Bloemfontein, Free State
TERESKA AND LAVERNE MUISHOND call themselves !Bushwomen, a name that, in their words, "reflects their pride in being descendents of the wise, humble, and spiritual indigenous people of South Africa — the Khoi. San and the Bushmen."
One night in December 1953, lightning tore the Casablanca sky, greeting the birth of a poet, “the craziest, the most brilliant Arab poet of these times”, somebody later wrote about ABDALLAH ZRIKA.
ABDUL HADI SADOUN is a poet, narrator, publisher and scriptwriter and, as an essayist, has contributed to several magazines dedicated to arts and culture both in Spanish and Arabic languages.
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.
AFRICA DLAMINI is a Slam/Spoken Word poet from Howick, Pietermaritzburg. It is evident from the body of his work that he regards himself as a Pan-Africanist.
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.
Rockhall, St. Thomas
One of the pioneers of performance poetry in Barbados, AJA first impacted on the local cultural scene as a trombonist before devoting his creative energies to poetry.
AKEEM LASISI, well grounded in Yoruba traditional literature, is well known for his experimentations with oral Yoruba and English poetry.
ALBERT NYATHI'S poetry was influenced by the struggles for freedom in his region, motivating him to bring change and awareness through the power of oration.
ALHAJI PAPA SUSSO is a master kora player and an oral historian born on 29 September 1947 in the village of Sotuma Sere
ALLAN KOLSKI HORWITZ was born in Vryburg in1952 and grew Cape Town where he studied political philosophy and literature. Between 1974 and 1985 he lived in the Middle East, Europe and North America, returning to South Africa in 1986 when he worked in the trade unions as an organiser and educator.
Born in 1951 in Kaolack, Senegal, AMADOU LAMINE SALL works as an adviser to the Minister of Culture in Senegal, but above all else describes himself as a poet.
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.
ANA PAULA RIBEIRO TAVARES was born in Lubango, province of the Huíla, Angola, in 1952. After teaching for several years in Angola and researching the History of Angola, Tavares traveled to Lisbon to study for her Masters in African Literatures in the Portuguese Language, followed by her Doctorate in History of Africa.
A daughter of the Eastern Cape, poet and praise singer ANDREA DONDOLO studied Human Movement Studies at the University of the Western Cape as well as Drama and Performance at the New Africa Theatre Association.
"The insight and delight that Andrew's words give is different and indispensable in an earth grown factious..." -Stan Galloway, Professor of English, Bridgewater College, Virginia, USA
ANGIFI DLADLA, a.k.a. Udibi lwaseSandlwana, is a poet, playwright, publisher, writing teacher and coach based in Katlehong on the East Rand.
ANINDITA SENGUPTA is a poet and writer who lives in Bangalore, India.
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.
ANTON KRUEGER'S published works include plays, poems and academic essays as well as criticism on theatre, film and books. His unpublished works include dream journals, shopping lists and indecipherable notes scrawled on the backs of envelopes.
ANZEHLINA POLONSKAYA (1969) worked as an ice dancer in Moscow and travelled with a Russian troupe to Central and South America. She began writing poems at the age of eighteen and later quit ice dancing to devote herself to writing.
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.
ARJA SALAFRANCA was born in Spain in 1971 to a Spanish father and a South African mother and has lived in South Africa since the age of five.
ARYAN KAGANOF was 'born again in Randburg in 2001, drives Jaguar, shoots Glock'.
ATUKWEI OKAI was born and educated in Ghana and obtained his M.A. (Litt) from the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow in 1967. He was awarded a post-graduate scholarship from the University of Ghana to pursue his Master of Philosophy degree at the University of London.
Kone Abdul Aziz, alias AZIZ SITEN’K, was born in Abidjan Port Bouet in Côte d’Ivoire. As an English graduate, Aziz Siten’k is passionate about communication.
BANDILE GUMBI holds a BA Social Science degree from the University of Natal. Since 2000 she has performed in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, mainly at poetry clubs and art exhibitions.
BANTU MWAURA is an award winning performing artist, director, playwright, storyteller, poet and university lecturer from Kenya.
BAROLONG SEBONI is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Botswana.
BASADZI VOICES represents the many voices, often silenced, of young women across South Africa.
Bash’ Amuneni is a Nigerian poet and performer whose works explores humanity’s capacity for love.
Joseph Baffrou, or better known as BEE JOE, holds a European Masters in communication, administration and management. He has had a professional career in business over 14 years.
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.
BELITA ANDRE is a South African born poet, copywriter and writing facilitator.
An internationally acclaimed artist, BELLA COX is a poet, performer, workshop facilitator, MC, and event producer who has worked in Kenya, South Africa, and around the UK.
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.
The Tony, Peabody and Emmy award-winning, six-time HBO and Broadway Def Poet BLACK ICE is credited with being a pioneer of this millennium, turning spoken word into a mainstream art form.
BLACK PEARL is a spoken word artist born and raised in Zimbabwe. She is intrigued by complex social dynamics and creates poetry that provides an artistic commentary of them.
From Slam to Hiphop, from performance poetry to spoken word, BOB HOLMAN, has been a central figure in the re-emergence of poetry as a potent public force.
BONGANI MAVUSO is a poet, radio presenter and senior producer at Ukhozi FM, a station with almost seven million listeners.
Zulu praise-poet BOTSOTSO MAHLABA was born and raised Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
I was born in Malmesbury on 19 November 1983, about seventy kilometres north of Cape Town. Raised by a strong woman who did what she had to keep us going. Today I am married with a family of my own and enjoy my second chance at life after receiving a kidney transplant in November 2019.
Breyten Breytenbach was born long ago. He spent the first half of his life growing up in Hartland.
BUDDY WAKEFIELD of Kingston, Washington is a Vipassana meditator, a three-time international spoken word champion, novice triathlete, author of three books of vulnerability for growth junkies, and one book about healthy backyard chicken-keeping practices, called HENHOUSE (based on Penthouse, but for chickens, and their lovers).
Busisiwe Mahlangu is a writer, performer and TEDx Speaker from Mamelodi, Pretoria. Poetry is how she is learning to be brave and fearless.
The versatile BUSISWA GQULU joined Young Basadzi because, in her words, "I felt strongly about the vision behind it: to empower women by giving them a platform for dialogue, debate and discussion through poetry and interaction with other women."
CARLOS ANDRES GOMEZ is a leading voice at the vanguard of the oral poetry movement and has been described as a "truth-telling visionary" by Brass Magazine and a "lyrical prophet" by the Caymanian Compass.
CAROL WATTS is a poet whose work is ‘characterised by a deep attentiveness to perception as an aspect of ecological thinking’ (Zoe Skoulding, Poetry and Listening: The Noise of Lyric).
Hailing from New York City, CELENA GLENN, was voted best local poet by the readers of NY Press.
Port St. Johns
Celiswa Majali was born in Port St. Johns, Eastern Cape. Majali is a published author of a novel entitled Imbali Yentombazanana (The Story of a Young Girl).
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.
Malawian-born singer and poet CHIGO GONDWE describes herself as an ethno-urban-hiphop-soul-poetess."
CHIRIKURE CHIRIKURE was born in 1962 in Gutu. Zimbabwe. He is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe and an Honorary Fellow of the Universitv of lowa.
CHIWONISO was born in the US in 1976 and musical instruments were an integral part of her early nurturing as a child.
In 1985, at the age of eighteen, CHRIS ABANI was imprisoned after the previously supportive Nigerian government labeled his first novel a threat to national security. Upon his release, Abani became active in a guerilla theatre group that dared to perform plays in front of government buildings.
CHRIS MANN obtained his Hon D Litt degree at the University of Durban-Westville and continued his studies as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford where he was awarded the Newdigate Prize for Poetry.
CHRISTIAN UETZ was born in 1963 in Egnach on the outskirts of Zurich in Switzerland. He studied Philosophy, Comparative and Ancient Greek at the University of Zurich and until 1997 he was also teaching Literature and Philosophy at high-schools.
CHRISTIE VAN ZYL, is a published and spoken word poet, social & creative entrepreneur, and indigenous wellness practitioner. Her works speak to the human condition: inclusivity and transformation, as well as intersectional & plural identities.
CHRISTINE OTTEN was born in Deventer, The Netherlands, in 1961. She studied history and journalism and while still a student, started writing reports, interviews and stories for the magazines De Groene Amsterdammer and Vrij Nederland.
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.
CLAUDIO POZZANI is a poetry festival director, poet, narrator and musician who is well appreciated in Italy and abroad.
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.
SAMM FARAI MONRO, better known as Comrade Fatso was born in 1980. He spent most of his youth in Zimbabwe inspired by, in his words, “life and the struggle for justice.”
CROC E MOSES was born in Canada and bas been based in Swaziland and South Africa for more than half his life. Before his commitment to poetry, the spoken word and music, multi-skilled Moses has also been a drummer, an art school student, a graphic designer, a candle maker, a waiter, and even enrolled for an MBA.
