Beauty Came Groveling Forward:
Selected South African Poetry and Prose

  Edited by Gary Cummiskey



The work contained in this Big Bridge feature is by no means a wide representation of contemporary South African writing. It is rather a bringing together of some writers whose work I respond to, and there are of course many fine writers whose work is not here. It is therefore not a general "anthology of South African writing". It is nevertheless hoped this selection will give readers an insight into the diversity of creative voices in South Africa; a diversity that is in part reflective of the multicultural nature of South African society.

The voices range from established names such as Kobus Moolman and Kelwyn Sole, to newer ones such as Neo Molefe Shameeyaa. There is the performance-orientated work of Richard Fox and Mphutlane wa Bofelo, and the socio-political voice of Vonani Bila. There are mavericks such as Aryan Kaganof and Goodenough Mashego, and the subjective lyricism of Alan Finlay and Mxolisi Nyezwa. There are also several women represented: Arja Salafranca, Haidee Kruger, Janet van Eeden, Megan Hall, Colleen Higgs, Makhosazana Xaba and Neo Molefe Shameeyaa.

The short fiction selection is only a handful of pieces, but again it is hoped they will indicate the diversity of short fiction writing in South Africa: from the poetic prose of Haidee Kruger and fantasy of Silke Heiss, to the playfulness of Liesl Jobson. There are the parables of Allan Kolski Horwitz and the exploration of relationships in the realistic work of Colleen Higgs and Arja Salafranca. Pravasan Pillay's story is a sensitive study of early adolescence while Gary Cummiskey's surreal horror story touches on issues central to a historically divided society: isolation, the Other, uncertainty and violence.

South African Poetry by

Gary Cummiskey

Kobus Moolman

Arja Salafranca

Haidee Kruger

Anton Krueger

Janet van Eeden

Mxolisi Nyezwa

Kelwyn Sole

Richard Fox

Alan Finlay

Megan Hall

Colleen Higgs

Aryan Kaganof

Mphutlane wa Bofelo

Vonani Bila

Goodenough Mashego

Makhosazana Xaba

Neo Molefe Shameeyaa

Allan Kolski Horwitz

Khulile Nxumalo


South African Short Fiction

Gary Cummiskey

Liesl Jobson
Bogtown Mazurka

Haidee Kruger
The secret diaries of Snow-White

Silke Heiss
The Order of Ilse Grey

Colleen Higgs
The easier option

Allan Kolski Horwitz
The President

Pravasan Pillay
Green Apples

Arja Salafranca