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vangile gantsho is a South African-born a poet and a healer. She is dedicated to creating and/or supporting spaces which encourage (black feminine) healing. Most of the poems in red cotton were written in 2016 as part of her MA thesis from the University Currently Known as Rhodes, and 2017, when she first accepted her spiritual calling.
red cotton is an exploration of what it means to be black, queer, and woman in modern-day South Africa. gantsho interrogates being non-conformist in both a traditional-cultural-religious upbringing and a more liberal yet equally-oppressive urban socialisation. This poetry novella questions what women are taught about their bodies and the feminine sexual space, while also addressing the mother-daughter relationship as the first and most constant reference of womanhood. The collection moves fluidly between the erotic, the uncomfortable and grotesque. What is painful and what is beautiful? What is remembered and what is longed-for?
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