Bronx, New York
Born and raised in the Bronx, CRYSTAL VALENTINE is a writer, activist and educator. She earned a BA in Psychology at NYU, where she is returning as a MFA candidate in Poetry. Crystal
A.J. DAGGA TOLAR is a frontline activist, a social crusader, and the Publicity Secretary of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Right CDWR, formerly known as the Campaign for Independent Unionism (CIU) which was one of the pro-democracy groups in CD, UAD and JACON, in the struggle to end military dictatorship in Nigeria.
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.
Danie Marias was born in Kimberley in 1971 and matriculated in Pretoria in 1989. He obtained a B. Comm (Law) degree from the University of Stellenbosch in 1993.
A musician as well as a poet, DANYEL WARO is probably the most famous maloya singer of Reunion Island.
Born in Durban in 1986, DASHEN NAICKER developed a keen interest in the art of hip hop emceeing after a chance encounter with pioneering Durban emcees Ewok, Jet and Quincy Fynn at the 2004 Splashy Fen festival.
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.
Poet, novelist, playwright, university professor and diplomat, DAVID RUBADIRI was born in Liuli, Malawi, in 1930.
Poet and prose writer DAVID WA MAAHLAMELA hails from Mankweng in Polokwane, Limpopo. He studied both Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, and worked as a fitter and turner artisan at the De Beers Consolidated Mines, before resigning in his seventh year organizing a protest march.
DEF P (PASCAL GRIFFIOEN) was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1969. He studied at the Amsterdam Graphic School from 1982 to 1990 and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator.
As a young poet, DENISA COMANESCU (1954) answered an interviewer’s question “Why do you write?” with the terse statement, “For me, writing means passing from hate to love”.
DENNIS BRUTUS (1924), poet, distinguished educator, and Freedom Fighter, was born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa.
DESMOND EGAN was born in Athlone, in the centre of Ireland and was educated at the National Universities of Ireland at Maynooth and Dublin.
Afrikaans-speaking DIANA FERRUS (1953) writes in both English and Afrikaans about personal, political, historical and social themes.
Born in Dakar, Senegal in 1969, DIDIER AWADI is undoubtedly one of the most prominent artists to have emerged from Africa's Francophone rap scene.
DIKE CHUKWUMERIJE is the founder and CEO of Simply Poetry Ltd, a production company specialising in the staging of poetry for mainstream audiences.
DIKSON was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the United Kingdom in 2000 where he got into slam poetry in Brighton whilst at university.
DOMINGO ALFONSO (Domingo Nicolás Alfonso Pereira) was born in the small town of Jovellanos in Matanzas, Cuba in 1935. He spent much of his early life there and then graduated from Havana University with a degree in Architecture in 1969.
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.
DONKER JONKER is a much-published writer who later fell into the arms of poetry. He has staged and performed several one-man theatre shows, as well as a video-installation based on his verse.
DORIAN HAARHOFF is a story-teller, and a published poet, writer and a personal development speaker.
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.
DRISANA DEBORAH JACK (Saint Martin, Netherlands Antilles) has been acclaimed for work which bravely reconciles trans-cultural existence and memory while constructing energetic new mythologies.
DSHAMILJA ROSHANI is a Berlin-based poet, writer and performer of German-Iranian descent. Dshamilja’s work is rooted in their truth, their entire truth in its uncomfortable, expanding, ever-changing form.
EDESSA RAMOS was born and raised in Manila. She finished her studies in Chicago, and currently lives in Zurich.
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.
EDUARD ESCOFFET was born in 1979 in Barcelona, Spain. He is one of the most important Catalan poets of his generation.
EDUARDO WHITE was born in 1963 in Qualimane in the province of Zambézia, Mozambique.
Born and raised in Singapore, EDWIN THUMBOO (1933) is hailed as one of the foremost poets in English in Southeast Asia and has won several awards.
Efe Paul Azino is one of Nigeria’s well known performance artists and poets. In 2015, he co-founded West Africa’s first international poetry festival, the Lagos International Poetry Festival, which he currently directs.
RITA ELISANGELA was born and raised between Luanda, Angola and Pretoria, South Africa. She is a poet, writer, voice artist and also international taxation specialist.
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.
EVELYN CRESSWELL was born and educated in Durban with an Honours degree in English from the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), married gold medal scientist and political and educational visionary Prof. Christopher Cresswell, and had her wits and her pen sharpened by the social and political situation in South Africa during the Apartheid era.
EWOK completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003 at the University of Natal, Durban with majors in Drama and Performance and English.
THE FEELA SISTAH! SPOKEN WORD COLLECTIVE was formed in March of 2003 to give voice to positive black women. Myesha Jenkins, Napo Masheane, Lebogang Mashile and Ntsiki Mazwai offer a fresh and inspirational insight into the minds, hearts and spirits of black women today.
Born in Mozambique, FÉLING CAPELA is a multi-lingual international professional photographer and cultural artist with over seven years of experience in professional photography, community organizing, coordinating events, and performing.
Born in 1951 in Medellin (Colombia), FERNANDO RENDON had his first poetry published in journal as a teenager.
Born in Cape Town in 1962, FINUALA DOWLING has an MA from UCT and a D.Lit. Phil from Unisa, where she was a lecturer in the English department from 1989 to 1995.
FLOW WELLINGTON is a gender-queer author and founding publisher of Poetree Publications, an independent self-publishing house.
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.
FRANK M. CHIPASULA will turn sixty-one on October 16, 2010. He studied at the Universities of Malawi and Zambia before proceeding to the USA where he has taught Black Literature and Creative Writing at several universities.
Born in 1995, in the capital of jazz, Mamelodi, FRANS TAUYATSOALA is a writer, poet and stage performer well versed in the old school type of writing.
Freedom Nyamubaya was a high-ranking freedom fighter during Zimbabwe's war of liberation.
GABEBA BADEROON grew up in Athlone, Cape Town, and studied English at the University of Cape Town, attaining her doctorate with a thesis on the portrayal of Islam in South African media and art.
GARY CUMMISKEY was born in England in 1963 and apart from a brief period spent in London in 2001- 2002, has lived in South Africa since 1983.
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.
GHASSAN ZAQTAN is one of the most significant and innovative poets to have come out of Palestine.
GIBI BACILIO, born in 1950 in Curaçao, the small Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, is a poet and a prolific literary performer.
GINA ATHENA ULYSSE is a Haitian-American feminist multimedia artist-scholar and Professor of Feminist Studies at University of California Santa Cruz.
SHAMEEMA WILLIAMS, ELOISE JONES a.k.a EJ VON LYRIK and BERNADETTE AMANSURE a.k.a. BURNI formed the trailblazing hip-hop group Godessa in 2000 and since the have continued to break ground as the only recording and performing female hip-hop crew in South Africa.
He grew up with the rapturous speed of a millennial in his brain on the banks of the chemical Riu Sec: sweet and fast. And almost without realising, he grew up with the growing fear of sweeping away everything that surrounds and embraces him with his unique state of terror.
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.
HABIB DEMBA FALL was born in 1972 in Thiaroye, a poor suburb located in the Senegalese capital or Dakar.
HAGAR PEETERS was born in Amsterdam in 1972. She earned her Bachelors in Philosophy and her Masters in Cultural History at the University of Utrecht, and was an editor at the Historical Newspaper (Historisch Nieuwsblad).
HAIDEE KRUGER is a lecturer in Language Practice and English Literature at the Vaal Triangle Campus of North-West University where she teaches twentieth century poetry and fiction, as well as modules on editing and translation.
HANNA YANOVSKA was born in Kharkiv in 1980 into a family of physicists and graduated from Karazin University in 2002. She could have ended up as a linguist (her PhD was in General Linguistics), a programmer or maybe a hacker or an English teacher (she taught in Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute) but her main role is that of translator.
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. Mason, who encouraged him to write.
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.
IKE MBONENI MUILA was born in Soweto in 1957, and grew up in Venda, Limpopo Province, returning to live in Soweto in the 1980s. He studied acting at the Soyinkwa Institute and his first poetry performances were between 1988 and 1990 with the Madimba.
ILJA LEONARD PFEIJFFER, born in the Netherlands in 1968, is a poet and classicist.
ILYAS TUNÇ was born in Ordu, Turkey in 1956, and spent much of his early life there. In 1979, he graduated from the Gazi Educational Institute in Ankara and taught in primary and secondary schools until he retired in 2007.
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.
Iryna Starovoyt is a poet, essayist, and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University.
ISHLE YI PARK is a Korean American world-travelling poet, singer, and the first woman to be named the Poet Laureate of Queens - the largest and most diverse borough in New York.
JAAP BLONK (1953) is a self-taught composer, musician, voice performer and sound poet. Everyone has a cheek synthesizer, but hardly anyone knows how to play it - Blonk is an exception.
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.
JAMES MATTHEWS, poet, writer and publisher, has produced seven books of poetry, a collection of short stories, a novel and an anthology of poetry which he edited.
JAN KEES VAN DE WERK was born in the Netherlands in 1948. He has been publishing African Literature in Dutch translation for more than two decades.
