Gabeba Baderoon


Country: South Africa


www.gabeba.com

Biography:

Gabeba Baderoon is a South African poet. She is the author of three poetry collections, The Dream in the Next Body (2005), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005) and A Hundred Silences (2006). The Silence Before Speaking, a selected volume of her poetry was translated into Swedish by Roy Isaksson, published in 2008. El Sueno en El Cuerp Venidero, a collection of her poetry translated into Spanish by Clara Janes, also appeared in 2008.

In 2005, Baderoon received the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and in 2008, she was the inaugural Humanities Writer in Residence at the University of Witwatersrand. The Dream in the Next Body was named a Notable Book of 2005 by the Sunday Independent and was a Sunday Times Recommended Book. A Hundred Silences was a finalist for the 2007 University of Johannesburg Prize and the 2007 Olive Schreiner Award. Baderoon held the Guest Writer Fellowship at the Nordic Africa Institute in 2005 and received a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship in 2008.

Related Podcasts & Events:

War Tryptich

I. Accounting

The mother asked to stay.
She looked at her silent child.

I was waiting for you.

The quiet of the girls face was a different quiet
Her hands lay untouched by death.

The washer of bodies cut
away her long black dress.

Blue prayer beads fell
to the floor in a slow accounting.

The washer of bodies began to sing
a prayer to mothers and daughters.

The mother said,
who will wait for me.

(written after a newspaper article on the aftermath of the bombings on a holy day in Najaf, Iraq)

II. Father Receives News His Son Died in the Intifada

When he heard the news, Mr Karim became silent.
He did not look at the cameras,
nor at the people who brought their grief.
He felt a hand slip from his hand,
a small unclasping,
and for that he refused the solace of glory.

III. Always For The First Time

We tell our stories of war like stories
of love, innocent as eggs.
But we will meet memory again
at the wall around our city,
always for the first time.

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