karen-press-south-africaKaren Press was born in Cape Town , South Africa . She has worked as a teacher of mathematics and English, with a range of progressive education projects, and has also written textbooks and other education materials in the fields of mathematics, science, economics and English, as well as children’s stories, a film script and stories for newly-literate adults. In 1987 she co-founded The Buchu Books Publishing Collective. She has published seven collections of poetry and her poems have been included in anthologies in South Africa , France , Austria , the UK and the USA . She currently works as a freelance editor and writer, and is an associate of the national advice service for South African writers, The Writers’ Network. Karen Press’s most recent anthology of poetry, The Little Museum of Working Life ( University of Kwazulu-Natal Press , 2004) will be launched at Poetry Africa 2004.

Commenting on this latest work, Antjie Krog says: ’These poems present a haunting museum constructed in Karen Press’s delicate tone and vivid poetic intelligence.’ Her poetry has also appeared in the anthologies Siren Songs (ed. Nohra Moerat, BLAC, 1989), I Qabane Labantu(ed. Ampie Coetzee and Hein Willemse, Taurus, 1989), Breaking the Silence (ed. Cecily Lockett, Ad. Donker, 1991), Like a House on Fire(COSAW, 1994), The Heart in Exile (ed. Tromp and De Kock, Penguin, 1996), My African World(ed. Robin Malan, David Philip, 1996), Somewhere I Have Never Travelled (ed. Terrill Nicolay, Heinemann), The Lava of This Land (ed. Dennis Hirson, Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press, 1997), Running Towards Us: New Writing from South Africa (Heinemann USA, 2000) and It All Begins, (ed. Robert Berold, University of Natal Press, 2002); and in the magazines Staffrider, New Coin, Upstream, New Contrast, Stir, Botsotso, Slug, Boston Review, The Kalahari Review, Bleksem, Wasafiri, Poetry salvaged from Corey’s, New Letters, PN Review,West Coast Line and Illuminations.


Select Bibliography

This Winter Coming, Cinnamon Crocodile, 1986 
Bird Heart Stoning the Sea, Buchu Books, 1990 
History is the Dispossession of the Heart, Cinnamon Crocodile, 1992 
The Coffee Shop Poems, Snailpress, 1993 
Echo Location - a guide to Sea Point for residents and visitors, Gecko Books, 1998 
Home, Carcanet, 2000 
The Little Museum of Working Life, UKZN Press, 2004