JAYNE FENTON KEANE is an extensively published Australian poet whose work has been broadcast on radio and television, has featured on Voices, an ABC documentary on contemporary Australian poets, and appeared on 60 Minutes in the USA.
JENNIFER FERGUSON, a true legend of South African music, has been a singer-songwriter, musician, composer, social activist, ANC Member of Parliament (1994-97), actress, cabaret artiste, theatre director, music producer, scriptwriter, life-skills coach, Tai Chi practitioner, pianist, poet, student, sound-journey creator, wild dolphin swim facilitator, corporate human-development facilitator, special-needs children animator, voice teacher, waitress, writer, lyricist, housekeeper, mother, metamorphic massage technique practitioner, chef, entertainer on a cruise liner, wife, mistress, counsellor, sales girl, birthing assistant, marriage facilitator, song safari tour guide, TV jingle and score composer, events producer, urban greening consultant, children's choir facilitator, shamanic ceremonies facilitator in spaces of deep retreat and a lot more.
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.
JESSICA MBANGENI was born and raised in Nqamakhwe, Eastern Cape. Her grandmother’s storytelling, always fused with traditional Xhosa singing, was a key inspiration in her decision to become a praise-poet.
JILL BATSON was born in England and has lived in the U.S. and Canada, and is currently living in New Mexico. A former art director and filmmaker, Jill is an internationally published poet and poetry activist.
JIM PASCUAL AGUSTIN grew up in the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship. He writes in Filipino and English.
JIT NARAIN (Jidt Narainsingh Baldewsingh), the grandson of Indian immigrants, was born in Livorno, Surinam in 1948.
JITSVINGER (a.k.a Quintin Goliath) is an actor, poet and cultural activist, from Cape Town who released his Afrikaans language debut album Skeletsleutel in 2006.
Joachim Sartorius spent part of his youth in Tunis and then went on to study Law and Political Science in Munich, London, Strasbourg and Paris.
JOAN METELERKAMP'S first collection of poems, Towing the Line, won the 1991 Sanlam Prize for Literature.
Sotho-speaking JOE NTLOANA was born and raised in Bloemfontein, Free State.
Brooklyn, New York
Joel Francois is a Haitian born, Brooklyn raised storyteller, who wishes to share his vista as a black writer and tell stories of love, family and race through that lens.
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.
JOHN MATSHIKIZA was born in Johannesburg in 1954, and grew up in Lusaka and London. While in London, he trained in drama and also worked in theatre, television and film as an actor, director and writer.
JOICE ZAU , is Angolan, graduated in Engineering, Slammer, poet, artivist and mentor of the project: Slam workshops as a tool for education and political practice.
Jolyn Phillips was born in Gansbaai, in the Western Cape. In 2016 she published Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and Other Stories (collection of short stories), which was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Debut Prize for South African Literature and won the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Prize for Best Fiction.
Jonathan B. Tucker is a poet, performer, educator, and program director born and based in Washington, DC.
JONATHAN LEFENYA is a published writer, performer, social media strategist, scriptwriter and facilitator, whose work flings open the narrow window of language, through which we are accustomed to describing reality and in so doing, compels both Self and audience to reflect on the plight and plethora of the human condition.
Poet and storyteller JORGE PALMA was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1961.
JOSHUA BENNETT is an award-winning performance poet from Yonkers, New York. An alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, Bennett graduated with the distinctions of Phi Beta Kappa in recognition as being amongst the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at America's leading colleges and universities.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, poet, saxophonist, writer and composer, JOY HARJO is a member of the Muscogee/Creek Nation and performs nationally and internationally.
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.
Julie is a multidisciplinary artist from eNgqushwa in the Eastern Cape, currently based in Cape Town.
JULIUS CHINGONO was born on a commercial farm near Harare, Zimbabwe in 1946, and has worked for most of his life in Zimbabwean mines as a rock-blaster.
JÜRG HALTER, born in 1980 in Bern (Switzerland), is a poet, performer, writer, and the editor and co-publisher of art.21-zeitdruk, the Swiss literature and art magazine. In 2000 art.21-zeitdruk was awarded the Special Prize of the Literary Commission of the City of Berne.
K. ELTINAÉ is a Sudanese poet of Nubian/Mediterranean descent, raised internationally as a third culture kid.
KABELO RINGANE, a native of Pretoria, is a spoken word artist commonly known as Kilobyte (KB).
KABOMO VILAKAZI is a diverse artist who works as a poet, writer, spoken word artist, emcee, producer, filmmaker and actor.
KALOUNE was born on La Réunion Island 32 years ago. Surrounded by music, she grew up listening and playing maloya -the Reunionese traditional music passed down through her creole slave ancestors.
KAMA SYWOR KAMANDA was born in 1952 in Luebo, Congo, to a family of Bantu-Egyptian origin. After publishing his first collection of stories at the age of 15, he studied literature, journalism, political science, philosophy and law, and worked in journalism.
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.
KAT FRANCOIS is a comedienne, poet, playwright, actress, performer, host, school and youth facilitator.
KATERYNA MIKHALITSYNA is a Ukrainian writer, translator, literary editor, artist, member of PEN Ukraine and NGO ‘New York Literary Festival’ in Donetsk region (Ukraine), and volunteer.
KATLEHO KANO SHORO is a South African-born artist-scholar. She is the author of the poetry collection, Serurubele, and a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.
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.
KEAMOGETSI JOSEPH MOLAPONG has been writing poetry since 1990, and was instrumental in establishing the Windhoek-based poetry groups Ama Poets and Kitso Poets.
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.
Born in 1938 KEORAPETSE ‘WILLIE’ KGOSITSILE left South Africa in 1961 as one of the first young ANC members instructed to do so by the leadership of the liberation movement.
“Reading…listening to KGAFELA OA MAGOGODI’S poetry and song is a shattering experience. His linguistic chisels go far beyond ‘causing blisters in the eardrums of society’.
KHADIJA HEEGER Is a published poet, actress, facilitator, cultural activist, who hails from the Cape Flats. Her poetic work has been characterised as stark and unapologetic.
Spoken-word poet, writer, singer and drum percussionist, KHADUATOU DOYNEH, spent the formative years of her life in Guyana, South America and London.
Born in the small town of Umkomaas, KHANYI SHUSHA holds a BSS degree in Psychology. She is a diviner, performance art poet, stylist, designer, facilitator, brown consciousness activist, feminist and writer.
KHAYA MASEKO is a member of the Nowadayz Poetry Circle and a regular contributor to the Pioneers of Change alternative magazine Imbuthuma.
KHULILE NXUMALO was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, in 1971. He completed school at Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland and went on to attend the University of Cape Town, the then University of Natal and the University of the Witwatersrand, where his studies were focused on media and cultural studies.
KHWEZI BECKER was born in Johannesburg, RSA, to an artistic South African – German couple. She is fluent in English, German and Zulu.
Kissy Abeng’s stage name is Dark Spirit. She is the director of the National Pôle Slam in Cameroon and the presenter of Nda Slam, which she created in 2011, together with her slam friends Faithfull and Rodrigue Ndzana.
KOBUS MOOLMAN was born and educated in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu-Natal. A poet, playwright, educator and editor, Moolman is passionate about the possibilities inherent in "the Word' to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
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.
KOLE ADE ODUTOLA is a teacher, poet, photojournalist and activist. Kole trained first as a botanist, earning a bachelor of science degree, with specialisation in environmental ecology and genetics in 1984 from the University of Benin, Nigeria.
Nigerian poet KOLE OLUWATOYIN, trained first as a botanist and much later received the British Council Chevening scholarship to study for a Masters degree in TV/video for Development from the University of Reading, United Kingdom.
KOLEKA PUTUMA is a theatre director, writer and performance poet based in Cape Town.
Born in 1959 in Chad, KOULSY LAMKO was exiled from his country in 1983. A playwright, poet, writer of short stories and tales, and author of several screenplays, Koulsy Lamko is also a cultural entrepreneur and actor.
ALFRED A. YUSON, also known as Krip Yuson, has authored 19 books, including novels, poetry collections, short fiction, essays, and children's stories, apart from having edited various other titles.
TORY SAINT (born Kwanele Nyembe) is a Ladysmith born and Durban based poet, writer, actor and dancer. He views these various artforms as a kaleidoscope by which he sees the different colours of his being.
Kwazi Ndlangisa is a South African award-winning performance poet, vocalist, creative writer and an art activist based in Durban but rooted in the deep rural areas of Umzimkhul called Chamto on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
KYLE ALLAN is a 27-year-old poet, performer, writer and recording artist living in kwaSwayimane in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Lakhiyia; a public health cultural shapeshifter and freedom art alchemist, inviting us to remember who we are.
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.
Langalibalele F. Mathenjwa is a published writer of isiZulu poetry, novels, short stories and folklore with a PhD in Literature and Philosophy from the University of South Africa.
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).
LAURA WIHLBÖRG is a poet and Poetry Slam artist from Sweden. Her poems are about everyday situations, worries and thoughts – always with a dark and comic twist.
