Michael Chapman
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The New Century of South African Poetry Blurb
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New Century of SA Poetry
  • Contents
  • Introduction


new_century_of_sa_poetryThe New Century of South African Poetry presents the challenges of a new millennium.  From a ‘post-apartheid' perspective, South Africa rejoins the world as it seeks a home.  Simultaneously, it searches the past for a shared though diverse inheritance.  This is not an updated version of the earlier A Century of South African Poetry, but a major new anthology.  Of the 450 poems only 16 are common to both books.

The selection ranges from traditional San songs to current voices.  Translation ensures representation in English of the different languages of the country. Established figures such as Roy Campbell, N P van Wyk Louw, Mazisi Kunene, Douglas Livingstone, Mongane Wally Serote, and Antjie Krog share the pages with maskanda, kiba, praises, and rap.

Is South Africa part of Africa or the West?  The anthology suggests a dynamic interchange of hunting songs and city imagism, Zulu bowstring laments and contemplative lyrics.  The perspective of the new millennium encourages fresh evaluations:  the applicability of black consciousness to the global debate;  not only black/white politics but green politics.  We encounter private life, children, sex, dreams and the challenges of modern, urban living - a more variegated society than we perhaps had understood.  The last section focuses on poets of today including Tatamkhulu Afrika, Setlhamo Motsapi, Ingrid de Kok, Loit Sôls, and Prophets of da City.

In his introduction and notes on the poems, editor Michael Chapman identifies a key feature of the poetry:  its accessibility to a wide readership.

Michael Chapman is professor of English at the University of Natal, Durban.  His numerous publications include A Century of South African Poetry (1981), South African English Poetry: A Modern Perspective (1984) and Southern African Literatures (1996).

Ad. Donker

An imprint of

Jonathan Ball Publishers (Pty) Ltd


ISBN 0 86852 224 4



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