & Lake, editors of the series Imagination And Praxis: Criticality And Creativity In Education And Educational Research, I believe that if we were to educate students adequately to cope with their inheritance, namely, numerous challenges in an increasingly complex world, then 'the educational community needs a serious dose of imagination'. 

 

Marí Peté (nèe Greyling) (1964 - ) has published three bilingual poetry collections -- Step Through (2015), Amytis (2007) and Begin (2002). She presented poems from these collections at places like Poetry Africa, the London Book Fair, the Woordfees in Stellenbosch, the Kirkcudbright Arts Festival in Scotland, and the Pierneef Theatre in Pretoria. With Bianca Bothma, Marí was editor of Art for Humanity's book Women Artists and Poets Advocate Children's Rights. Her poems were published for the first time in 1983 in Tydskrif vir Letterkunde.


FIRST COLLECTION


2002 saw the light of Marí's first anthology begin (Umsinsi Press).  The majority of poems were written in Afrikaans, with a handful in English, marking the beginnings of bilingual writing. Begin was reviewed by Kobus Moolman on LitNet.



SECOND COLLECTION


In 2007, Marí's second collection of poems, Amytis, was launched at the London Book Fair by Umsinsi Press, while the anthology was first released at the Cape Town Book Fair in June of the same year.  In this book Marí explores dreamscapes, everyday experiences and the thin membrane between these two states of being. In many poems she weaves connections between the realms of Nature and Spirit. In contrasting mood, writing in Iscamtho or Tsotsitaal (an urban South African street dialect), Marí takes the reader on alternative guided tours of her home city Durban, with poems such as "Umgeni Road", "Durban Taxi", "Local is Lekker".  The poem "voorstedelike oggendritueel" (suburban morning ritual), dedicated to working mothers, was awarded first prize in the 2004 Woordgilde poetry competition.



THIRD COLLECTION


Step Through, Marí's third collection, was published in 2015 by Leopard Press (available on Amazon).


The book contains sketches by Dina Cormick, whose artworks can be found in South Africa's Constitutional Court, and the Durban Botanical Gardens, amongst other places.


Leon de Kock reviewed the book on Amazon:


"Marí Peté's poems have the magic ability to narrow the gap between things and words, all the while drawing attention to the way in which words refashion the observed world. The poems in this volume are evocative and sensuously rendered, (un)layering the textures of a rich and strange world. The descriptions in these poems include acutely observed moments of travel; personal experience felt in moments of epiphany; wittily rendered senses of parenting; momentary senses of being rendered in haiku; and poetic meditation on a life experienced in elegiac mode. Peté's is a poetically striking voice that is well worth reading."


The title invites the reader to step through a book of poems about life in the 21st century, seeing through the eyes of a university teacher who lives in a South African city. What is it like in ordinary moments and transitional experiences – driving through Durban streets; teaching with new technologies and feeling its impact on the body, values and norms; witnessing birth; losing loved ones to death? To be married for 25 years; to experience a sudden empty nest when a child leaves for boarding school; to parent a teenager? To enter one's 50th year? The poet steps through being disheartened, frivolous, depressed, reaches for anchors – humour, gardening, faith.


The poems are rooted in place – Durban's Warwick Junction marketplace, the stars of the Midlands and rock pools of the Drakensberg mountains (KwaZulu-Natal); Rising Star Cave in the Cradle of Humankind (Gauteng province); the suspension bridge of Storm's River Mouth (Eastern Cape); Robberg, the home of seal colonies (Western Cape); Hyde Park in London; Kirkcudbright and Dumfries (villages of Scotland).


The poem "Warwick Junction" was shortlisted for the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award in 2012.


While the majority of poems were written in English, there are a handful of poems originally written in Afrikaans, with translations into English – some done by the poet, and two poems translated by Karin Schimke, whose debut collection Bare and Breaking was awarded the Ingrid Jonker prize in 2014.


Poems in this collection were first published in the literary journals New Coin, New Contrast and Carapace; the research journal Qualitative Inquiry; the Sunday Tribune; The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology of 2012; The Art of Human Rights Catalogue; the websites of Badilisha Poetry Xchange, Indiefeed Performance Poetry, Art for Humanity and SlipNet.