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Kobus Moolman (1964 - ). Kobus Moolman has a Doctorate degree in English, with a  special focus on creative writing; he also has a Masters degree in English and an Honours degree in Drama Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  He has worked as English teacher and sub-editor on The Natal Witness.

He was formerly head of the Education Department at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, a position he held for thirteen years. He was also a lecturer in creative writing in the Department of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. He currently works as the Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English Studies at the University of the Western Cape.

In 1992 he was a finalist in the Amstel Playwright of the Year Award.  He is the recipient of the BBC African Radio Theatre Award (1987), the Macmillan Southern African Playwriting Award (1991) and in 2000 he won a merit award in the Noupoort Reward for Playwriting.

In 1998 he was awarded the Helen Martins Fellowship which enabled him to spend a month in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda working on an anthology of poetry.  This collection, entitled, Time like Stone was published by the University of Natal Press in June 2000. The collection was awarded the Ingrid Jonker Prize for 2001, the premier South African award for a debut anthology.

In 2001 he was one of five South African poets featured in a collection by Botsotso Publishers, entitled simply, 5 Poetry.

Several of his short stories have also been broadcast by the BBC and the SABC.  In 2002 a short story of his was featured in the collection From Jo-burg to Jozi, published by Penguin Books.  His poetry is also featured in the new anthology, It all begins: poems from postliberation South Africa, published by Gecko Poetry.

In 2003 he was awarded 2nd prize in the BBC African Performance radio drama competition.  His winning play was produced for the BBC World Service in April 2003. In the same year it was also read at the Moscow Theatre Festival of New Writing.

In 2003 and 2004 he participated in a radio drama residency organized by the BBC, the British Council and the Performing Arts Network of South Africa.

His second collection of poetry, Feet of the Sky was published by Brevitas Press in 2003.

Moolman's work has also appeared on the following on-line poetry sites: Donga; LitNet; Southern Rain Poetry; Mindfire Renewed and Wordgathering. In 2004, he was selected to be one of the invited poets at the PoetryAfrica Festival in Durban, where his work was very warmly received.

In the same year his play, Full Circle, was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Script in the third Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) Festival of Reading of New Writing. The play premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2005, directed by Charmaine Weir-Smith, and was critically acclaimed. It was subsequently produced at the Hilton College Theatre in Pietermaritzburg and at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. The play was also later produced as part of the Southern African theatre season at the Oval House Theatre in London.

A collection of his radio plays, Blind Voices, was published by Botsotso Publishers in 2007. The collection was sponsored by the British Council and features a CD of the BBC production of his earlier award-winning play, Soldier Boy.

His fourth collection of poetry, Separating the Seas, was published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press in the same year. And at the end of 2007 Dye Hard Press published the script of his award-winning play, Full Circle.

In the same year he was also named joint winner of the 2007 NLDTF/PANSA Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings of New Writing for his new play, Stone Angel. This is the second time he has won this major South African award for theatre writing. The play premiered at the 2008 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, directed by Claire Mortimer. It was subsequently performed to critical acclaim at the Square Space Theatre in Durban.

He was the founding editor of the annual KwaZulu-Natal poetry journal, Fidelities, which ran from 1995 until 2007.  As co-ordinator of the Fidelities Poetry Project he conducted creative writing workshops and readings for a variety of interest groups, from offenders in prison to high school youth.  From 2000 to 2009 he edited the poetry titles for the University of KwaZulu Natal Press, working on collections by Karen Press, Mxolisi Nyezwa, Kelwyn Sole and Makhosazana Xaba, amongst others.

In 2007, he was the convenor and chairperson of the selection committee for the Olive Schreiner Poetry Prize sponsored by the English Academy of Southern Africa. And in 2008, he was on the panel of adjudicators for the Ingrid Jonker award.

At the beginning of 2008, he participated in a three-week collaborative residency at the Caversham Centre for Writers and Artists in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. During this residency he produced a limited edition, hand-bound collection of prose poems entitled Anatomy. This collection was later published in the Journal of Disability Studies (Ohio State University).

