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Sasha Deysel’s poetry book progress

It is our honour to be releasing Sasha Deysel’s poetry book and we cannot wait to show it to the world. Sasha Deysel was a dear poet to us and had the greatest dedication to see Writers Bloc grow. She was present at all of our Johannesburg poetry nights and brought her A game, incredible vibe and breath taking poetry to our events every time.

My personal favourite being her poem “her tears turned to diamonds” which hit all the heart strings and expressed Sasha incredibly well. The performance we will miss incredibly. Sasha held herself in such a way, her connection to the audience was effortless and her ability to make an audience feel the emotions she portrayed was uncanny. For those of you who never saw her perform, just imagine a light, a fire of inspiration and pure heart spewing truths about herself onto a vulnerable audience. Absolutely beautiful.

Poet with Mic black and white- Sasha Deysel's poetry book progress
A picture of Sasha performing at one of Writers Bloc and We Are Becoming poetry nights

We were all very saddened by the abrupt passing of Sasha. It came at quite a shock and really stunned all of us in the Writers Bloc community. It felt unreal, like a dream, how could this be possible? It was rather chilling and emotions struggled to be processed properly but there was a deep grey cloud that lingered and had bouts of showers as the reality of the situation started to kick in.

Even writing this, some of the emotions of the past are arising and bringing a tear to my eye. As I said, Sasha was a beautiful soul and her caring nature and dedication to the arts and education made her spark. Every idea we had, Sasha was on board. Sasha helped with her opinions on projects, helped MC our events and even helped run our biggest event yet, the Readers And Writers Festival.

I, acting on the behalf of Writers Bloc, have set it out to be my mission to publish Sasha’s work in a physical copy of her work. An incredible writer and an even more incredible person, I could not be more honoured to be doing this project.

Unfortunately, with many different things that can happen there will always be some hiccups. For one, we are struggling to access Sasha’s array of work form her laptop as no one can unlock it. Our solution to this is making a visual memoir of her work with her hand written poems in some of her books that she has. The amount of usable poems is yet to be decided and we might make the book a collaboration with other poets who knew Sasha adding to the book and expressing their regards for her. We would also like to add pictures to the book to show the life well lived of our late superstar.

Sasha Deysel giving a performance on her birthday at a Writers Bloc Poetry Night

Another pleasant hiccup we have had is my wonderful fiancé is about to give birth to our precious son, Micah. This has left me with little time to plan more poetry nights as I have been preoccupied with sorting everything out and making the house baby friendly for our new little member of Writers Bloc.

So, with all news, there is good news. We had a poetry night on the 29th of May, the first one in years! It was fantastic to connect with many different poets again, hearing everyones story and celebrating the words expressed. We thank you everyone for attending the night and we are happy to say we raised a humble R600 at our first night back. This is about 10% of what is needed to fund Sasha Deysel’s book, at this point.

So, I am not just writing this blog to say that is that, no. We are planning something for the end of the year when life hopefully allows for it. Keep your eyes peeled on the page, join our newsletter, watch out for our events, and follow our social media channels.

If you would wish to donate to the cause, please contact us and we will let you know how you can get involved.

Readers and Writers Festival. The family of poets.

We appreciate everyone who has been in and out of our family, everyone that has shared their heart with us and everyone who has seen our vision and been with us on the journey. You are all amazing and we love you ever so deeply. See you all again soon!

Calen Critchfield

Calen Critchfield is the founder of Writers Bloc. He has been running it since the start of the organisation and hopes to see it and the poetry scene in South Africa grow.