FLOW WELLINGTON is a poet, publisher, and founder of Poetree Publications. Her work has been published locally and internationally through many mediums including Badilisha Poetry X-Change, Poetry Potion, Poetry Institute of Africa, Atlanta Review, and anthologies such as South Africa’s first jazz anthology To Breathe into Another Voice, to name a few. She is the author of two self-published collections: The Undelivered
Score (2011) and Gau-Trained, poems & stories (2018), and publishing-editor of international
anthologies Uni-Verse-Al (2012) and The Looking Glass Anthology. Flow is also a long-listed author for
the 2018 & 2019 Sol Plaatje Poetry Award and recipient of a 2019 AfriCAN Author’s Award for Poetry.
To date, her company, Poetree Publications, has published 23 book titles for local and
International writers in poetry, children’s literature, novellas, short stories, and visual arts.
We asked her three simple Questions. These are her thoughts
What does poetry mean to you personally?
F.W: Poetry means the world to me. And at different stages of my life it has meant different things. When I was younger and first discovered it, it was expression, expression of feeling emotion, youth societal ills. It served as a medium through which my otherwise dismissed voice could be heard. And as I got older and understood my purpose and calling I find poetry means connecting with my roots with my calling as an indigenous storyteller. It means I’m a vessel in some way, documenting my time, my people and our stories.
What purpose does poetry serve is 2021
F.W: I think now more than ever, poetry has an important role and purpose. We are a generation focused on changing past narratives creating new conversations, challenging existing ideology and schools of thought. Poetry is at the forefront of this in all things. Ultimately, there is poetry, nature, relationships, politics, even. Undoubtedly, poetry’s purpose is the current beneath the river that makes all the cogs and wheels turn
Please suggest just one collection or anthology that our readers should get their hands on.
F.W: It’s difficult to choose just one collection or anthology that’s, great. I mean, South African women especially are really producing incredible works right now. A shameless plug, obviously I’d say my own collection, gau- trained, but I really enjoy Megan Ross. Megan Ross’s work, her book Milk fever, was her latest publication. And then Saaleha Idrees Bamjee. She did a collection called Zikr and those two for me are collections that I always return to, especially as a woman in South Africa, as a woman of color, as a mother, especially because those books talk a lot about those topics and concepts. And I think that is in the forefront of what we are really talking about these days.