LEBOGANG MASHILE (1979) is a young performer, writer and facilitator who was born to exiled South African parents in the United States. She has been living, studying, learning and growing in South Africa since her family came back home in 1994.
LEBOHANG ‘NOVA’ MASANGO is a Swedish-born writer, poet, activist, feminist and speaker living her best life, in love and service to girls and women.
LEFIFI TLADI was born in Lady Selbourne, Pretoria in 1949. As a dynamic young man in his twenties, Lefifi used art to connect with and mobilise the Black Consciousness Movement.
HLOX DA REBEL is a spoken word artist, comedian and Sicknatcha Poetry founder. Born Lehlohonolo Mabaso in QwaQwa, the Free State, he started writing poetry in 2008 and began performing professionally in Johannesburg in 2012.
LEMN SISSAY is one of the UK's most vibrant and engaging performers. His poems are laid into the streets, feature on the side of a public house in downtown Manchester and have been emblazoned on a central London bus route.
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.
Lethokuhle Msimang is a South African poet and memoirist, born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She graduated with a B.A. in Literary Studies and Creative Arts at the American University of Paris, and a Masters in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.
Lethu Nkwanyana is a spoken word artist, a writer, a thespian, a wordsmith and the epitome of a true performer, with exceptional stage presence.
LEX LAFOY, formally known as Lexikon and Queen Shalabeama, is a pop-rap recording-artist, performer and poet originally from Durban, currently based in Johannesburg.
LEYMEN PÉREZ is a poet, editor and teacher. He holds numerous academic qualifications, including a Bachelor’s Degree in Socio-cultural Studies and a Diploma in Cuban Culture.
LIESL JOBSON'S poetry and prose has appeared in numerous South African and international journals including Chimurenga, New Coin, New Contrast, The Southern Review, Mississippi Review, Sleeping Fish, The Rambler and anthologies: Open (Oshun, 2008), Letters to the World (Red Hen Press, 2007), White Ink (Demeter Press, 2007) and Touch (Struik, 2009).
LINATHI MAKANDA is a multidisciplinary artist based in South Africa.
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.
LISETTE MA NEZA is known for her sharp pen and sweet voice. In her mix of poetry and music she searches for her own identity, her gender, her history and place in the world.
Born in 1944 in Bardu. Northern Norway, LIV LUNDBERG has received an income grant as an author from the Norwegian Cultural Department since 1983.
The work of Paarl-born poet, LOFTUS MARAIS is visual and ironic, rebelling against traditional Afrikaans poetry, while also acknowledging the handed-down Afrikaans belief in the poet as craftsman, in the importance of formal, structural and musical elements.
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.
LUCKY CAFEOUS TEMBO is a Zimbabwean musical maestro and a ChiShona wordsmith who is currently a resident musician at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.
LUKAS MKUTI was born in Mozambique, grew up in Tanzania and graduated from the University of Arizona.
LULEKA MHLANZI, author of Confiscated Identity is a South African, award-winning, published and performing poet, actress, creative writer and a youth facilitator from Pietermaritzburg.
LWAZI XABA. who is better known as Zorro around Durban, versatile Durban-based poet whose captivating and musical poetry carries a positive message but also does not shy away from pointing out falsity.
LYDOL, born Nwafo Dolly Sorel in 1994 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Lydol (anagram of Dolly) is a Masters student of Economic Sciences at the University of Yaoundé II.
MAAKOMELE MANAKA was born in Soweto in 1983. Mak, as he is widely known, is the son of the late Matsemela Manaka, the well-known artist, poet, playwright and Black Consciousness activist and Nomsa Kupi Manaka, a pioneer of African dance.
Mpeko, Eastern Cape
Hailed as the 'Queen of Xhosa Music', MADOSINI LATOZI MPAHLENI was born eighty-two years ago amongst the Pondo, in the district Dlomo of the village of Mpheko near Umtata in the Eastern Cape.
Born in 1946, MAFIKA GWALA grew up in the semi-rural township of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal. His working life there and in Johannesburg included stints as secondary school teacher, legal clerk, factory worker, and industrial relations officer.
Going by the name MAKHAFULA VILAKAZI (the title of one of his poems), Matodzi Gift Ramashia grew up in Chiawelo, Soweto.
MAKHOSAZANA (KHOSI) XABA was born in 1957 in Greytown, Kwazulu-Natal. She grew up in Ndaleni, Richmond and matriculated at Inanda Seminary.
MALACHI D. SMITH is a fellow if the University of Miami’s Mitchner Carribean Writer’s Institute where he studied poetry under Lorna Goodison and playwriting under Fred D’Aguiar.
Lueen Conning (Malika Ndlovu) is a Durban-born writer, qualified performing artist and arts administrator.
Charlotte Hill O'Neal aka Mama C is an internationally acclaimed visual artist, musician and poet.
MAMTA SAGAR was born in 1966 in Bangalore. India. She studied Journalism and Literature and taught Kannada language/literature to graduate students and Indian Literature, Women Writing in India, Gender Studies, Dalit Literature, Literature of the Marginal and Comparative Literature Theory for the postgraduate students and the foreign students attending Study India Programmes at the University of Hyderabad.
MANDI POEFFICIENT VUNDLA is a writer and spoken word ambassador who was born in Soweto, Johannesburg.
MANDISA PHANDLIWE was born in 1974 in Mafikeng, North West Province. Though her origins are in the Eastern Cape, she was brought up in Botswana by her grandmother.
MANEO REFILOE MOHALE is a South African editor, feminist writer a poet whose work has appeared in various local and international publications, including Jalada, Prufrock, The Beautiful Project, The Mail & Guardian, spectrum.za, and others.
MANGALA ‘LORD STRIDER’ MANGALA is a poet Emcee, writer, dancer and performer. He is a Current State of Poetry (CSP) Alumni, member of eBukhosini Solutions and has been a part of UJ Poetry since 2018.
Margot Delaet loves poetry, photography and philosophy, and aims to bring these three passions together in her work.
MARÍ PETÉ is a Durban poet who uses words to explore dreamscapes, everyday experiences, and the thin membrane between these states of being.
El Grau de Gandia
Maria Josep Escrivà (born in El Grau de Gandia, 1968) is the author of six books of poetry; the last three of which have been significant in her career for several reasons.
MARIA SEVILLA PARIS was born in Badalona, in the suburbs of Barcelona (Catalonia), in 1990. She studied Catalan Philology at the University of Barcelona and she is doing a PhD about the only novel that Maria-Mercè Marçal (one of the most important Catalan writers of the twentieth century) wrote: The passion according to Renée Vivien.
MANA BUGALLO is an Argentinian performance poet, singer, and writer based in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her work combines poetry, satire, and music and is now focused on the individual and collective consequences of living the myth of normal.
MARJOLIJN VAN HEEMSTRA was born in Amsterdam in 1981 and studied Religion and Media at the University of Amsterdam.
MASAI SEPURU is a visual and a performing artist practising in numerous disciplines of the arts Including writing, painting, set design, directing and performing.
MASELLO MOTANA is a singer, poet, actress and writer who epitomises the energetic and vibrant new urban generation of South African voices.
MASOJA MSIZA began his career as a poet, and later a stage and television actor, musician and storyteller.
Isla da Pascua
MATA-UIROA MANUEL ATAN is a Chilean poet from the Island of Pascua. From 1978 to 1996 he coordinated and directed the Tapati Rapa Nui festival.
Writer, photographer, editor and administrator, MATETE MOTSOALEDI, writes and performs poetry primarily in Sepedi.
Durban-born MATT VEND is well-known across South Africa for his poetically-driven songwriting, unique rhythmic guitar playing and engaging live performances.
Irish-born, London-based Matthew Sweeney has published several volumes of poetry to date plus a number of volumes for children.
MAX MARHANELE was born in 1947 in a rural missionary settlement called Barota in Limpopo. He is a highly regarded poet, grammarian and former headmaster.
MAYA WEGERIF is a person who keeps writing and because of this, some people refer to her as Maya the Poet. She is 24-years-old, having begun those years in Shirley Village in Limpopo, South Africa.
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.
MAZWI SHAZI is a poet from Durban who started writing from 2013. He has since been part of many events including The Sundowners and Jazz, CSP Provincial slam, Poetry Africa as a Prelude , Calligraphy, Hear My Voice Poetry Relief Fund, Lover Plus Another National Poetry Competition and Time of The Writer to mention a few.
Mbali Malimela is an Isizulu writer and performing poet. As a founder of a poetry brand called Bantu Origin, she has a strong passion for restoring the love and use of language through poetry.
MBALI VILAKAZI is an award-winning South African poet, performer, radio host and creative facilitator, born in Umtata, Eastern Cape.
MEENA ALEXANDER, born in India, is presently Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Hunter College and the Graduate Centre, City University of New York. Her numerous publications have been translated into many languages.
Twenty-six-year-old MEENA KANDASAMY is a poet, writer-activist and translator with a PhD in sociolinguistics.
Born in Cape Town, MEGAN HALL studied English, Linguistics and Latin at the University of Cape Town, and then found work in the publishing industry.
