uHlanga New Poets series launches

uHlanga is proud to announce the launch of the uHlanga New Poets series, a platform for the publication of debut collections from South Africa’s most promising young voices.

Supported by a grant from the Arts and Culture Trust, uHlanga New Poets will publish two debut collections in 2015: Matric Rage by Genna Gardini, and Failing Maths and My Other Crimes by Thabo Jijana. 

uHlanga was founded in 2014 as an annual magazine of poetry from and about KwaZulu-Natal, but has since re-focused their attentions on helping launch the careers of young poets.

"Poetry magazines and anthologies are hugely important," says uHlanga's publisher Nick Mulgrew, who is also the associate editor of literary magazine Prufrock and Deputy Chair of Short Story Day Africa. "But a focused collection is the mark of a serious poet. There, however, aren't enough opportunities for poets – young or more experienced – to take that step. So that's where uHlanga comes in."

"In Gardini and Jijana we have two of South Africa's brightest young poets," he adds. "I could scarcely think of two stronger books with which someone could launch a new poetry press, so I feel very fortunate indeed."

Genna Gardini, based in Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s most decorated young poets and playwrights. She is the winner of the 2012 DALRO/New Coin Award, and a 2013 Mail & Guardian Young South African. Her two plays, WinterSweet (2012) and Scrape (2013), have both won Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Thabo Jijana, based in Port Elizabeth, is a rising star in South African literature. In 2011, he won the Anthony Sampson Foundation Award. In 2014, he won the Sol Plaatje/European Union Poetry Award. That same year, he also published his first book, the memoir Nobody’s Business

The collections will be designed and published in print, and distributed throughout South Africa by Xavier Nagel Distribution. Copies will also be made available for sale on the uHlanga website. There are no plans for e-books, Mulgrew says, because "the returns on poetry e-books suck terribly".

The expected date of publication for both collections is end-October/early-November 2015.


The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes, ACT provides support for all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration.

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The Nedbank Arts Affinity is a proud supporter of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). Since the inception of ACT in 1994, Nedbank has raised and distributed nearly R15 million through our Arts Affinity Programme, in support of more than 800 South African arts, culture and heritage development projects, at no cost to our clients. To open a Nedbank Arts Affinity account please visit any Nedbank branch or call 0860 DO GOOD (36 4663). For more information please visit www.nedbankarts.co.za