- Category: PA 2008
Gary Cumiskey was born in England in 1963 and apart from a brief period spent in London in 2001- 2002, has lived in South Africa since 1983. He has a postgraduate degree in English Literature from the University of South Africa.
Gary is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Secret Hour, Lost in a World, Visitations, When Apollinaire Died, Head (with Roy Blumenthal), Reigning Gloves, Bog Docksand Today is their Creator . He is also the author of a cut-up prose work, April in the Moon-Sun,which formed the basis of a short film by Aryan Kaganof called Velvet, which recently premiered at the Grahamstown Arts Festival.
He has published extensively in local literary journals, online and in print. Gary is also the founding editor of Dye Hard Press, an independent literary publishing venture which from 1994 has published more than 20 titles, including poetry collections by Alan Finlay, Roy Blumenthal, Arja Salafranca and Gus Ferguson. Dye Hard Press recently published a play, Full Circle , by Kobus Moolman. Gary was also the editor of Green Dragon literary journal, which published five issues from 2002 to 2007.
He lives in Johannesburg and works as a subeditor for Business Day . He is also a freelance journalist for The Weekender and is a regular writer for the London-based publication The Bookseller .
Gary comments: ”I am a surrealist-influenced poet; surrealism informs my approach to poetry and my attitude towards life. Surrealism was not an art or literary movement – which many incorrectly pronounce as dead or outdated – but IS, rather a permanent revolution aimed at the transformation of life, its principal weapons being magic, poetry (visual, verbal or written), eroticism and revolt. Backed up with an unyielding belief in the omnipotence of liberty, dreams and desire, surrealism wages an uncompromising war against a paltry existence based on enslavement, bigotry and sham, as well as the abuse of money and power by corporate capitalism, religion, military and state.”