This is a collection of poems, in English, by over 50 South African poets (and some Zimbabweans), with some contemporary translations from /Xam, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Xitsonga and Zulu. All the poems were published in the poetry journal "New Coin", between 1989 and 1999. These poems were written over a period which included the brutal last years of apartheid, the release of Mandela, the country's first democratic elections, and the disturbing trends of the post-Mandela era. During this time the violence of previous decades continued (although in different forms), while the poor became poorer. For poets, it was a time of innovation. Music, street rhythms, and international influences were opening up the vocabulary. Many of the poems were unnoticed when they were first published. Collected in this anthology, they demonstrate the aesthetic diversity and truthtelling power of South African poetry.
Through his dedicated editorship of New Coin, Robert Berold has created an arena for many different poetic voices in South Africa to flourish. His published collections of poems include, The Door to the River (1084), The Fires of the Dead (1989) and Rain Across a Paper Field (1999). Berold is a freelance editor and writer and lives near Grahamstown.
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