Adrian Henri read Fine Arts at the University of Durham, and during his career as a teacher, taught and lectured at the Arts Academies of Manchester and Liverpool.
London-based Adrian Mitchell is one of Europe's best-selling poets and has been a leader in the performance movement in Britain, all over Europe, the USA, Australia, Russia, Canada, Malawi, Malaya, Cuba, Israel and Chile.
Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany is known for his multi-faceted knowledge. It is in recognition of this that, in October 1995, the Fullbright Foundation in the USA appointed him a scholar in residence in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Born in Tunisia in 1953 to a Tunisian father and a French mother. AMINA SÄID has been living in Paris for the past thirty years.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1956, AMIR OR has worked as a shepherd, builder and restaurateur.
Ana Blandiana was born in 1942 in Timisoara. The daughter of an orthodox priest, her work displays strong roots in her religious upbringing and in the folk poetry and fairy tales of Transylvania.
Antjie Krog taught Afrikaans at a school in Kroonstad. Together with other poets and writers, she used to regularly run workshops in the black townships.
Poet, dramatist and sociologist ARI SITAS was a founder member of the Junction Avenue Theatre Company in Johannesburg and has been involved in popular and worker theatre since the 1970s.
Frequently short-listed for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and recently elected an honourary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Bei Dao is China's pre-eminent contemporary poet.
DR BENJAMIN OBADIAH IQBAL ZEPHANIAH was born and raised in Birmingham. He cannot remember a time when he was not creating poetry.
Bernard Noël was born in 1930 in Saint-Genevieve-sur-Argence, in Aveyron. His work has been significantly influenced by his larger socio-historical context, characterised by events such as the explosion of the first atom bomb, the discovery of death camps, and the Algerian, Korean and Vietnam wars.
Breyten Breytenbach was born long ago. He spent the first half of his life growing up in Hartland.
Chehem Watta was born in 1962 in Bouraita into a family of shepherds. After studying at university in, France, he returned in 1985 to Djibouti where he has worked in the Civil Service and for the United Nations Development Programme.
Chenjerai Hove is a Shona, hailing from the largest ethnic community in Zimbabwe. Hove read English Language and Literature, and has worked as a teacher and lecturer.
CHIRIKURE CHIRIKURE was born in 1962 in Gutu. Zimbabwe. He is a araduate of the University of Zimbabwe and an Honorary Fellow of the Universitv of lowa.
JEAN-CLAUDE DARBELLAY, born in 1953, has worked in a variety of jobs since the age of 18, from labouring on building sites to teaching English to automobile mechanics.
The poems of Eastern Cape accountant Clinton V du Plessis are not what you would expect in today's "politics is everything" world - which is possibly why he holds a marginal place in Afrikaans literature, says Belgian professor Luc Renders.
Having been born in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe, Dan Wylie grew up with a love of mountains and forests ("and my mother") above all else.
DAVID DABYDEEN was born in Guyana in 1956 and emigrated to England at the age of 12. He read English at Cambridge University, did his Ph.D. at London University, and was appointed to a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Oxford University in 1983.
DESMOND EGAN was born in Athlone, in the centre of Ireland and was educated at the National Universities of Ireland at Maynooth and Dublin.
Don Mattera is a Sophiatown poet, playwright and author, whose internationally published autobiography, Memory is the Weapon, won the Steve Biko Award in Sweden in 1986.
DOROTHEA SMARTT, born and raised in London, is of Barbadian heritage. She is acknowledged as tackling multilayered cultural myths and the real life experiences of Black women with searing honesty.
Edouard Maunick was born in 1931 in Flacq on the Island of Mauritius. He has enjoyed an active life with many public engagements and an intensive, productive career as poet.
ERIC NKOSINATHI HADEBE was born in KwaZulu-Natal and began his performing career in the early 1990s when he completed a one- year internship at the Playhouse (NAPAC) KWASA arts and culture training programme.
FRANCIS BEBEY was born in Douala, Cameroon, and now resides in Paris. He was a program specialist in mass communication at UNESCO when he resigned in 1974 to start a new career as an author, composer and performing artist.
