vangile gantsho is healer, poet and co-founder of impepho press – a Pan Africanist intersectional feminist publishing house. She is the author of two poetry collections: red cotton (2018) and Undressing in Front of the Window (2015). She holds an MA, with distinction, from the University Currently Known as Rhodes (2016) – where she is currently a part-time lecturer – and is a graduate of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Academy (Pioneer Class). In 2018, she was named one of Mail& Guardian’s Top Young 200 South Africans. Her poetry has been published in various literary publications, including Wild Imperfections: An Anthology of Womanist Poems (2021), Years of Fire and Ash – South African Poems of Decolonisation (2021) New Daughters of Africa (2019), The Atlanta Review (2018), New Coin (2017 + 2018), New Contrast (2017), Illuminations (2017) and Type/Cast (2017), Botsotso (2015), Sabel (2010, 2017) and The Agenda (2004). Her collection, red cotton, was named City Press Top Poetry Read of 2018, and long listed for the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2020 Award.
gantsho has shared her poetry on stages across three continents, and has curated and produced programmes such as the impepho press Women of Words Online Poetry Festival (2020) 21 Days-21 Poets series (2020), a virtual World Poetry Day (2020), Human4Human (2014-2015), The State Theatre’s Night of the Poets (2013), and Katz Cum out to Play: intimate conversations though poetry and music (2009). She also co-curated and co-produced the SA programme in the Unbound International Spoken Word Festival in the Netherlands (2020) and a pandemic. a pause. poetry for the Open Book Festival (2022). In 2020, she co-created a poetry and film meditation called forgetting. and memory. with Toni Giselle Stuart and Vusumzi Ngxande.
gantsho is an unwavering advocate of the revival of the Black Feminine and is passionate about using the voice as a tool to help build confidence and open doors. As a teaching artist, she has worked with Bridges a Pan-Afrikan Arts Movement (Brooklyn NY), CUNY La Guardia Community College (Queens NY), Mzansi Poetry Academy (Johannesburg), Educhange (Johannesburg) and Quarphix (Johannesburg). She continues to dedicate herself to creating and/or supporting spaces that encourage (black feminine) visibility and healing, be that through facilitating workshops such as Language of Dreams in Malawi, Morocco and Gabon, or in residencies such as the Hear My Voice and the Göteborgs Litteraturhus 2021 Residency, where she headlined a conversation entitled The Poetry of Deep Listening.