loftus-marais-south-africaLoftus Marais, A Paarl-born poet, who's work is visual and ironic, rebelling against traditional Afrikaans poetry, while also acknowledging the handed-down Afrikaans belief in the poet as craftsman, in the importance of formal, structural and musical elements.

This makes his poetry a modulation of a voice that is both lyrical and bitter, sombre and comical, nostalgic and ultra-contemporary. After being published in several anthologies, his debut collection of poems, Staan in die algemeen nader aan vensters (2008), was published to high acclaim and received both the Eugenè Marais Prize and the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize.

 

He comments: “ I find I'm always inspired by visual things: objects I see, rather than things I read or wonder about. I guess most of my poems are a result of visual impetus…I believe that poetry, mine or anybody else's, can bring things into sharper focus. I hope it makes things more real for readers…I don't have any strong feelings about poetry having to be "involved" or "relevant" or "useful", I'm slightly more interested in it being "good".”

 

Marais lives in Cape Town and works for NB Publishers.