The Shaping of my Art

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Art Process, Creativity, Mpapa Gallery, Poetry, Politics, Storytelling, Zambia1 Comment

The world hasn’t stopped turning in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most people’s lives have been upended. It’s been a time for self-reflection for me as well as a time of tidying up files and boxes of photos. Some photos record my changing appearance, but the more interesting ones are those that detail how my art has altered and […]

The Charroux Prize for Poetry or Prose

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Books, Poetry, Politics, Race, Racism, South Africa, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks, Zambia2 Comments

I entered the Charroux prize for a short memoir and had enormous fun writing two short memoirs and a poem for this competition. The prize, however, went to Moira Ashley for her delightful story Encounter. The third prize to Debi Lewis for Soundtrack of the First Marriage . I was surprised and pleased to be long-listed for the poetry section. […]

Tall stories, true stories, lies, fiction, facts and truth-telling

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Books, Family, Poetry, Reading, South Africa, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks, When I Was Bad, Writing, Writing ProcessLeave a Comment

Writing fictions, memoirs and versions of my truth In the last few months I have published three books. The first is a novel, the second is a book of poetry, the inspiration on which the novel is based and the third is a memoir. They are – The Love and Wisdom Crimes A coming-of-age adventure story about a young white […]

Hop, skip and jump to the heartbeat of life

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Creativity, Family, Imagination, Poetry, Songs, Writing, Writing Process5 Comments

The Child in the Garden The child in the garden goes hop, skip and jump and sings to herself. She dances her world into being. The garden is dusty, dry sand, withered leaves and sharp-edged stones. The child draws in the dirt. The garden is a clearing in a forest, a marketplace of musical insects, a place where snakes wait […]

Tears, fears, longing, belonging and living.

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art, Colonialism, Creativity, Displacement, Family, Freedom Fighters, Human rights, identity, justice, Migration, Poetry, Politics, Power, Race, Racism, Religion, South Africa, War, Zambia2 Comments

Why I cried about who I might become “Why do you want to become a French citizen?” I was asked this question at the end of a gruelling two hour naturalisation interview. I burst into tears. “It’s such a difficult and important decision,” I replied, sniffling. “I’ve had to leave too many places I thought of as home. I want […]