‘a night where june and moon rhyme’

Conversation with Raphael d’Abdon


  • Jaydeep Sarangi




Dr Raphael d’Abdon is a writer, scholar, spoken word poet, editor and translator. In 2007 he complied, translated and edited I nostri semi/Peo tsa rona, an anthology of contemporary South African poetry. In 2011 he translated into Italian (with Lorenzo Mari) Bless Me Father, the autobiography of South African poet Mario d’Offizi. In 2013, he compiled and edited the collection Marikana: A Moment in Time. He is the author of three collections of poems, sunnyside nightwalk (Johannesburg: Geko, 2013), salt water (Johannesburg: Poetree Publishing, 2016) and the bitter herb (East London: The Poets Printery, 2018), and he has read his poetry in South Africa, Nigeria, Somaliland, Italy, Sweden and the USA. His poems are published in journals, magazines and anthologies in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Singapore, Palestine, India, Italy, Canada, USA and UK, he is South Africa’s representative of AHN (Africa Haiku Network), and he is a member of ZAPP (The South African Poetry Project) and IPP (International Poetry Project), two joint-projects of the University of Cambridge, UNISA and the University of the Witwatersrand, whose chief aims are to promote poetry in schools in South Africa, UK and beyond, and to instill knowledge, understanding and a love of poetry in young learners.
This interview is conducted through e mails in the months of April-May 2020 when Corona virus ravished the world. We saw light through the wings of poesy. We reached out each other through questions and answers about poetry, life and the immediate.