We have some students from a university spending a week with us, to do a project about literacy. They’re from a place called UWC, which is short for University of the Western Cape.

Their names are Kyle, Rosaria, and Tankiso. As part of their project they’re taking us to a poetry reading.

Poetry! My soul leaps at the thought.

I’ve read a lot of the poems in our poetry anthology. I know that at university they use the Norton book, which is a collection of poems from as far back as AD 800.

Imagine reading poems from back then!

The problem is, there isn’t a lot on record of our own nation’s poetry. Most of the South African poets you can get are from in between 1920 and the present day.

In AD 900 it’s thought (well this is what I understand of it anyway) that our people weren’t writing down their stories. They were telling them to one another round a campfire, under a starry sky. Doesn’t that sound totally awesome?

Imagination is very important to me. Imagination is what all the great writers have, you know. They can write about something and boom – you’re there.

You’re in the room … seeing everything unfolding as it is happening.

But wait. Weren’t we talking about the poetry reading?


Tell us: Have you ever read any poetry by a South African author, that’s not part of a school set work? Why or why not?