On Wednesday 1 April 2015, we had the privilege of welcoming Chris Mann to our village. He presented a very moving performance of music and poetry titled “Rudiments of Grace” in the Caritas Library at Temenos. The presentation was based on his latest slim volume of poems, Rudiments of Grace which was launched in the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, Grahamstown, as part of the Spiritfest programme during the National Arts Festival in July 2014.
Chris Mann is currently Emeritus Professor of Poetry at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. His poems have appeared in a wide range of journals, textbooks and anthologies in South Africa and abroad. He performs his work at various festivals, school, churches, universities and conferences around the country as part of his life-long passion to promote poetry in the public domain.
This is a beautifully crafted and unified collection. Chris Mann tells a love story which is full of passion, tenderness, and lyric grace. Lucy Newlyn, Professor of English Language and Literature, Oxford.
These poems tell a story that is as profound as it is familiar. The poems are delicate, shaded, sometimes startlingly direct, but above all honest. They are sacraments to love. Reverend David Jasper, Professor of Literature and Theology, University of Glasgow.
Moments of profundity spring regularly from Mann’s uncommon renderings of intimacy.
Nick Mulgrew, Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg.
This is one of the most beautiful books of poetry I have ever read. Emeritus Professor Rosemary Gray, Institute for African Renaissance Studies, University of South Africa.