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The Evolution of Dry Sessions

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

“Dry are the words, until they're dipped in poetry.”
— Notepad

Dry Sessions — a bi-monthly poetry and music event, based on the minimum effort for maximum impact principle, the foundational idea and concept behind these sessions is that it stays as simple as possible, the biggest factor is accessibility and the entire event thrives on community.

“Dry Sessions are out cheapest offering when it comes to events, there we go to scout for superstar poets for bigger events and other such pro-writer gigs, there we go to build our community; which is one of our objectives, bridging the gap between creative writers/performers and their audience.” said Executive Director and Co-founder, Africa Zwelibanzi, when asked what purpose do these simple sessions serve.

The first Dry Sessions event came at the most uncertain time for the creative industry and the world as a whole, a month after Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, and two days before president Cyril Ramaphosa declared the virus a state of national emergency and announced the confirmed dates for national lockdown.


First Edition

Hosted at a cosy book shop, Books For Africa — Del Judo, Witbank — complete with a lavish and endearing background, book shelves packed with ancient and contemporary reads, the aroma of freshly prepared coffee lingering in the air, as if to inspire the poets to strip bare and the audience to tap into these word woven worlds with ease.

It was a wholesome experience, considering that we had the notion that we were meeting for the last ever poetry and literary gathering, the event boasted big names in the industry, the likes of resident guitarist and songwriter; Blessing Mlu Mashiane, poet and debate guru; Pretima Smith, CSP National Slam runner-up; Kevin Moropa amongst other talent poets.


Dry Sessions Live

With the pandemic continuing to scourge the globe with ruthless vigor, and the creative industry moving to virtual spaces to provide the same products and services to their markets and audience. The Notepad team decided to adapt to the quickly changing times, bringing you the first ever online event: Dry Sessions Live — Women's Month Edition

Hosted at The Apple Tree band residency— Kwaguqa, Witbank— complete with creative writers and performers from all corners of the province, and a poetry reading set with poems from creatives in Cape Town and Chennai in India.

The likes of superstar songwriter and vocalist, founder of FML House; Lunga Q, poet and musician; Presley Hope, Mc and hostess; Carol Ink, band and poetry house; The Apple Tree.


Youth Day Special

The year is 2021, the fear and uncertainty around the pandemic is wearing off, half the population is vaccinated and the department of health is easing the lockdown regulations, and allowing us to gather in small numbers and recite new poems.

The attire of the day is Notepad merchandise accessorized with masks, we haven't been in one place in a long time and the atmosphere is buzzing, poets are bringing new poems and the musicians can't wait to bless us.

We are gathered at a cosy restaurant — Boerelicious Cafê, Fransville Witbank— situated just between Highveld Mall and the CBD, with higher education institutions scattered around in close proximity, and the anticipation is palpable.

Boasting new and big names alike, Dry Sessions lives up to its reputation of being a hub for creative writers and performers, and a home for the literary community.

Then comes poet, Zoë-Anne all the way from Ermelo, who climbs up the stage, set the event alight and certify the Sessions open and ready to soar, then comes 16 years old Harper and gets the first standing ovation of the event. That's before the like of G-Force, Felicia Zulu, Pages, Presley Hope and Busiswe Mabasa comes through and sustain the poetic fire already ignited.


Spring Edition

We are bringing you yet another instalment of the eventful Dry Sessions this spring, check out our events page for more iinformation

Love - Passion - Ubuntu - Poetry

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