Dwelling in Dissonance
I followed the advice I had been given as a white person in inter-racial spaces, to listen more and talk less, by writing poems. Poetry helps me process my life and the things that I see happening around me daily. Before I knew it, I had written a collection of poems – enough to fill a book. dwelling in dissonance is the result.
Putting my words out into the world is a vulnerable place to be, but how can I expect others to be vulnerable and exposed, if I am not prepared to do so myself?
dwelling in dissonance is available on Amazon here.
With a lively staccato style this creative, thought provoking, revealing and disturbing collection of poems will search you. They are simultaneously painful and humorous. At times the discord is uncomfortable – beckoning despair and even objection. Somehow Vera never descends into cynicism, allows you to live in dissonance with her, and never leaves you without Hope.
Rev Dr Nat Schluter, Principal, Johannesburg Bible College
These poems come at a time when a lot of young black South Africans are asking if “future South Africa” really needs another older white voice to help in its construction. Through these poems, Vera shows that she is not just that, an older white voice. Instead, like most of us, she is a flawed, broken human being with a very complex heritage. Willing to get dirty and muddy, willing to get punched in the face (metaphorically), willing to be corrected, willing to be silent when required and willing to stand up and fight for the country that homed her.
This work invites all of us who call South Africa home, to roll up our sleeves and get messy for the sake of preserving our soil.
Blaque Nubon, Rapper at City Gate Recordings and Youth Worker at Christ Church Midrand
‘Dwelling in Dissonance’ is a must read for South Africans trying to navigate their way towards that elusive rainbow. With a combination of hard-hittingness and gentle subtlety these pieces will both inform and lead you towards your own necessary questions. ‘Privilege’ and ‘The Power of Anger’ stand out for me as just two of the many Wow! moments this book has in store for you. We are reminded that what is necessary is “to heal the oppressed disadvantaged and free the advantaged oppressor” and that “The place of incongruence is where growth happens.” Riveting stuff.
Brett “Fish” Anderson [author in the trenches or juggler of words]
Although a work of activism, the anthology is profoundly moving. Each word cuts to the division of soul and spirit, joint and marrow. Vera provides an affective reminder of the importance of grieving the rampant inequality that tears at the fabric of the South African story. But, her words are healing in their cathartic honesty.
Prof Stella Viljoen, Stellenbosch University
Vera captures a poet’s lament. Bridging time, her poetry touches an echo from deep within, taking us closer to where we need to go. Penetratingly honest, it holds in tension truth and love, framing a healing space and presence. The collection of poems reflect a sense of “dwelling” as they allow for rest and acceptance, things are what they are! While the “dissonance” speaks to yielding to discomfort and allowing for change. “Dwelling in Dissonance” is a brave piece of work!
Robert Botha, Dreamer, social reformer and diplomatic trainer.
Dwelling in Dissonance is a stimulating collection of poetry which invites us through rich imagery and provocative wordplay to explore the dissonance of inequality, faith and life in contemporary South Africa. Poetry ought to unsettle us, shake us and provoke us. This volume does all of those things with refreshing authenticity and prophetic bravery. To live in South Africa today is to dwell in dissonance, this anthology helps us to do that a little better.
John Scheepers, Isiphambano Centre for Biblical Justice
As the world’s embedded injustices of the past and present continue to grow and mutate surely the line “Now more than ever we need a deep work of the Spirit” from “Satan’s Tools in Africa” resonates deeply with South Africans and others around the world. What that looks like is harder to articulate especially with our yearning for easy predictable answers when what is needed is a willingness to live with uncertainty and ambiguity, a willingness to live with dissonance. Honest prophetic poetry is a critical component in generating and sustaining this and I think “Dwelling in Dissonance” is a wonderful gift that takes the reader into that dissonance thus creating the space for the deep work of the Spirit we yearn for.
Craig Stewart, The Warehouse, Cape Town