Held at the historic building of the Fugard Theatre, in the heart of District 6 (East City), at the legendary Book Lounge nearby and at the A4 Arts Foundation, this festival is a multicultural exchange of ideas between writers, poets, edging cartoonists and their audiences.

Open Book takes place between 4 – 8 September and the #comicsfest dates are 7 & 8 September.

More than a 100 writers and poets will take part in panels and readings. They come to Cape Town from all corners of the world and provide a broad perspective to matters of culture and modern life.

Two of the international authors attending this year have been longlisted forThe Booker Prize 2019 – Chigozie Obioma (An Orchestra of Minorities) and Oyinkan Braithwaite (My Sister the Serial Killer). The Festival welcomes back Nicole Dennis-Benn (Patsy) who was a crowd favourite in 2018. She is joined by amongst others Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black), Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties), Elisabeth Åsbrink (Made in Sweden) and Saidiya Hartman (Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments).

As always, there is a dazzling array of South African authors taking part, from Festival favourites to new faces. A handful of them include Rekgotsofetse Chikane  (Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation), Haji Mohamed Dawjee(Sorry, Not Sorry), Caryn Dolley (The Enforcer), Zimitri Erasmus (Race Otherwise), Ishay Govender-Ypma  (Curry: Stories and Recipes from Across South Africa), Kelly-Eve Koopman (Because I Couldn’t Kill You), Funeka Soldaat(Uhambo), Jonny Steinberg (One Day in Bethlehem), B Camminga (Beyond the Mountain) and Refiloe Moahloli(Yes Yanga!).

#COCREATEPOETICA is a collaboration between #cocreateSA and Poetica. Using the art form of RAP, poetry and spoken word to co-create solutions to mutual challenges by providing a platform that voices the concerns of the youth, by the youth.

Catch Dutch poets Simone Atangana Bekono and Radna Fabias as well as an awesome range of talented local poets including, Allison-Claire Hoskins, Roché KesterPrimrose Mrwebi and Mbongeni Nomkonwana.

Gender and LGBTQ issues are an important focus with a number of events discussing identity, bodies, culture and belonging. Catch They Called me Queer with Zoey Black, Kelly-Eve Koopman and Kim Windvogel share coming out stories with Kelly Smith,and At the Coalfacewith Roche Kester, Tlaleng Mofokeng and Kim Windvogel in conversation with Joy Watson about sex and gender activism.

After a successful run in 2018, this years’ #COMICSFEST will be even bigger. Both educated and natural talents will showcase their digital, printed and graffiti works.

At the fabulous Comics Fest Marketplace you can enjoy the work of more than twenty South African artists and snap up some of their amazing work. As part of the Comics Fest events, learn how to create your own comic or GIF and use your smart phone as a creative tool. Be sure to also catch the VR experience, The Lost Botanist.

Being organised by the literature experts and loving people of The Book Lounge, this festival puts a spot on current conflicts and issues, personal and social. They provide local, continental and international insight due to the generous involvement of major publishers and a few embassies.

This year’s festival will launch the first #WritingmyCity anthology, a partnership between Open Book Festival, the City of Cape Town and Cape Town public libraries to encourage people to submit their stories that speak to Cape Town in some way. A total of 187 entries were received in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. The anthology that comes out of this project will be launched in the company of 2 of the judges and selected contributors.

Young adults from all walks of life are encouraged to take part, engage, get inspired and investigate the opportunities for meaningful lives that flourish in a reading environment.

For further information and the full programme visit

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