My name is MELSIE SINDILE VAN ROOYEN. 37 years of of age and coloured. I arise from the Mpumalanga province in which the sun rises.
MENZI SIBIYA discovered his love for poetry, reading, and writing in 2007 while studying in Pietermaritzburg. At the time, he was hindered by immense self-doubt and he only started sharing his work in 2010 during the weekly poetry sessions at the Bessie Head Library in Pietermaritzburg.
MERCY DHLIWAYO is a creative writer, poet, and hip-hop artist who goes by the stage name Sista X. A human rights advocate at heart, she uses her art as a form of advocacy and resistance.
Mfanafuthi Pota Shange is a poet, facilitator and event organiser in learning. Simply known as Mfanafuthi on the poetry scene, one of the co-founders of Iziko Lamagama Art Movement - one of the well-established poetry movements in Durban.
MICHÈLE BETTY is the founder of Dryad Press (Pty) Ltd, an independent publishing press dedicated to the promotion and publication of poetry in South Africa.
Award winning poet, MICHELLE LEGGOTT, was born in New Zealand where she lives with her family on Auckland’s North Shore.
Harlem, New York
MILES HODGES is an internationally acclaimed performance poet, filmmaker, and activist. He is a co-founder of The Strivers Row, the leading New York City-based arts collective that helped to thrust spoken word poetry to national and global prominence.
MINENHLE MTHEMBU is a Durban-based multi-award-winning poet from Mandeni who was raised in KwaMashu. In over 10 years of writing and reciting poetry, he has worked with various artists, including Mampintsha,The Soil and the late Sifiso Ncwane.
MÍRIAM CANO is a catalan writer and journalist. She has published two poetry books - Buntsandstein, which was awarded with the Martí Dot Poetry prize and Ancoratge.
MITJA LOVŠE is a writer, a performer and a director from Slovenia. He works in the fields of theatre, film, television and literature.
Mjele Msimang is a writer, educator & photographer living in Tshwane, South Africa. Their poetry work has been long-listed in the Sol Plaatje Poetry Anthology 2018, and the poem “Born(e) to the Grave” appears in the recently published “Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poems of Decolonisation”.
Muriel Mokgathi-Mvubu known by her pen name MoAfrika ‘a Mokgathi was born in Mamelodi and is currently based in South Africa. She is a multifaceted artist, who is a writer, author, Poet, Performer, Theatre Actress, Translator, Cultural Activist, Teaching Artist, Arts Codes Adjudicator, Band Leader, Curator, award winning Radio Presenter-Producer and a serial Civic Leader.
MODISE SEKGOTHE is a Johannesburg based writer and performer, interested in the exploration of poetry as it relates to music, theatre and visual arts.
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.
Ga-Matlala, ‘a Rakgoadi
MOSES SELETISHA is a multi-award-winning Sepedi writer and performance poet from Ga-Matlala, ‘a Rakgoadi in Limpopo Province but is currently a resident in Witbank, Mpumalanga.
MPHO RAMAANO is a poet, actor, playwright and social activist who also works as a ventilation, occupational hygiene and emergencies specialist in the mines.
Bloemfontein, Free State
MPHUTLANE WA BOFELO, winner of the poetry Africa 2003 Slam Competition, he holds a BA(Hons) from the University of the Free State.
MTHOBISI MQADI, one of the organisation's co-founders, also administers and arranges events.
Upper Indwana, Cala
MTHUNZIKAZI MBUNGWANA, otherwise known as ‘Nolali waseCala’, is a poet, writer and storyteller from the small village of Upper Indwana, Cala in the former Transkei.
Musa Hawamdeh, a Palestinian poet and journalist, was born in Hebron, Palestine, in 1959. He attended Secondary school in the city of Hebron and graduated from the Jordanian University with a Bachelor Degree in Arabic Literature, after being expelled from the University for a year for political reasons.
MUSAEMURA ZIMUNYA’s (1949) poetry first appeared in journals and anthologies when he was a student at school and university. His poetry represents the feelings of a generation that felt marginalized and deracinated by colonialism.
Celebrated poet, author, radio host and social critic Allan Hope better known as MUTABARUKA, was born in Rae Town, Kingston in 1952.
MUTLE MOTHIBE has spent the last 15 years honing his skills as a writer and performer, but is also an accomplished workshop facilitator who regularly engages both learners and educators at high school and tertiary level on the importance, relevance and impact of the spoken word.
MXOLISI MTSHALI is well known as a love poet who recites in isiZulu. His now famous poem Zulu Love Letter introduced performance poetry to people who never thought they would ever listen and enjoy poetry – especially in their home language.
MXOLISI NYEZWA was born in 1967 in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth and still lives there at 4 Madala Street.
MYESHA JENKINS, passionately engaged in cultural endeavour, works in community development and can be found in jazz clubs, bookstores and friends' kitchens in and around Jozi.
MYROSLAV LAIUK is a Ukrainian poet and novelist who has a PhD in Philosophy and Literature. He was born in the Carpathian region, but now lives in Kyiv where he teaches creative writing at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
MZI MAHOLA started experimenting with poetry writing whilst still in Matric. His first manuscript was confiscated by the state security police in August 1976.
Popularly hailed as 'The People's Poet', MZWAKHE MBULl began his career in the 1980s by performing poetry at Trade Union and Cultural events as part of the struggle against the apartheid government in South Africa.
NACHLA LIBRE is a Stockholm based artist, poet and director born in 1986. She has since her early twenties been an artistic voice for change in the creative field in Sweden.
Nadra Mabrouk is a poet from Cairo, Egypt. She is the recipient of the 2019 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and the 2019 Poets & Writers Amy Award.
NAKANJANI SIBIYA is one of South Africa’s most prominent and prolific isiZulu authors.
NAPO MASHEANE teaches drama and is a playwright, stage director and actress.
Musicologist and Doctor of Philosophy, Narcisse, worked for a long time as an IT specialist before he discovered slam poetry. Since 2013, he has made a living from his art.
NASSUF DJAILANI comes from Mayotte (Comoros) and works as a freelance broadcast and newspaper journalist.
The multi-talented NÁSITO MOSQUITO was born in Angola and is a poet, performance artist, actor, filmmaker and television presenter.
Writer and poet NATALIA MOLEBATSI recently released her debut collection of poems, Sardo Dance (2008).
NATHALIE HANDAL has lived in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Arab world.
Natty Ogli is a Ghanaian Wordsmith using his gift as a reformative tool to lead and contribute positive change. Natty is a community builder, an instrumentalist, singer, rapper and a reggae/dance hall artist.
NAZLEE SAIF ARBEE is a 22-year-old multimedia artist born in central Durban. She has been writing poetry since her developmental years in Victoria Street, often playing with the imaginary binary between 'rap' and 'poetry'.
Pietermaritzburg-born Nduduzo Mkhize is known by his stage name, Gubhela, and is a professional artist through the spoken word (poetry). He is also an actor, a creative writer and an arts facilitator.
NEO MOLEFE's (shameeyaa neo waMolefe) literary work has been published in Educational Practice Issue 3 (1999), So Much to Tell Volume 1 (2003), Kush Kollective, and Basadzi Voices (2006).
NEEMA NGWATILO MAWIYOO was born in Nairobi Kenya and spent much or her childhood singing in church.
Nick Makoha is a Ugandan poet and playwright based in London. He is the founder and Director of the Obsidian Foundation, which provides Black poets with resources and professional development.
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.
Raised on a farm in western Denmark, NIELS HAV today resides in the most colourful and multi-ethnic part of the capital, Copenhagen. He is a full-time poet and short story writer who has travelled widely in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
NII AYIKWEI PARKES is a Ghanaian poet, editor, socio-cultural commentator and author. With an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck (University of London), he serves on the boards of the Poetry Book Society, the Arvon Foundation and the Caine Prize.
NIKKI GIOVANNI is one of America’s most widely read poets and one of the most renowned poets worldwide. Her poem, Knoxville, Tennessee, is arguably the single literary work most often associated with that city.
Comedian-slammer NINA KIBUANDA was born in 1977 in Kinshasa. He began rapping at 13 and then joined a rap group called Ligne de Mire.
Ninfa María is a poet and performer from Santiago, Chile. She seeks to transform written poetry into other forms with performance, in public spaces and at events related to the arts, as well as experimenting with digital and photographic formats.
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.
NJOKI MUHOHO is a poet, journalist, filmmaker and management consultant and a graduate from the universities of Kenyatta, Oregon State and Northern Illinois.
NKATEKO MASINGA is a South African author, publisher, spoken word artist, theatre actress, TEDx speaker, World Economic Forum Global Shaper and 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow.
NNANE NTUBE was born in Kumba, South West region of Cameroon. She is a bilingual teacher (French and English), poet, performer, literary activist, peace advocate, mentor and author of Litany of a Foreign Wife (Spears Media Press, 2020).
NOKULANGA DLADLA is an educator by profession at Dick Ndlovu High School, a semi-rural school in the Pinetown district. She is a passionate recording poetry artist and a storyteller.
