In 1985, American artists led by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie came up with a song called We Are The World to help the people of Ethiopia who were going through a horrible drought. It is still one of the best examples of artists coming together to alleviate suffering.
South African writers, many of them quite well known have used the same spirit to speak up for one segment of society not often dealt with; stray pets. This new collaboration is word based, some of these writers are known for their horrible singing, with stories and poems exploring different ways in which animals and humans live together, co-exist and change each other. Some of the pieces in the anthology called Stray edited by Diane Awerbuck and Helen Moffett have been previously published and others are new.
The writers on this anthology include Arthur Attwell, Diane Awerbuck, Gabeba Baderoon, Robert Berold, Sarah Lotz, Margaret Clough, Michael Cope, Colleen Crawford Cousins, Gail Dendy, Richard de Nooy, Finuala Dowling, Isobel Dixon, Nerine Dorman, Tom Eaton, Justin Fox, Damon Galgut, Robyn Goss, Michiel Heyns, Colleen Higgs, Jenny Hobbs, Liesl Jobson, Rustum Kozain, Jenna Mervis, Jacqui L’Ange, Sindiwe Magona, Siphiwo Mahala, Niq Mhlongo, Helen Moffett, Julia Martin, Joan Metelerkamp, Thando Mgqolozana, Mmatshilo Motsei, Paige Nick, Yewande Omotoso, S.A. Partridge, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Beverly Rycroft, Alex Smith, Fiona Snyckers, Ivan Vladislavic, Zukiswa Wanner, James Whyle and Makhosazana Xaba.
So who will the benefitting from the book when it is bought? The royalties of the book will be going to TEARS Animal Rescue. Awesome no?
If you want in, the book will be launched as part of the Open Book festival in Cape Town, at Straight No Chaser (two blocks up from the Book Lounge) on Monday 9 September and you can get a free ticket for that at http://openbookfestival.com
Readers were enlisted a while back by the Open Book peeps so that gig might be hard to access. If you can’t make it to that gig, Kall Bay Books will also be launching on 22 September.
There are Joburg and Grahamstown launches in the planning stages for those who wont be able to make it.
If you can’t make it to the launches you can buy the book here.