Freedom Nyamubaya was a high-ranking freedom fighter during Zimbabwe's war of liberation.
Gcina Mhlophe was a reporter for the magazine "Learn and Teach' and part-time news reader with BBC Radio, Africa Service. She has gained renown as a poet and as a writer of short stories, children's books and plays, but is even better known as a narrator and actress.
Gérard Noiret was born in 1948 and is now living and working in a Parisian suburb, where he supervises a cultural centre.
"I would like to destroy any image people hold of me," Dutch poet Gerrit Komrij once said -- and he has always practised what he preaches.
Gert Vlok Nel was born in 1964 in Calvinia into a long line of poor Afrikaans families. He grew up in a railway camp in Beaufort West.
GUS FERGUSON was born in Scotland in 1940 and came to South Africa late in 1949. He is a poet, cartoonist and poetry publisher, but works as a pharmacist.
Born in 1950, Hawad is a Touareg writer and calligrapher from Air. He writes in his own language transcribed into tifinagh, the Touareg writing.
Heather Robertson tumbled into life on one of those jacaranda-purple spring mornings in the coastal kitsch town of Durban in 1964.
Homero Aridjis is considered to be one of Latin America's outstanding authors and poets in the Spanish language. Octavio Paz recognised his early talents, and this aided him in getting his poetry and prose published when he was still a youngster.
HONE TUWHARE (Ngapuhi Naati Korokoro, Ngati Tautahi, Te Popoto Uri-o-Hau) was born in 1922 in Kaikohe, but moved to Auckland when he was 9. After leaving school he became a boilermaker and, during his apprenticeship at the Otahuhu Railway Workshops, met the poet R.A.K.
Hugo Claus is a poet, as well as a writer of prose, stage plays, film and television scripts. He is Belgium's leading author and an important candidate for the Nobel Prize.
ILJA LEONARD PFEIJFFER, born in the Netherlands in 1968, is a poet and classicist.
Born in 1951 in Johannesburg, Ingrid de Kok was educated at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Cape Town, and at Queens' University in Canada, where she obtained her M.A.
While reading for an M. Phil at the University of London Institute of Education, Jack Mapanje published a book of poems, Of Chameleons and Gods, which immediately stirred up political controversy in his native Malawi.
Jeremy Cronin is perhaps best known for his long political history, which began in 1968 when he entered the University of Cape Town and later found its direction when he joined the SA Communist Party.
oachim Sartorius spent part of his youth in Tunis and then went on to study Law and Political Science in Munich, London, Strasbourg and Paris.
JOHN MATER was born in Johannesburg in 1971. After spending part of his childhood in Canada and a brief return to South Africa, he moved with his familv to Western Australia.
Jules Deelder was born in Overschie in 1944. He has had various jobs, such as a porter for a transport company, a dockworker and ships' cleaner, but has always considered himself a poet.
Karen Press was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She has worked as a teacher of mathematics and English, and since 1981 has been involved with various progressive education projects and initiatives, focusing particularly on materials development.
Kazuko Shiraishi emigrated to Japan just before the outbreak of World War II and has been living in Tokyo ever since. She studied at Washeda University.
KELWYN SOLE was born in Johannesburg in 1951. He was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of London, obtaining his doctorate with a study of the ideology, culture and prose of the South African Black Consciousness Movement of the 1970s.
Poet, literary scholar and cultural activist, KOFI ANYIDOHO is currently Professor of Literature. Head of the Department of English, and Director of the African Humanities Institute Programme at the University of Ghana, Legon.
West African musician, Lamine Konté, a well respected teacher-artist, storyteller, composer and poet, inherited his profession from his father, Dioly Kela Konté, one of the most famous traditional Senegalese musicians and griot.
LASANA M. SEKOU, author of ten books of poetry, monologues and short stories, is the editor of National Symbols of St. Martin – A Primer, on the culture, historical personalities, and natural environment of St Martin (1996), and The Independence Papers - Readings on a New Political Status for St. Maarten/St. Martin, the nation's first compilation of political essays (1990).
