2021 Poets

Andrew Renard

After spending 4 decades teaching teenagers, I have found it difficult to ever grow up! Teaching high school English has huge time demands, but I have managed to write some poetry and my poems have been anthologised in For Rhino in a Shrinking World, Coming Home and Tippermuir Books in Scotland. Mathematicians play Sudoku; I prefer to play with word patterns and rhythms and create sonnets and villanelles. The combination of precision and creativity is a challenge I relish

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Archie Swanson

Archie Swanson’s poetry has been widely anthologised both in South Africa and overseas. He has published three collections of poetry, the stretching of my sky, the shores of years and beyond a distant edge, which is being launched for the first time at McGregor 2021. He serves on the Board of the South African literary Journal which publishes New Contrast. Instagram: @poetarchie

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Dorian Haarhoff

Dorian Haarhoff is a story-teller, poet, speaker and a writing mentor. A former Prof of English (Namibia) he now facilitates writing and story-telling wordshops. He has frequently led writing retreats at Temenos. His wordshops are based on his The Writer’s Voice. A Workbook for Writer’s in Africa. Dorian is an enthusiastic fan of the Poetry Festival.

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Galeo Saintz

Galeo is an independent biodiversity conservationist, an international trail development advisor and mountain wilderness guide. Founder and co-founder of conservation and trails related non-profit initiatives, he has conceptualised and led expeditions to raise awareness for human-wildlife conflict and linked produced media and documentaries. He is a nature poet and regularly gives public readings of his works.

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Harry Owen

A familiar face at McGregor and in numerous other venues and festivals across the country, Harry Owen has published eight poetry collections and edited three anthologies. Having moved recently from Grahamstown, where he founded and for more than twelve years hosted the popular open-floor event called Reddits Poetry, he is ready to launch the e-book edition of his latest collection: Thicket: shades from the Eastern Cape, the print version of which will be launched in 2022

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Julia Casciola

I am a mother living in Cape Town. After years of journeying I have found my home in the rosary and mysteries. Last year I began pressing fynbos flowers and the original five-petalled rose, adorning them with the names of Our Lady. I love simplicity, beauty, and being in Nature.

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Kath Higgens

Kath is an ardent poet, especially of the mystical and contemplative. She presently lives in McGregor. She would like to open discussion with other poets, which could become an on-going forum, especially for poetry as soul-work.

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Kris Marais

Kris Marais’ work has been included in several anthologies and journals. He has read at most of the McGregor Poetry Festivals to date and with regular collaborators Maura Talbot and Tauriq Jenkins presented ‘State Property: The Conscripts of Apartheid’ at the NAF in Grahamstown (now Makhanda) in 2017. He lives in Observatory, Cape Town and serves on the committee which manages the Off The Wall poetry reading and open mic in Observatory.

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Lois Courtenay Henderson

A freelance copy editor and book indexer, Lois Henderson has lived on the banks of the Berg River in De Plaadt, Velddrif for the last two decades, along with a host of animals (both indoor and outdoor), principally of the feline and canine variety, but extending to the reptilian as well. With a few self-published books to her credit, she started writing haiku this year, and has so far published Poems of a West Coast Pariah: Modern Haiku 1.

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Melissa Sussens

Melissa Sussens is a queer veterinarian and poet. Her work has appeared in Stanzas, Horse Egg Literary and SFWP Quarterly, among others. She placed 2nd in the New Contrast National Poetry Prize and was selected as one of the winners in the ClemenGold Writing Competition in 2020 and as one of the shortlisted poets for the Time of the Writer: Poetry For Human Rights competition in 2021. Melissa lives in Cape Town with her partner and their two dogs. Find her on Instagram @melissasussens.

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Sue Woodward

Sue Woodward was born and educated in Johannesburg but has lived in Cape Town for most of her life. She has been a teacher and a writer and editor of educational materials and now spends much of her time reading and writing, mainly poetry. This year her debut collection of poems ‘between the apple and the bite’ was published by Modjaji.

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In Gratitude From Poetry In McGregor

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