An interview with Vonani Bila

“I believe one function I have as a poet is to critique both public and private life without fear of being victimised.  I can be called an angry poet, not because I want to overthrow the ruling party, but because I am a patriot, I love this country and I have nowhere else to go.”

– Vonani Bila

Read the interview here.

Read Vonani’s poems on the Poetry International Web.

4 thoughts on “An interview with Vonani Bila

  1. johemmant

    Good grief. Beautiful Daughter has left me very shaken… is so, so powerful and frightening. He’s an excellent, excellent poet and I will try and get my hands on a book asap. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it, poetry like this has such an important place in the world. It moves and can effect change. Thanks for the introduction…..the interview is excellent and I’m glad you finally got the chance to meet.

  2. Michelle Post author

    Jo, Vonani reads in a thundering voice. He’s someone to hear and one of the most socially conscious poets I know. As I understand, he believes in effecting change from grassroots level; he’s a proponent of literacy and he walks the talk.

  3. christine

    Great interview, and an amazing man. His poems are from the soul, what a voice.

    I liked this quote:

    “Of course, I enjoyed the poetry of fellow South Africans. I’ve learnt to take my poetry seriously, because the readers know there is a poet called Vonani Bila. From now on – whatever I write – I have to make sure it’s well polished.”

    He takes his role as poet very seriously.

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