Homegrown looks backwards, at childhood, and delves into the pain and beauty of a time that has passed.
Homegrown is a debut collection of poetry by Christine Coates, whose poems have been widely published in journals and anthologised, and have been included in the Sol Plaatje EU collections for the past five years.
Christine Coates is a poet and writer from Cape Town who spends many hours walking on the mountain or besides the sea. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She translated her great-grandfather’s Boer War journals and presented them in parallel text as a handmade, leather-bound book. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela. Her stories and poems have been published in various literary journals: New Contrast, New Coin, Deep Water Literary Journal, scrutiny2, and the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry anthologies 2011 – 2014.
“A beautifully arranged collection, the moving story of a single life’s journey towards wisdom and insight. Christine Coates’ poetic voice balances mystery with simplicity; she manages to evoke both a universally shared experience and a uniquely South African landscape and history.”
In Homegrown, the emotions of daily life litter the pages with acute specificity. Coates uses narrative and everyday conversational language to weave personal experiences and memory as a way of investigating universal themes. The straightforward verse style and colloquial tone and simplicity radiates nostalgia so pervasive, yet so entrancing, in its effort to hold your hand and walk you through all the spaces the poet has passed through.
A beautifully arranged collection, the moving story of a single life’s journey towards wisdom and insight. Christine Coates’ poetic voice balances mystery with simplicity; she manages to evoke both a universally shared experience and a uniquely South African landscape and history.
Sonpoppie, Amazon reviewer
It refreshes me to find poems that require and reward rereading as much as these do. What I love best about the poems in Homegrown, is their acute sense of story and personal destiny; such are the elements of this readable, luminous collection, with its sumptuous wealth of language and imagery. Her writing is an inspiration for the candor and self-awareness for which she tells life’s stories, as well as being a testimony to the optimism and resilience of women. I found it a profound and moving collection.
Cornelia Rohde, Amazon reviewer