Nolulamo Maquthu, better known as Lulu, completed a Drama and Performance Honours degree in 2012 from UKZN. Prior to this, she graduated with Cum Laude in Drama Studies from the Durban University of Technology.
NOMASHENGE is a Ladysmith born and Durban bred poet-vocalist, and chemist. She began her poetry journey in 2005 as a writer, and 2007 as a performer.
Nomcebisi Moyikwa is currently a mother to Khayone, an artist and a Drama and Performance Studies Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus.
eMaXesibeni - Mount Ayliff
NONDWE MPUMA was born eMaXesibeni in the Eastern Cape province. She holds an MA Creative Writing degree from the University of the Western Cape and is currently a lecturer at the same institution.
NONTSIKELELO (NTSIKI) MAZWAI. Young, strong spirited and artistically gifted, this writer is inspired by her past experiences, loves and losses and writes to release the ‘fire building up.’
“Written as an act of rage, passion and reconciliation, NORMAN KESTER’S (1962) writings blur traditional boundaries of prose and poetry, richly interweaving memory, storytelling and history.”
NOSIPHO MAGCABA is a 22-year-old poet and performer. She is in love with all forms of art.
NOWADAYZ POETS, also known as Izimbongi Zesimanje, is an organization of 30 poets, based at the BAT Centre, Durban. The group is committed to supporting young poets and writers through creating opportunities for development and growth.
NQOBILE NOMBELA NGABA is a very talented person. Nqobile was born at Engonyameni (Umlazi) Township in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.
“Hi my name is George Bush, and I’m a gangsta rapper,” is how many have heard NTOKOZO KEITH KUNENE introduce himself in Hlengiwe Lushaba’s memorable “The show is not over till the fit, fat, phat lady sings” skit which featured in the recently staged multi-faceted showcase that was Edge.
Nuno Júdice started writing poetry while still a student at the Classical University in Lisbon, submitting it to newspapers and literary reviews.
ODIA OFEIMUN was born in Iruekpen-Ekuma, Nigeria, in 1950. He worked as a news reporter, factory labourer and civil servant before studying Political Science at the University of Ibadan, where his poetry won first prize in the University Competition of 1975.
OKSANA KUTSENKO (ROZUMNA) is a poet, curator and scholar who lives in Kyiv, Ukraine. She was born into a family of a poet and a journalist and started writing when the Soviet Union collapsed.
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.
OLIVER MTUKUDZI was born in 1952, in Highfield, near Harare where he was educated and began singing in choirs. 'Tuku' has gone on to a prolific recording career spanning 48 albums over nearly thirty years.
Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola has published essays, poetry, short and long fiction, and a play. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and curated Berlin’s inaugural international African Bookfest; Writing in Migration (2018).
Apollinaire Ouedraogo, who goes by the stage name OMBR BLANCHE, is a slam poet/teacher/media presenter from Burkina Faso (West Africa).
OMÉKONGO LUHAKA WA DIBINGA was born in 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were Congolese (ex-Zaire) refugees, exiled for their role in aiding in the liberation of the Congo.
Ongezwa Mbele is a poet, storyteller, theatre-maker and researcher. She is currently a Drama and Performance lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town.
ON THE HANTAN Sensation was born In Montreal, Canada in 1972, and graduated from Algonquin College's interactive Multimedia and Web Specialist Programs, interning at the Canadian broadcasting Corporation.
OSKAR HANSKA is a spoken-word poet and multiple National Slam Champion. He became the Scandanavian Slam Champion in 2010 and visited the Poetry Slam World Cup in France the same year.
OSTAP SLYVYNSKY is a Ukrainian poet, translator, essayist, and literary critic. He authored five books of poetry. His poetry collections were published in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, and Russia.
The highly-acclaimed Dr Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali was born in Vryheid, Northern KwaZulu-Natal in 1940. He holds degrees from the New School University, School of the Arts, Columbia University and Teachers College of Columbia University.
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.
OUTSPOKEN is an underground emcee and spoken-word artist from Zimbabwe and is one half of the hiphop duo Dialectric Blue with rhyme partner Upmost a.k.a My Bruthaz Keepa.
PAGE NGWENYA is a poet from Durban, South Africa. At the age of 21, he has acquired a BSc Marine Biology degree at UKZN Westville Campus and is already a seasoned entertainer having performed at Jomba!, Word N Sound Live Music & Poetry On Tour, Give Me Ten Mics, Cup O’ Thought, Poetry Africa Festival and many others.
PATIENCE LABANE is a colourful voice from Bloemfontein. Her journey with poetry started in 2018 where she won her first poetry Slam (CSP Bloemfontein).
PATRICE TREUTHARDT was born in the island of Reunion in 1956. A poet who writes in French and Creole, Treuthardt worked as a bank employee for 32 years and as a Cultural Development Officer for the Mairie le Port since 2009.
PATRICIA NOLAN, described as one of the finest poets writing in Ireland today, was born in Dublin, Ireland, educated at Cape Town University, S.A., and lives in Paris, France, where she worked for Newsweek for several years.
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.
PAUL CASEY was born in Cork, Ireland. He grew up between Ireland, Zambia and South Africa, and has worked primarily in film, multimedia and teaching.
Musician, composer and storyteller PEDRO ESPI-SANCHIS, was born in Spain and went to live in France with his family at the age of eight.
PERPETUAL NGOZIEZIEFULE-EMENEKWUM was born and raised in Nigeria. She holds a MA in Literature-in-English from University of Ibadan, Oyo-State, Nigeria.
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.
PHELELANI MAKHANYA is a poet, writer and performer, born in Stanger in northern KwaZulu-Natal. With a national diploma in Business Management obtained from the Durban University of Technology, Makhanya has worked for several South African banks as a financial consultant.
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.
Belgian born multilingual poet and performer PHILIP MEERSMAN pushes the boundaries with poetry, in both written and spoken form, drawing on current affairs, sociopolitical and environmental issues.
After studying mime and theatre in Paris, PHILLIPPA YAA DE VILLIERS returned to South Africa to work as a stage actress and improviser for ten years.
PHILO IKONYA is a Kenyan poet and novelist proud of her rural and urban roots.
PHOMELELO MAMAMPI MOSHAPO hails from the Limpopo province. Several of her English poems have been published in Timbila and TurfWrite poetry journals and she was a featured poet in Throbbing Ink (Timbila, 2003).
PHUMZILE ZONDO was born into a musical family of five children. Being the fourth child, she started singing at church and performing for the public at a very young age, but her love for writing poetry blossomed in high school.
PIETER ODENDAAL is a South African poet, playwright, translator and editor. His debut collection, asof geen berge ooit hier gewoon het nie (Tafelberg), received the 2019 Ingrid Jonker Prize.
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.
POL GUASCH (Tarragona, 1997) is a poet and member of the cultural production company La Sullivan. He earned an undergraduate degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature (University of Barcelona), holds a master’s degree in Construction and Representation of Cultural Identity (UB), and he completed the Independent Studies Program at MACBA.
Born Angela Harvey, POPPY SEED is a performance poet whose poetry and music educates, entertains and inspires.
PRALINI NAIDOO is a poet and storyteller and has just published her first collection of poetry called Wild has Roots.
PURA LAVISA was raised in Mdantsane Township in the Eastern Cape. His multimedia career began after matric when he went to Cape Town to pursue a diploma in Audio Engineering at Cape Audio College, after which he became one of the pioneers of Imonti FM community radio.
QABANISO MALEWEZI, also known as Q, was born and raised in the capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe. With a passion for the arts, he studied performing arts at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) in the United Kingdom and The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, Surrey.
QUINCY FYNN is an internationally trained actor, writer, poet and spoken-word artist.
Rachel Long (born in 1988, London) is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, based at the Southbank Centre. She began writing poetry after attending a workshop with Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, a transformative experience she describes as “radically intimate, and yet simultaneously expansive.
RAFEEF ZIADAH is a Palestinian spoken word artist and human rights activist based in London, UK. Her performance of poems like We Teach Life, Sir and Shades of Anger went viral within days of its release.
RAPHAEL D’ABDON is a writer, scholar, editor and translator. He holds a PhD in Linguistics and Literary Studies from the University of Udine (Italy) and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the English Studies Department of UNISA.
Born in 1950 in Chile, RAÚL ZURITA is arguably one of Latin America's most powerful, acclaimed and controversial poets. Zurita started out studying engineering before turning to poetry.
RAVEN was born in San Francisco in 1965 and raised on the edge of America, within earshot of the ocean, in a house full of books, music and politics.
RAYA WAMBUI wrote her first poem when she was only five years old, and has been writing consistently for fifteen years. She describes poetry as passion meeting purpose.
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.
RETHABILE MASILO blogs at Poéfrika and co-edits Canpopic Jar. He is a poet from Lesotho and has lived in Paris, France, since 1987.
RETHABILE MOLIBELI, affectionately known as Ms. Faith, is a storyteller, musician and a motivational speaker.
RICHARD MURPHY was born in the west of Ireland in 1927. He spent his early childhood years in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where his father was the last British Mayor of Colombo.
