- Category: PA 2008
Megan Hall was born in Cape Town, studied English, Linguistics and Latin at the University of Cape Town , and then found work in the publishing industry. Megan has been writing and publishing poetry since 1991 but it was only in 2007 that a collection of her work was published by new, independent press Modjaji Books. Titled Fourth Child, the collection, which will be launched at the festival, went on to win her the Ingrid Jonker Prize for the best debut volume in English published in 2006 and 2007.
Critics have called the collection “impressive, seductive” (Fiona Zerbst, Sunday Independent ), while award-winning poet Rustum Kozain (PA 2006) described it as “an intriguing volume, which ensures it will be read again and again”. The Ingrid Jonker judges (Gabeba Baderoon, Ingrid de Kok, Kobus Moolman) commented on the images in the collection – “sharp and unforgettable” – and the “attentively crafted verse”, which, while being deeply personal and revealing, shows “discretion and restraint, steering away from self-pity”.
Previously published in local journals New Coin,New Contrast, Fidelities, Carapace and others, Megan has also edited poetry and fiction for New Contrast. After taking part in the 2004 Online Young Writers' Conference hosted byLitnet , she was selected for Crossing Borders 2006, a writer's mentoring programme sponsored by the British Council. It was there that she met Modjaji publisher Colleen Higgs, who encouraged her to think of publishing a collection.
Megan's writing has also been published in Leaves to a Tree (a multi-genre collection of pieces by English Alive past participants, which included an essay of hers), Worldscapes (a poetry anthology for schools), and Botsotso 14, which included her short story ‘The bowl and the stick'.
She is currently the publishing manager for dictionaries and school literature in English at Oxford University Press Southern Africa.