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About the Author

An outspoken advocate for social justice, Breyten Breytenbach, is a poet, novelist, memorist, essayist and visual artist. His paintings, drawings, and collages have been exhibited around the world. In 1994 Breytenbach received the Alan Paton Award for Return to Paradise. He won The prestigious Hertzog Prize for Poetry for Papierblom in 1999, and again in 2008 for Die Windvanger (Windcatcher), for which he also received the University of Johannesburg Prize. Breytenbach is the author of A Season in Paradise, The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist, All One Horse, Mouroir, Notes from the Middle World, Dog Heart, The Memory of Birds in Times of Revolution, Lady One, and Voice Over- a nomadic conversation with Mahmoud Darwish, among others.


In this inspiring, insightful and heart-warming meditation, Breyten Breytenbach has given us a masterpiece-a term I use with all due caution. He invites the reader into the process of poetry from vision to practice with a deep abiding humanity, genuine wisdom and compassionate good will spiced with humor. As unpretentious as a comfortable old shirt, this is a book to be read and reread, to be cherished by anyone who values the enlightenment found in great poetry of all kinds. -Sam Hamill

The greatest Afrikaner poet of this generation. . . . No one elevated the Boer language to such pure beauty and wielded it so devastatingly against the apartheid regime as Breyten Breytenbach. -The New Yorker

As a writer, Breytenbach has the gift of being able to descend effortlessly into the Africa of the poetic unconscious and return with the rhythm and the words, the words in the rhythm, that give life. -J.M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books

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