Poet, MC, sound artist and social activist RICHARD QUAZ ROODT has been at the forefront of the Johannesburg poetry scene for years as a performer, host, facilitator and organiser.
RITA DOVE served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995.
ROBERT BEROLD (1948), well known South African poet, is also highly respected for the constant help and encouragement he has given to so many aspirant poets.
ROBERT GREIG started writing poetry as a 14-year-old at a sports-mad boarding school Writing poetry seemed then an inevitable way of exploring the world, and a way of distinguishing himself from what he considers 'the often brutal world of a boys' school in the 1960s in a country with a brutal government.'
ROCHÉ KESTER is a writer who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree (Literature) from the University of the Western Cape.
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.
Roger Robinson is a fervent, generous poet. His most recent collection, “A Portable Paradise”, won both the 2019 T. S. Eliot Prize and the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize 2020 for a distinguished work evoking the spirit of a place – in this instance, post-Windrush Britain.
ROGERIO MANJATE is a professional actor and theatre director, a poetry and fiction writer, and a filmmaker.
A graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lomé, public law option, and with a certificate in presentation and communication skills from the Swiss Management Center University (Switzerland), ROI BOKON took his first steps as a slammer in 2015 within the Amnesty international Togo movement before joining the open stages organized in the capital.
Renowned flautist RONALD SNIJDERS was bornin Paramaribo, Suriname, in 1951. Snijders began playing the flute at an early age, inspired by his father, a professional musician.
Born in Cape Town in 1981, RONELDA KAMFER spent the first years of her life in Grabouw before moving to Eersterivier on the Cape Flats.
ROY MCFARLANE is a Poet, Playwright and former Youth & Community Worker born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage spending most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the Black Country, now residing in Brighton.
RUSTUM KOZAIN was born, raised and schooled in Paarl. He attended the University of Cape Town, majoring in English Literature. Following his M.A., he spent ten months (1994-1995) in the USA on a Fulbright scholarship.
SABELO SOKO is a writer, performer and creative entrepreneur from Mkhondo in Mpumalanga.
Born in India, SABITHA TP is a poet and writer. She spent her childhood in the southern-Indian Communist state of Kerala and her youth in the capital city of Delhi, with some forays into Calcutta, and currently lives in London.
SAFIA ELHILLO is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award.
SALIMAH VALIANI is a poet, activist and researcher. Her latest poetry collection, 29 leads to love, is the 2022 Winner of The International Book Award for Contemporary Poetry.
Sally-Ann Murray was born in Durban in 1961. From an early age, she learnt from her working mother that making things (poems, pictures, plays) would enable her to not only withstand but to flourish under the perceived stigmas of Umbilo and the Corporation flats.
SAM KESSEL not only works as a poet, but also as an actor, which he has been doing since he was very young.
Born in the Karoo, SANDILE DIKENI studied in the Eastern Cape before making various attempts at a law degree, but finally qualifying in journalism.
SANDILE NGIDI is a South African freelance journalist, dramatist, communication specialist and literary critic.
SANELISIWE NTULI is a poet, storyteller and writer from Mpumalanga Township in Hammersdale. She registered for a Bachelor of Science degree through UNISA, but passionate about languages, she is soon to register for a degree in this field.
SARAH GODSELL is a historian, poet, healer, mother, and activist. She lectures History at the Wits School of Education, where she is privileged to work with the next generations of brilliant students who will be South Africa’s teachers.
Prolific American poet, singer, musician, writer and actor, SAUL STACEY WILLIAMS, was born in New York.
SEITLHAMO (THABO) MOTSAPI was born in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province and studied for his BA degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, and obtained his BA Hons (English) at the University of the North where he later taught for four years.
SELESHE DEMASSAE (also known as Sileshi Demissie and Gash Abera Molla) is a multi-talented singer and musician from Ethiopia. He uses a complex vocal styling, sung in Amharic, his native language.
Bloemfontein, Free State
SERAME MAKHELE, known as Icebound, is a spoken word performer, writer, cultural activist and events coordinator from Bloemfontein, Free State.
SÉVERINE DAUCOURT-FRIDRIKSSON is a poet. She is invested in diverse domains such as translating (Icelandic literature), music (writer-composer-performer) and theatre (with Eric Ruf of Comédie-Française where she is a member of the Comité de Lecture, the 'Committee of Reading').
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 AND raised in Nairobi, Shailja Patel is a third generation Kenyan of Indian/Gujarati heritage.
Shashi Simelane, commonly known as The Black Sash to her peers, is a performance poet, rapper, writer and student based in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.
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.
SHIWE “SMARTBLACK” MAMPONDO is an international poet, musician and stylist. He is the co-founder of a sartorial movement called Amaroto.
SHRINIVASI was born in 1926 in Suriname, and is the pseudonym of Marinus Lutchman. The name means 'noble inhabitant of Suriname.’
SHUNTARO TANIKAWA, winner of every significant award for literature in Japan and that country’s foremost living poet, was born in 1931 in Tokyo, son of the distinguished philosopher Tetsuzo Tanikawa.
SIBONGILE FISHER is a writer based in South Africa. Her short story A Door Ajar won the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize, was shortlisted for the 2017 Brittle Paper Literary Prize and the 2018 Nommo Awards.
Sihle Ntuli is a poet and classicist from Durban. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Classical Civilisations and has lectured previously at the University of the Free State.
A Cape Town-based artist born in the Eastern Cape in Mqanduli, UZINZO, whose birth name is Simlindile Sityebi, obtained his BA Honours in Filmmaking from AFDA Film School.
SIMON VINKENOOG was born in Amsterdam in 1928, and spent the war years under German occupation.
SINDISWA BUSUKU is a creative writer and a lecturer in the Department of English Literary Studies at the University of Cape Town. She grew up in Durban.
SINDISWA LADY-AFRIKA ZULU is a poet, author, show organiser and public speaker on subjects such as Black Consciousness, Literature and Feminism.
SINDIWE MAGONA is a prolific and multi-award winning author of plays, novels, a memoir, educational books for children and poetry.
SIPHIWE KA NGWENVA was born in Soweto in 1964. He is a writer, theatre director and performer. In the late 1980s he met writers like Don Mattera and Sipho Sephamla and attended poetry workshops at Funda Centre which at times came under Security Police surveillance.
Siphiwo Mahala is a literary critic, novelist, short story writer and playwright, plying his trade in both English and Xhosa languages.
SIPHOKAZI JONAS holds a Masters degree in English Literature as well as an undergraduate degree in Drama and English. As a writer, performer and poet, she has written, produced, and performed in three one-woman poetry shows: Poetry Under the Stars, Conspiracy Theory, and Wrestling with Dawn (recorded live on DVD).
Sithembiso ‘Sthe Khali’ Khalishwayo is an actor, dancer, teacher, writer, photographer, videographer, choreographer, a published poet, a creative researcher and a facilitator who studied at the Wits School of Arts and Drama for Life majoring in Physical Theatre, Performance and Applied Drama; holding a Master’s Degree in Applied Drama.
Born in Nkandla in 1990, SIYABONGA MPUNGOSE is a renowned poet who shot to fame in 2010, his breakthrough year, after competing in the South African Poetry Invasion.
SIZA NKOSI is a published poet and writer who currently works as a Grade 4 teacher of isiZulu and high school teacher of IT. She is studying towards her Masters in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.
SOLJA KRAPU was born in Finland, with Finnish as her first language. When she was fifteen years old, she moved to Umea in Sweden to study together with her older sister.
SONNET MONDAL is an Indian poet, editor, and author of An Afternoon in My Mind (Copper Coin 2022), Karmic Chanting (Copper Coin 2018), Ink and Line (Dhauli Books 2018) and five other books of poetry.
Born in Senegal, SOULEYMANE DIAMANKA grew up in France where he began playing and working with words by inventing palindromes and other plays on the spoken word.
SPHELELE MKHIZE has been part of the organisation for two years. He holds a Degree in Music Education from the University of Transkei and served a term as President of the University's Music Society.
Poet, actor, and performing artist Staceyann Chin is the author of the new poetry collection Crossfire: A Litany For Survival, the critically acclaimed memoir The Other Side of Paradise, cowriter and original performer in the Tony Award–winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and author of the one-woman shows Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, Border/Clash, and MotherStruck.
STANLEY ONJEZANI KENANI was born in the Lundazi district of Zambia in 1976. A chartered accountant with the Association Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a holder or a Bachelor's degree in Accountancy from the University of Malawi, Kenani began writing stories and poems at the age of thirteen, and has now been published in many parts of the world and in many languages.
Dr. Stella Nyanzi is a multiple award-winning medical anthropologist with specialization in sexual and reproductive health, sexual rights and human sexualities in Uganda and The Gambia.
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.
STHEMBISO KHWELA, aka ‘The Ambush Poet,’ a name he got from other poets in KwaMashu from where he hails, started writing at high school level and became deeply entrenched in writing poems and short stories in Durban-Westville Correctional Centre during his incarceration where he co-founded an inmates’ writing association called Umbani Writers.