In 2008, his short story, ‘Farewell At Vetch’s Pier’, was published in the collection, Durban in a Word (Penguin Books). And in the same year his play, Full Circle was produced by the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

In 2009 his poem Boy was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2010 he was a special guest of the Creative Writing Research Group of the University of Calgary in Canada. During this two-month period he gave readings of his work and lectured. He was subsequently also invited to give a reading at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He was also an invited guest at the 2010 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. In the same year he edited and published, Tilling the Hard Soil: poetry, prose and art by South African Writers with Disabilities (University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal Press).  He was also invited dramaturge on a two-week residency for South African and Dutch scriptwriters organised by the Twist Theatre Development Project during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

2010 marked the publication of Moolman's anthology Light and After. The collection was launched at the National English Literary Museum in Grahamstown, and again at the 14th Poetry Africa festival in Durban.  The collection has been widely acknowledged as his strongest to date. In 2015. Moolman was announced as the winner of the 2015 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry for his poetry collection, A Book of Rooms.

Apart from leading literary journals and websites in South Africa and abroad, his work has also appeared in the following collections:

Soundings: an anthology of poems selected from the 1988 Sanlam Literary Award, edited by Douglas Reid Skinner, Carrefour Press (1989);
Twenty-Five Years of English South African Poetry, edited by David Bunyan, Institute for the Study of English in Africa (1989);
Let Me Be, compiled by David Dawson, Macmillan (1990);
The Heart in Exile: South African Poetry in English, edited by Leon de Kock and Ian Tromp, Penguin (1996);
It All Begins: Poems from Post Liberation South Africa, edited by Robert Berold, University of Natal Press (2002);
From Jo’burg to Jozi: Stories about Africa’s Infamous City, edited by Heidi Holland and Adam Roberts, Penguin Books (2002);
Glass jars among trees, edited by Arja Salafranca and Alan Finlay, Jacana Media (2003);
Lovely Beyond any Singing: Landscapes in South African Writing, compiled and introduced by Helen Moffett, Double Storey (2006).

Durban in a Word: Contrasts and Colours in eThekwini, edited by Dianne Stewart, Penguin Books (2008).

Botsotso: an anthology of contemporary South African poetry, edited by Allan Kolski Horwitz and Ken Edwards. Published by Reality Street, East Sussex, United Kingdom (2009).

Kobus Moolman won the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award in 2013 for 'Daily Duty'.

"Angel Heart" - A short story which was a runner up at the 2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards and appeared in the competition's Die Laughing anthology. Publisher: Tattoo Press.


Selected Work

Ballad of a Soft Man

soft man slumped
into a corner
of the sky

opaque sky, distracted
by sand and stones
scraping against sun;

the broken shell
of a wind
see-sawing across
a glass eye;

soft man slumped
into a corner
of the sky

leaking stray birds
and stuffing.

(Windermere Road, Durban central)

In the Name of the Moon

The wind wears the face
of the sea today.

The sea appears
more solid than the sky.

The sky turns its back
on all the world,
except the moon.

The moon
stops so far from my hands

I must repeat
its un-pronounceable name
three times to reach it.

(Howard College, UKZN, Durban)




2000. Time like Stone. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press.
2001. 5 Poetry. Johannesburg: Botsotso Publishers. 
2003. Feet of the Sky. Howick: Brevitas Press.
2007. Separating the Seas. Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press.
2007. Blind Voices. Johannesburg: Botsotso Publishers.
2007. Full Circle. Johannesburg: Dye Hard Press.

2008. Anatomy. (Limited edition, illustrated chapbook). Lidgetton: Caversham Press.

2010. Tilling the Hard Soil: Poetry and Prose by South African Writers Living with Disabilities. Pietermaritzburg: University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press.

2010.  Light and After.  Grahamstown: Deep South Publishing.

2013. Left Over. Johannesburg. Dye Hard Press

2014. A Book of Rooms. Deep South.

Author Map (Pietermaritzburg)

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