Garden celebrations with Salon Hecate

It’s October, so it’s time for African daisies flashing at the sun, dung beetles dancing by starlight, spiderwebs spangled with dew, and a celebration of spring bursting out all around us here in the Deep South — especially in the gardens of our neighbourhood.

It’s time for garden celebrations with Salon Hecate! Come and join us for poetry that’s blooming lovely, short story excerpts that will give you a delicious chill, and an opportunity to learn more about the romantic rituals of scarab beetles (once worshipped as deities).

We’ll be featuring the following local poets and authors: Jim Pascual Agustin, Kerry Hammerton, and Michèle Betty. We’ll also be enjoying the insectile and floral works of Isobel Dixon (recently featured at Salon Hecate’s Open Book event), as well as a taster from Prof Marcus Byrne and Helen Lunn’s popular book, Dance of the Dung Beetles.

About the poets

Jim Pascual Agustin

Jim Pascal Agustin

Jim Pascual Agustin, who hails from the Phillipines and moved to Cape Town in 1994, has been published in two languages on three continents, and has won numerous prestigious prizes for his powerful poems, which encompass delicacy, rage, “calm like a cashmere shawl”, and close observation of the intersections between humans and their natural surroundings. His collections (ten so far, with more coming soon in South Africa) include Bloodred DragonfliesWaking Up to the Pattern Left by a Snail Overnight (which won the US Gaudy Boy Poetry Prize), and How To Make A Salagubang Helicopter. Follow him on Instagram.

Kerry Hammerton

Kerry Hammerton

Kerry Hammerton lives in Cape Town and has an MA in Creative Writing. She has published poetry and prose in various South African and international literary journals and anthologies, including Living While Feminist and The Only Magic We Know. Finuala Dowling has described her as the “Marian Keyes of poetry” for her funny, wry, sometimes savage and totally relatable poems. Her fourth poetry collection, afterwards, was published in 2023 by Karavan Press. Kerry is a freelance tutor and supervisor on the Rhodes Masters Creative Writing programme. Browse her website

Michèle Betty

Michèle Betty

Michèle Betty is both a poet and the founder of Dryad Press, an indie press dedicated to the promotion and publication of poetry in South Africa. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, and her poems have been widely anthologised. Her debut collection, Metaphysical Balm, was shortlisted for the Ingrid Jonker Prize, and her second collection, Dark Horse, was published in 2021. Her works draw on nature and its denizens in complex, subtle and allegorical ways: owls become our teachers and trees our comforters. Read more about Michele here

Salon details

Date and time: 2 October, 5.30 for 6pm, until 7pm. Entrance is free, and all are welcome. Please join us for small snacks and a glass of wine or juice. The poets will be hand-selling some of their books, so bring cash if you’re interested!

Accessibility notes

The gallery itself is wheelchair accessible — parking, ramp and no steps into the gallery itself. BUT (sadly) we do not have a wheelchair-friendly toilet. You can certainly use the toilet if you have a companion to assist you — you will need to lock the outer door of the bathroom while you use it.

If you are visually impaired, some of our sculptural and three-dimensional works are designed to be felt and stroked. Please feel free to ask for guidance, or make an appointment so our friendly galleristas can help you to let your fingers do the walking.

Got a question about this event or interested in a particular piece you’ve seen? Get in touch with us at or call 0835642493.