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Beyond the Delivery Room

R160.00

Khadija Heeger

Popular performance poet, Khadija Heeger’s debut collection of poems.

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A debut collection of poems from popular performance poet, Khadija Heeger. The collection is the first in a trilogy of poems that Heeger has worked on over many years. This collection is a combination of story-telling, resistance, re-naming, remembering. The language of the book is personal to the poet and reflects the wider community and society she is part of. She mixes languages, English and Afrikaans, and the language of the Cape called Kaaps.

Khadija Tracey Carmelita Heeger was born Cape Town,. She was raised on the Cape Flats in the township of Hanover Park. She started performing when she was nine years old, her dream was to be an actress, but at 15, she started writing seriously and this is how she expresses herself now. She is a well-known and popular performance poet.

In 2007 she was commissioned to write a multidisciplinary theatrical poetry piece in collaboration with indigenous soundscape artists, Khoikonnexion, for the Spier Poetry Festival in 2008. These performances were greeted with standing ovations. This piece was later taken to Grahamstown Festival in 2009 (funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa). Beyond the Delivery Room is the first part in a trilogy called Separation Anxiety. She is currently writing the second, Blood Words, following the crooked lines of DNA. She has also performed in Amherst in the USA, as part of an artist’s exchange programme. Beyond the Delivery Room is her first collection of poems.

Khadija Heeger is far from a conventional poet and even on the national spoken word scene she stands out as a mould-breaker; she is a contemporary South African griot resonating with the ancient tradition of griots described as those poets and storytellers whose “wit can be devastating and knowledge of local history formidable”.

In her poetry Heeger reconstructs, re-imagines vital histories. From the raw and personal to the local relevant and globally political she unflinchingly names what has been intentionally erased, overshadowed or forgotten. Through the urgent river of her poetry, its unrelenting call to action, remembrance and the return to integrity.

For those of us who have for years enjoyed the gift of hearing Khadija perform her poetry, to see her biting, lush and percussive way with words to in print makes you want to speak them out loud, read them to others, recall the way her voice wields them in the passionate act of telling. This long – awaited tangible body of her work allows us to take some of that fire and music home with us, to re-digest again and again.
Malika Ndlovu

“Heeger’s is a poetry of sincerity and acumen, searching for nuanced understanding and meaning among the welter of public clichés and private rationalisations by which most of us live. In a country whose people are ‘vrek van pille roek met ‘n apartheid spoek’, these declarative, propulsive poems urge us to renew a process of reflection, self-examination and action.”
Kelwyn Sole