Lesego Rampolokeng is something of an enfant terrible of South African poetry – because although he believes all poetry is political, he refuses to write what the new Establishment considers politically correct.
Linton Kwesi Johnson, recognized and revered as the world's first reggae poet, was born in 1952 in Chapelton, a small town in Jamaica. In 1963 he went to London where he attended school, and later studied sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Lisa Combrinck graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA (hons) degree in English. Since then she has worked as an arts and education journalist and as assistant editor
and co-ordinator for the Southern African Review of Books.
After supporting himself through a variety of menial jobs, Cape Town born and bred Loit Sôls qualified as a graphic artist and got himself a regular job on You magazine.
Lorna Crozier, called “a poet to be grateful for” by Margaret Laurence, is one whose work is informed by the Saskatchewan landscape of her birth.
Lorna Goodison is one of the most distinguished contemporary poets of the Caribbean. Internationally recognized for her poetry and prose, she won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, Americas Region, in 1986.
Surinamese poet Louise Wondel is a maroon with a particular interest in maroon culture. For example, she writes her poetry in the Ndyuka language of her mother's community and does not translate it, preferring just to give its meaning in Dutch and English.
Lueen Conning is a Durban-born writer, qualified performing artist and arts administrator.
Irish-born, London-based Matthew Sweeney has published several volumes of poetry to date plus a number of volumes for children.
MAZISI RAYMOND KUNENE was born in Durban in 1930 and obtained an M.A. from the University of Natal in 1962 and his dissertation, An Analytical Survey of Zulu Poetry, both Traditional and Modern is widely cited.
Mongane Wally Serote was born in 1944 in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. After schooling he worked as a "garden boy", "delivery boy", a reporter for a Johannesburg newspaper and a copywriter for a large advertising firm.
NIDAA KHOURY was born in the Upper Galilee village of Fassouta in 1959. She has published seven books of poetry in Arabic which have been translated into several international languages.
Scriptwriter, theatre director and poet, NISE MALANGE obtained her Creative Writing Diploma from the University of lowa (U.S.A.) and specialised in script writing, film and video production in Zimbabwe.
Niyi Osundare was born in Ikere-Ekiti, Ondo, State of Nigeria in 1947, completed his secondary education at Amoye Grammar School, Ikere, and Christ's School, Ado-Ekiti.
Nuno Júdice started writing poetry while still a student at the Classical University in Lisbon, submitting it to newspapers and literary reviews.
OLGA SEDAKOVA was born in 1949 in Moscow into the family of a military engineer. She graduated from the Philological Department of Moscow State University in 1973 and gained her PhD from the Institute of Slavonic and Balkan Studies in 1983.
OTIS FINCK was born on the west coast of Africa. He arrived in South Africa in 1994 and ended up living amongst the homeless communities of Johannesburg's inner city.
Patrick Cullinan was born in Pretoria in 1932. After some education, mostly abroad, receiving a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford, he farmed and ran a saw mill in Mpumalanga.
Patrick lane, considered by writers and critics alike, to be one of Canada's finest poets, was born in 1939 in Nelson, British Columbia.
PÉTER KÁNTOR was born in Budapest in 1949. A former teacher, literary editor and Fulbright fellow in NYU, New York, he is presently poetry editor of the prestigious Élet és Irodalom (Life and Literature), Hungary's only literary weekly.
The Blue Mountains
PHILIP HAMMIAL was born in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. in 1937. After spending three years in the U.S. Navy and graduating from Ohio University with a BA in English Literature and Philosophy, he spent a total of nine years travelling in seventy countries.
PROFESSOR PITIKA NTULI is a poet, writer and academic. He spent his exile years in the U.K. where he helped establish one of Europe's leading poetry circuits, Apples & Snakes, in London, and where he also lectured in Fine Art and English Literature.
Remco Campert made his debut as a poet with Vogels vliegen toch (Birds fly away, 1951).
REMI RAJI (Aderemi Raji-Oyelade) was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1961. He obtained his Ph.D in English at the University of Ibadan where his poetry won recognition during the early 1980s at the university's Poetry Club.
