In August 2018, Crane River in association with Africa Sun Press published the sequence of 22 poems entitled BEFORE, first published three years ago in New Contrast. The volume was launched in Cape Town at Clarke's Bookshop in Long Street on 28th August, at the poetry reading Off the Wall in Observatory, and at the Macgregor Festival of poetry. In South Africa, it is available from Clarke's Bookshop; in the U.K., from C.J.Driver at Apple Yard Cottage, Mill Lane, Northiam, Ryte, TN31 6JU (send a cheque made out to C.J.Driver for £5 plus £2 for packaging & postage, or email email@example.com and he will send details of online purchase).
On Friday 2nd November (All Souls' Day) at 6-15 p.m., C.J.Driver has been invited to read his sequence of poems, REQUIEM, in the parish church of Ewhurst Green. Martin Bradshaw, cellist, will play excerpts from Bach's Cello Suite No 1 in between some of the poems. This recital is part of the local commemoratioin of the centenary of the end of WW1. REQUIEM was used as the order of service in Evensong at Westminster Abbey in 2014, read by the Revd Christopher Chivers.
A collectioin at the end of this recital on 2nd November will be shared between the chcurch and the Hantam Community Education Projerct in the Karoo.
Other Recent Work
There were four poems by C.J.Driver in a recent Oxford Magazine (No 396): "Last Lesson of a Wintry Afternoon: a Kaddich for Joanna, Lady Seldon", "Extract from a Diary", "Diary Entry" (Hospital poem) and "On Shadows". A letter to the Oxford Magazine, No 397, explained that "On Shadows" was dedicated to Ken Gross and Liza Lorwin; Ken recently edited a new edition of John Hollander's ON THE SUBSTANCE OF SHADOW.
There was a poem by C.J.Driver in the Spectator (March 10, 2018) entitled "For the One Only". "Manifesto" – a defence of the iambic pentameter - appears in STANZAS, No 11. Other poems have been variously accepted, and will be announed when they have actually appeared.
A bigger volume, STILL FARTHER, New Poems 2000-2016, is with a publisher at the moment, waiting for a decision.
Jonty & Isobel Dixon, poet & literary agent, did a shared reading at the Mayfield Festival on Thursday 10th May: "Poems of Home & Exile".
On 11th July, as part of the JAM (John Armitage Memorial) Festival, Jonty read some recently published poems to an enthusiastic audience in St Michael's Church, Hythe. Peter Fields, violinist, provided some tunes in between the poems. At the end of the reading, there was a collection for the Hantam Community Education Trust in the Karoo, South Africa. Last year, Jonty contributed a foreword to the history by Anne Hill of the first 25 years of the HCET.
Memoir SOME SCHOOLS
SOME SCHOOLS, described as a "professional memoir", was published by John Catt Educational Ltd in September 2016. It is an 80,000 word account of the various schools Jonty Driver worked in after his arrival in the U.K. in 1964, immediately after his release from detention in solitary confinement by the South African security police as a consequence of the two years he spent as President of the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS).
The schools are: Sevenoaks (1964-5, 1967-73), Matthew Humberstone Comprehensive School (1973-8), Island School, Hong Kong (1978-83), Berkhamsted School (1983-9), and Wellington College (1989-2000). The positions he held in those schools were: English teacher, then Housemaster of the International Sixth Form Centre; Director of Sixth Form Studies; Principal; Headmaster; and Master (a Chinese friend, a stranger to English terminology, once murmured, "Downhill all the way").
SOME SCHOOLS has a generous foreword by Sir Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington 2006-2015. The book is available from the publisher, from local bookshops or from Amazon.
Other Recent Publication
In September 2015, the Crane River Press published, in Cape Town, a short biography, THE MAN WITH THE SUITCASE, The Life, Execution and Rehabilitation of John Harris, Liberal Terrorist. Fifty years ago, John Harris was hanged for having placed a bomb in the concourse of Johannesburg station, which caused the death of a bystander and injured horribly others nearby. Although Harris had warned the police and the press about the bomb, no effort to clear the concourse was made. Driver has come up with new evidence that the decision not to clear the concourse after the warnig may have been made as deliberate policy.
C.J.Driver is one of the patrons of the literary magazine, STANZAS, first published in September 2015, and edited by Doug Skinner and Patricia Schonstein - see www.stanzas.co.za for details. Jonty has had a number of poems in that magazine.