Spoken word artist and photographer STONE KARIM MOHAMAD was born Brice Romuald Mbasse in 1987 in Avebe village on the Cameroon-Gabon border.
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.
In her first collection of poetry, Could Love a Man, SUSAN STENSON (1960) appears before the reader as a fully realized talent, as someone who has been writing for decades instead of only a few years.
SUTARDJI CALZOUM BACHRI was born in Rengat, Riau, Indonesia on June 24, 1941. He studied at Padjadjaran University, Bandung.
SUZAN SKHOSANA is a self-taught and internationally award-winning historian, storyteller, performance poet and musician who has devoted her life to indigenous music and vocal expression especially through Setswana poetry.
AFRO-SAXON minstrel poet, guitarist and singer song-fighter Syd Kitchen has been a dynamic, innovative contributor to the SA musical landscape since the 1970s.
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.
TAN LIOE LE was born and raised in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Tan attended lectures in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Jakarta and later enrolled in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Udayana in Denpasar, graduating in 1996 with a BA in Economics.
TÂNIA TERESA TOMÉ was born in 1981 in Maputo, Mozambique. An early passion for the arts, music and singing culminated in her winning the first prize, at the age of seven, for best voice in an international competition organised by the World Health Organization in Mozambique.
TANURE OJAIDE was born in the oil-rich but economically impoverished Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
TANYA EVANSON is an Antiguan-Canadian poet, performer, producer and arts educator from Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal. She is also director of The Banff Centre Spoken Word Program, an arts residency for spoken word artists in the Rocky Mountains of Banff, Canada.
Tanya Pretorius studied English and Social Sciences at the University of Pretoria and completed an honours degree in English, with a focus on Feminism and Media.
Ukrainian poet and translator TARAS MALKOVYCH lives and works in the city of Kyiv. He graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and holds a translation studies PhD after defending his thesis on the specifics of Ukrainian and international film translation.
Tarik Ben Larbi was born in Tangier, Morocco, and although he works as a lawyer, his passion lies in writing and the spoken word.
Award Winning poet and writer, Tatamkhulu Afrika, was born in Egypt, and as a young child, was brought to South Africa by his parents.
TEAMHW SBONGUJESU (SANELE MHLONGO) was born in 1996 in Pietermartizburg, KwaZulu-Natal. He is a publisher, editor and writer at TNG Publishing Company (‘TNG’ – The New Generation) based in Pietermaritzburg, which specializes in works of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
TENZIN TSUNDUE was born to a Tibetan refugee family who laboured on India's border roads around Manali, North India, during the chaotic era of Tibetan refugee resettlement in the early seventies.
AFURAKAN, also known as KingKan, is one of the pioneers of the modern South African spoken word scene. His writing and performance style has caught the attention of many slam poets and writers across Africa with its rhythm and provocative nature.
THANDO FUZE is, like most people, someone who has opinions about everything and found poetry to be the best medium through which these opinions would best be expressed. With two left feet, dance couldn’t possibly get her on the stages she has performed on.
The Botsotso Jesters are Allan Kolski Horwitz, Ike Mboneni Muila and Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya, a poetry performance collective. They also publish a literary magazine, Botsotso, and, as Botsotso Publishing, books of poetry and fiction.
THE GUESTS, a unique comic poetic duo hailing from Zimbabwe, comprise Victor Mavedzenge and Michael Kudakwashe.
THE HYMPHATIC THABS (THABISO MOHAPELOA) embodies the evolution of hip hop music.
Thembinkosi Blessing Qwabe is a qualified teacher (BA, HDE, BA Hons, Masters and PhD). As a widely published author, he has written and published in all genres in isiZulu.
Legendary Zimbabwean musician THOMAS MAPFUMO was born in 1945 and whilst in high school joined his first band, The Zutu Brothers.
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.
THULI ZUMA is a South African, a teller of stories, a part-time awesomeist (one who makes things awesome) and a full time human being.
Chinese poet and mathematician, TIANXIN CAI, (1963) received his Ph.D. in number theory from Shandong University in 1987. A talented and versatile writer, Cai has published nine books of poetry, essays and travelogues and biographies.
Born in eastern Uganda, TIMOTHY WANGUSA (1942) is both novelist and well published poet with favourite themes and subjects being nature, history, politics and the spiritual arena.
Titilope Sonuga is an award-winning poet, writer and performer who calls both Canada and Nigeria home.
TJ DEMA was born in Gaborone, Botswana in 1981. A spoken-word poet, Dema also runs Sauti Arts and Performance Management, an arts administration company, and is chairperson of The Writers Association of Botswana and a board member of the Children in Performing Arts Trust.
Tobi Abiodun is a poet and spoken word artist born and raised in Benin City. His poetry cuts across the personal, social and political.
TOGARA MUZANENHAMO was born in Lusaka, Zambia, to Zimbabwean parents. He grew up in Zimbabwe then went on to study business administration at the European University in both the Hague and Paris.
TOLU AGBELUSI is a Nigerian born, London based poet, playwright, performer, educator and lawyer. Her work addresses the unperformed self, womanhood and the art of living.
TOLU OGUNLESI was born in 1982. He has written poetry since his university days, publishing a collection, Listen to the Geckos Singing to a Balcony (Bewrite Books) in 2003, a year before completing his pharmacy degree.
Toni Giselle Stuart works as a poet, performer and facilitator. In her words, “I write poems and stories that help us heal our inherited and ancestral traumas, and access our ancestral wisdoms and gifts, so we can remember who and what we truly are.”
Torsten Tebogo Rybka, also known as Clear, has been writing and reciting for fifteen years. He has had his work online since 2013, found via SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
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.
Tracey Saunders is a project manager by day, a journalist and theatre critic by night and a women’s rights activist & social justice advocate 24/7.
Brooklyn, New York
Tracie Morris is a multidisciplinary performance poet who has worked in theatre, dance, music and film.
TSHEBELETSO MOHALE is a poet and writer who currently lives and works in Durban. Born in Mthatha, she spent most of her childhood there and moved to Cape Town at the age of 10.
TUMELO KHOZA is a spoken word artist based in Durban. Her style fits in the Performance Poetry category, as she has a rather startling, out-of-the-box, not-quite-what-you-expect sense of delivery when reciting.
TUMI MOLEKANE, better known to exponents of South African hip hop as the lead vocalist in Tumi and the Volume, creates 'lyrical dreamscapes' out of harsh realities, his pieces unfolding like a musical and spiritual journey through poetic imagery.
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.
vangile gantsho is a poet, writer, producer and the founder of No Camp Chairs Poetry Picnics, held at the Union Buildings on the second Sunday of every month.
Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and artist. Her work has appeared in publications including The White Review, the London Review of Books, and The Poetry Review, and she is the winner of a 2018 Eric Gregory Award.
VIVEK NARAYANAN was born in India to Tamil-speaking parents and grew up in Zambia. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in cultural anthropology and creative writing in the United States, before moving back to India in 2000.
VONANI BILA was born in Shirley village, Elim, in Limpopo Province in 1972. He is the founder and editor of the groundbreaking Timbila Poetry Journal and also edits the newspaper Community Gazette.
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.
Wamuwi Mbao is editor of the collection Years of Fire and Ash: Poetry of Decolonization, a poetry anthology that brings together more than half a century of South African struggle poetry.
Wassing Wadaï Charles, also known as Charly, is a slam artist from Cameroon, born in the ’90s in a military camp in Koutaba (a village in the Western region of Cameroon).
WERE WERE LIKING born in 1950 in Bondé, Cameroon, is a self-taught painter, sculptor, writer and stage director.
Weronika M. Lewandowska is a Polish spoken word poet, performer and VR director. She holds a PhD in cultural studies and is a researcher of new media and immersion experiences.
WILFRIED N’ SONDÉ, writer, singer and musician, was born in 1968 in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and now lives in Paris and Berlin.
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.
A Mail & Guardian top 200 Young South African for 2022 and a Future Africa Grant recipient, XABISO VILI is a multi-award winning performer, writer, new media artist, producer and social activist.
XOLILE VILAKAZI began performing in 2002 as a MC and then started writing poetry in Zulu.
Once long-listed as one of MTV’s Brand New Artists, Writer and Poet, Yomi Sode has been performing for the past 10 years – balancing the fine line between both Nigerian and British cultures that can be, at times, humorous, loving, self-reflective and uncomfortable.
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.
ZAMA MADINANA is a South African poet, based in Johannesburg. His work has appeared in The Shallow Tales Review, Stanzas, Africanwriter, Poetry Potion and other literary publications.
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.
Born in 1996 in South Africa, ZIZIPHO BAM is an award-winning poet who creates work that seeks to heal. Using the body and its experience as inspiration, she reimagines longing, loss, and love and turns her stories into works of art.
ZODWA MOTSA-MADIKANE is a Full Professor of English at the University of South Africa. Currently in the Vice Chancellor’s Office as the Executive Director: Department of Leadership and Transformation, Motsa has been the Director of Scholarship in the Change Management Unit, Director: UNISA-Ethiopia Centre and Chair of Department: UNISA Department of English.
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.