Born in Suvakarta, central Java, in 1935, Rendra was raised as a Roman Catholic, but in 1970 he converted to Islam. He is not only a poet, but also a playwright and actor.
RITA DOVE served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995.
Born and raised in Durban, Roger Lucey worked and performed at the Market Café in the first year of this legendary theatre's existence.
ROGER MCGOUGH is one the United Kingdom's best-loved poets for both adults and children.
Born in the Karoo, SANDILE DIKENI studied in the Eastern Cape before making various attempts at a law degree, but finally qualifying in journalism.
Shabbir Banoobhai is a chartered accountant who lives in Cape Town with his wife and two daughters. He has had two books of poetry published: Echoes of my other self (1980), and Shadows of a sundarkened land (1984).
Born in Calgary, Canada, in 1958, Sheri-D Wilson became an international explorer and traveller from age 17, living everywhere from Los Angeles to New York, though she did return for a stint of performance art education at Mount Royal College.
SIMON VINKENOOG was born in Amsterdam in 1928, and spent the war years under German occupation.
Born in 1941 in Cape Town, Stephen Gray now lives and works in Johannesburg as a freelance academic. He was educated at the University of Cape Town, at Cambridge University and at the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in the United States.
Sujata Bhatt was born in 1956 in Ahmedabad, India and raised in Pune. She was educated in the United States, where her studies included two years at the renowned Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa.
SUSAN KIGULI has been writing poetry since she was a schoolgirl at Gayaza High School in Uganda.
Sierra Leone poet and novelist Syl Cheney-Coker has published three books of poetry, the latest of which, The Blood in the Desert's Eye, presents "a challenging look at the world as seen through African eyes", according to his publishers.
TABAN LO LIYONG was born in the Southern Sudan and grew up in Acholiland, Northern Uganda as an Acholi. He obtained his BA in Literature at Howard University, USA, and Master of Fine Arts from the University of lowa, USA, where he is a Fellow of the International Writers Workshop.
Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fes in 1944. He studied philosophy at the Mohammed V University in Rabat and received a doctorate in social psychiatry from the University of Paris VII.
Award Winning poet and writer, Tatamkhulu Afrika, was born in Egypt, and as a young child, was brought to South Africa by his parents.
THOMAS TIDHOLM, born in Örebro, Sweden, in 1943, made his debut as a poet in 1963. He has written numerous volumes of poetry, stage plays, television and radio, and children's books.
TOYIN ADEWALE was born in 1969 in Ibadan, Nigeria. She was educated at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where she earned a Master of Arts Degree in English Literature.
Brooklyn, New York
Tracie Morris is a multidisciplinary performance poet who has worked in theatre, dance, music and film.
VALIANT SWART and his band have been on the South African music scene since 1990. Valiant received his first guitar from his father in 1977 when he was eleven years old and he taught himself to play from a book of chords.
Born in Pretoria in 1965, VUSI MAHLASELA grew up in Mamelodi, a 'township' famed as a cradle of culture which has produced many of South Africa's greatest musicians and writers.
Born in Brussels in 1935, Willem M Roggeman has made a name for himself as poet, novelist, and literary and artistic journalist.
Wilma Stockenström studied drama at the University of Stellenbosch and works as an actress and as a translator. She published her first work, Vir die bysiende leser (For the short-sighted reader), in 1970.
YVETTE CHRISTIANSЁ was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, but has lived in Swaziland and Australia and currently resides in the USA where she is an Assistant Professor at Fordham University's Department of English in New York.
Zein El-Abedin Fouad Abd Elwabab read philosophy at Cairo university. He started writing poetry at a young age and his work won him the main prize at the very first Egyptian writer's conference at Zagazig.
Hailing from Idutywa in the Transkei area of the Eastern Cape, ZOLANI MKIVA rose to prominence in 1990 when, barely months after becoming a fully-fledged Imbongi, the schoolboy was called upon to praise the recently released Nelson Mandela at his Welcome Home Rally in the Transkei.